News and Almanac

Firearms deer season on record pace

Cold windy conditions on opening day slowed the start of the deer harvest, but the pace quickly picked up during the remaining days, and hunters bagged 180,395 deer during the 1996 firearms deer season.

This total is the second highest on record and should eclipse 1995's harvest record, when the harvest numbers for the special Jan. 4-5 antlerless-only hunt in management units 1-17, 22, 58 & 59 are added to the total.

The high counties in the state were Macon, Howell and Boone, with 4,122, 3,805 and 3,661 deer harvested, respectively.

Firearms-related accidents during the 11-day season totaled 11 -- none of them fatal.

The deer harvest has generally been increasing since the Conservation Department began managing the deer herd in the 1930s, after the state's deer population had dwindled to about 2,500 animals.

North Central Missouri led all regions with 32,576 deer taken. Northeast was second with 31,300, followed by Northwest with 24,363 and West Central with 22,927.

Other totals include Ozark, 20,217; Central, 16,415; East Central, 15,202; Southeast, 9,040; and Southwest, 8,355.

UE to charge for permits at lake

Union Electric will charge permit fees for new boat docks, seawalls and other activities at the Lake of the Ozarks beginning Jan. 1.

Company officials said an increased cost of shoreline management and a nearly fivefold increase in the number of permits processed in the last five years made the fees necessary.

Under the fee schedule, a permit to build a new, one-slip boat dock will be $100, plus $25 for each additional slip. A new seawall permit will cost $100, and a permit for a new boat ramp will be $50. Other construction and modifications permits will also require fees.

The fees are allowed under terms of the electric company's license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

For more information about the new fees, call UE at (573) 365-9203 or (314) 554-4259.

BOWHUNTERS PLAN ANNUAL FESTIVAL

The United Bowhunters of Missouri Annual Festival and Auction will take place Feb. 8 at the Best Western Inn in Columbia.

The day-long event includes seminars, antler scoring, dealer displays, a banquet and a silent auction. The event features Colorado bowhunters Marv and Judy Clyncke and John Rook of Ohio.

Nonmembers are welcome to join the fun at this family-oriented event.

Banquet seating is limited, so reserve tickets in advance. For more information about the event, write UBM, Box 548, Harrisonville, 64701, or call Marv Cochran at (816) 380-4063 or John Marriott at (816) 729 3349.

1997 MISSOURI DEER CLASSIC SCHEDULED

The Missouri Deer Classic will take place March 1-2 at the Boone County Fairgrounds, which are located four miles north of Interstate 70 on Highway 63.

The event features nationally known speakers, a live deer display, many deer racks, including Missouri's #1 world record non-typical rack, and more than 170 product display booths.

A taxidermy competition will bring together the largest taxidermy display of animals in the state.

The event is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. Children under the age of eight and accompanied by an adult are admitted free.

For more information, call Claudette Roper, (573) 756-7694.

Hatchery hosts vulture venture

The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery will host Vulture Venture Feb. 8.

The free event, which features hourly programs, activities, vulture viewing and a live turkey vulture, is designed to help people learn more about the hundreds of vultures that spend the winter along Lake Taneycomo.

The hatchery is located on Highway 165, four miles south of Branson. For more information, call (417) 334 4865.

Orchid show and sale planned

The Missouri Orchid Society will have an orchid show and sale Feb. 1-2 at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, 4344 Shaw, St. Louis.

The show is open to the public from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. both days and is free with general gardens admission. For more information, call Loretta Franklin at (314) 961-8079.

TOWN TREESCAPE WINNERS NAMED

The Conservation Department is honoring 28 public and private institutions for tree plantings that improve Missouri's cities and suburbs, under the Governor's Town Treescape Awards program.

Municipal winners, based on community size, were Palmyra, Branson, Brentwood, Creve Coeur and Blue Springs.

Bowling Green Elementary School and Fairgrove Schools won the primary and secondary schools categories, respectively, and Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly was the top institution.

The winning commercial-industrial concern was Top of the Rock Golf Course in Branson, and St. Louis County Parks and Recreation won the government category. Community Betterment in Hamilton captured the top place in the volunteers category. And the Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis won the residential category.

Citations of Merit were presented to 16 other entries.

Governor's Town Treescape awards are presented annually. Applications are available from Conservation Department Forestry Division offices.

FLOWER SHOW RETURNS TO ST. LOUIS

The Seventh Annual St. Louis Flower Show will run Jan. 17-19 at the American Center in downtown St. Louis.

The event will feature professionally landscaped gardens, a standard flower show, more than 500 exhibitors, a multitude of floral displays and demonstrations and a special "Great Gardening" speaker series, featuring gardening experts from around the country.

For ticket information, call (314) 569-3117.

DEER PERMIT SYSTEM STREAMLINED

Thanks to a new over-the-counter sales system, hunters no longer will have to wait until November to find out whether they will receive any-deer and bonus permits.

Beginning Feb. 1, these permits will be sold where you buy hunting permits, and it may pay to obtain your permit early.

Three separate quotas - one for any-deer, and one each for first and second bonus permits - will be set for each deer management unit, based on the estimated density of deer in the unit. The permits will be sold until the quota for each type of permit has been reached.

When you buy a firearms or muzzleloading firearms deer hunting permit, you will be asked if you want an any-deer permit and, in some cases, a bonus permit. If you want one of these permits, you must designate a management unit. If the quota for that unit has not yet been reached, your permit will then allow you to take an antlered deer anywhere in the state or any deer in the selected unit. Bonus permits allow a hunter to take only antlerless deer in the unit selected.

You may purchase any-deer and bonus permits at the same time, but you must purchase an any-deer permit to be able to purchase a bonus permit. All permits must be for the same management unit. If you want to take more than one deer during firearms deer season, you must have at least one bonus permit.

Permits are limited in number and are not exchangeable or refundable. Any-deer and bonus permits will be for sale until midnight the night before the opening of firearms deer season, if they are still available.

Unit maps with quotas will be displayed at permit vendors by Feb. 1. Information about the any-deer and bonus permit sales system are in the 1997 Summary of Missouri's Hunting and Trapping Regulations, available at permit vendors.