Conservation Connections

News and Events from the Missouri Department of Conservation • October 2012

ST. LOUIS

Summer 2012
One to Remember

E

ven though, at the time of this writing, the season has more than a month remaining, the summer of 2012 will certainly be one to remember. Here at the August A. Busch Conservation Area, specifically Lake 33, the extreme heat and drought have been both ally and enemy. We were engaged in some extensive levee maintenance that required the placing of rip-rap (8”-16” stone) in the northwest corner of the lake to armor the bank. We then rebuilt the section of levee above this new layer of rock. In order for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Design and Development crew, led by Tim Schuette, to place this rock properly the water level in the lake had to be lowered by four feet. This allowed the shoreline area to dry out so we could “key in” the rip-rap by digging a trench to place the stone along the base of the levee. This practice

supports the rock as it is placed higher up on the levee. When we began dewatering the lake we had our fingers crossed, hoping we would not receive any big rains that would raise the water level and keep us from continuing the project. We didn’t receive any significant rainfall from the middle of June until August. Tim was able to place his rock but then had to add water to the soil for levee reconstruction because the lack of moisture created problems with compacting the soil. The extreme heat and drought also endangered the fish population in Lake 33. Kevin Meneau, a fisheries management biologist, monitored the lake from the beginning of this project. Lowering the water level, the absence of measurable rain, and evaporation/temperature rise during the continuous 100 degree days caused the oxygen level in the water to creep ever

lower. Anticipating this lowered oxygen content Kevin located two aerators from other fisheries’ facilities and the Wildlife Division produced two diesel powered “power packs” to run the aerators. Raenhard Wesselschmidt, wildlife biologist, and members of his crew kept the aerators fueled and running, and we held our own keeping the oxygen levels at a tolerable level for what Kevin calls the best MDC largemouth bass fishery in the St. Louis Region. The rest of the summer was dry. We are hoping for a wet winter, but as they say, “be careful what you wish for.”

-BY MICHAEL W. NORRIS, St. Louis Region Construction/Maintenance Superintendent

Adding rip rap

Lowering the water level

“Lowering the water level, the absence of measurable rain, and evaporation/temperature rise during the continuous 100 degree days caused the oxygen level in the water to creep ever lower.”

Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center
1100 Antire Road, High Ridge, MO 63049 • mdc.mo.gov/node/299
Women’s Basic Handgun, Part 1 and 2 Trigger Time: Shotgun
(Ages 16 and up)

Oct 4 and 6 •Thursday • 6–8 PM and • Saturday • 8–9:30 AM
From the east/St. Louis I-44 west to Beaumont Antire Road, exit 269. Left over highway 44 to Antire Road. Right on Antire. One hundred feet to entrance. Left into driveway. From the west/Eureka I-44 east to Beaumont Antire Road, exit 269. Follow exit lane around to top. HOURS: May 1–August 31 Wednesday: 1–7:30 PM Thursday–Sunday: 10 AM–4:30 PM September 1–April 30 Wednesday–Sunday: 10 AM–4:30 PM Programs are free. Call 636-938-9548 or email henges.range@mdc.mo.gov with your name and phone number to sign up for a program requiring registration. If you are unable to attend, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice.

Oct 20 • Saturday • 8:30–9:30 AM
Trigger Time is “hands-on” personal instruction designed to make you a better shotgunner. There is no classroom time, just expert one-on-one instruction from our USA Shooting Level II staff. The shooting coach will observe shooting by each individual participant and offer suggestions on proper gun fit, position, vision and movement. Participants will be required to provide their own 12 gauge shotgun and ammunition (two boxes of No. 8 shot). (Reservations begin September 20.)

(Ages 16 and up) This two-part women’s program will include handgun operation, shooting fundamentals, safety, maintenance and safe storage. We will start with a classroom session on Thursday evening, then a live-fire session on Saturday morning. Although equipment and ammunition will be provided, you may bring your own handgun and ammunition. (Reservations begin September 4.)

Discover Hunting: Deer, Field to Freezer
(Ages 11 and up)

Basic Shotgun
(Ages 12 and up)

Oct 20 • Saturday • 1– 3:30 PM
This is an introductory program for shooters who want to learn how to get started in shotgun sports. We will discuss appropriate shotguns, correct fit, gauge and ammunition selection, proper stance, movement and vision. All participants will have an opportunity to break some clay targets after the classroom portion of the program. The shooting portion of this program is not appropriate for children weighing less than 90 lbs. (Reservations begin September 20.)

Oct 11 • Thursday • 6–8 PM
Learn the necessary steps to process your deer meat yourself. We will demonstrate how to skin and butcher the deer in simple, easy steps with a minimum amount of equipment. You’ll learn tips on how to make sure your venison is the best quality possible. (Reservations begin September 11.)

Discover Hunting: Fall Turkeys
Oct 3 • Wednesday • 6:30–8:30 PM
(Ages 11 and up) The fall turkey season can be a great time to go turkey hunting. Not only is it typically cooler, the leaves are changing colors and the season is the full month of October, with the opportunity to harvest two birds in the same day if you desire. Fall turkey hunting differs in many ways from spring turkey hunting and offers more opportunities and less pressure from hunters. Join us for an informative seminar on hunting turkeys during the fall season. We will cover calling, set up, tips, techniques and many other topics. (Reservations begin September 3.)

Trigger Time: Handgun

Oct 14 • Sunday • 8:30–9:30 AM

Deer Hunting and Calling Workshop
Oct 29 • Monday • 6–8:30 PM
(Ages 11 and up)

(Ages 18 and up) Trigger Time is “hands-on” personal instruction designed to make you a better marksman. There is no classroom time, just expert one-on-one instruction from one of our highly qualified staff. Participants are required to provide their own handguns and ammunition (at least 100 rounds). (Reservations begin September 14.)

Discover the excitement of deer calling at this informative workshop. We’ll discuss calling tips and techniques for beginners as well as advanced instruction. We’ll also discuss how to apply calling in real deer hunting situations with scenarios hunters often encounter. Learn useful deer hunting and calling tips at this information-packed seminar! (Reservations begin September 29.)

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.
2 Conservation Connections • October 2012

Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center
2360 Hwy D, St. Charles, MO 63304 • mdc.mo.gov/node/270

Basic Trap

Oct 17 and 18 • Wednesday and Thursday • 6–8 PM

Basic Handgun

(Ages 14 and up) This program is designed for those who have had some experience with shotguns, want to improve their skills, learn the basics of trapshooting, and become a successful trapshooter. The classroom portion will cover layout of field, chokes, distances, stances, gun mount, different techniques and above all, safety. The first night will be conducted in the classroom at the Busch Conservation Area headquarters and the second night will be held at the shooting range for some hands-on experience. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. You can bring your own equipment or we can provide it for you. (Reservations begin September 12.)

Oct 25 and 27 • Wednesday • 6–9 PM and Saturday • 7:30–9:30 AM
(Ages 13 and up) This program is designed to teach students how to safely handle and shoot a handgun. We will cover topics such as safety, various actions, calibers, grip, stance and sight picture. The first part of the class will be held in the classrooms at Busch Conservation Area headquarters on Wednesday. Then the class will go to the range Saturday morning for some handson experience. You can bring your own handguns and ammunition or use ours. (Reservations begin September 25.)

From I-40 take Hwy 94 south to Hwy D; turn west on Hwy D for approximately 5 miles. The area entrance is on the south side of Hwy D. HOURS: December 1–March 31 Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM–4 PM April 1–November 30 Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM–4 PM and Tuesday: 2–8 PM Programs are free. Call 636- 441-4554 Monday through Friday 8 AM–5 PM. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on our waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice. visit http://www.mdc. mo.gov/areas/ranges/ busch.

Discover Hunting: Field to Freezer

Discover Hunting: Goose Clinic
Oct 10 • Wednesday • 6–8 PM
(Ages 11 and up) Before you have the perfect goose feast, you need to know how to hunt this type of bird. Our expert goose hunters will teach you the skills and techniques needed to have a successful hunt. This is for beginners and will cover habitat, blinds, decoys, ammo, chokes, calls and other useful techniques. This program also covers waterfowl identification and boat safety. Class will be held in the classrooms at the Busch Conservation Area headquarters. (Reservations begin September 10.)

Discover Hunting: Sight-in

Oct 20 • Saturday • 7:30–9:30 AM

Oct 6 • Saturday • 9 AM–noon

(Ages 11 and up) Learn how to properly care for your deer after the shot. We will cover all aspects of field dressing, safe knife handling, and the tools you need to properly prepare your venison for the freezer. We will discuss proper packaging techniques and we might even talk the instructor into some cooking tips. This class will be held at the Busch Shooting Range. (Reservations begin September 6.)

(Ages 11 and up with a parent or adult) Bring your scoped hunting rifle and matching ammunition to the shooting range and our staff will work with you to sight in your firearm. We will have tables, benches, adjustable rests and expert advice to help you get your rifle on target. We will shoot groups of three shots at 25 yards, then make adjustments and test your accuracy at longer distances. This is a great way to prepare for the upcoming hunting seasons and sharpen your shooting skills at the same time. (Reservations begin September 20.) 3

October 2012 • Conservation Connections

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Itching to Know About Poison Ivy? Autumn Hike

11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122 • mdc.mo.gov/node/271

Oct 6 • Saturday • 9–10:30 AM

Oct 18 • Thursday • 10 AM–noon

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located in Kirkwood, MO. Take Highway 44 east to the Watson Rd exit and turn left on Geyer. Cross over the bridge and turn left on Cragwold Rd. Follow for one mile to the entrance. Enjoy nature exhibits, attend programs, purchase hunting and fishing permits, browse through a nature-related gift shop, and pick up free conservation brochures. Outdoors, enjoy three miles of hiking trails through oak hickory forest. HOURS: Building: Tuesday–Saturday: 8 AM–5 PM Trails: Daily: 8 AM–8 PM DST 8 AM–6 PM CST Programs are free. Call 314-301-1500 to register. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice.

(Ages 6 and up) Discover why we stay away from poison ivy and how wildlife benefits from this “hairy, scary” plant. (Reservations begin September 22.)

Scout Discovery Table: Poisonous Things

Oct 13 • Saturday • 10 AM–2 PM

(Ages 7–12) After a long, hot summer, cooler weather is upon us! Join us as we discuss what many of our woodland animals are doing to prepare for the winter ahead. Then we will head outdoors for a hike to possibly catch some of these busy little creatures in action. Dress for the weather! (Reservations begin October 4.)

(All ages) What’s the difference between “venomous” and “poisonous?” Discover the answer to this question and others you may have about things that bite, sting or cause a rash. Junior Girl Scouts can work on Let’s Get Outdoors: Wildlife #5 and Plants and Animals #9. Cub Scout Wolves can work on Outdoor Adventure: Elective 18g. Webelos can work on Outdoor Group: Naturalist #7. All are welcome and encouraged to check it out. (No reservations required.)

You and Me Under the Canopy

Oct 23 • Tuesday • 10–11 AM

Symbols of Missouri
Oct 5 • Friday • 6–8 PM
(Ages 6 and up) Does Alex Trebek visit your home every afternoon? You may be a good contestant in our exciting State Symbol Jeopardy Game! We’ll answer intriguing questions such as, “What is our state bird,”or “What is the state tree?” If those were easy for you, then you may be challenged by the state grass or the state horse. Help investigate the fascinating origins of some of the symbols of our great state. We will finish up by observing live specimens of some of these symbols. (Reservations begin September 21.)

(Ages birth–8) Families, meet in the nature center lobby for a “nature” adventure. Make sure to dress for the weather because we won’t be in the building long. Everyone will hike with the naturalist to a special place in the forest and enjoy a nature story under the canopy. Registration is not required and siblings are welcome!

Homeschool: Campfire Cooking
Oct 26 • Friday • 10 AM–12 PM
(Ages 8 and up) Dutch ovens have been used for hundreds of years as a way to cook over a campfire. There are other ways to cook delicious food outside as well. Why not come out of the kitchen and drive to Powder Valley to discover various campfire cooking methods? You will prepare, cook and eat the food you prepare! Dress for the weather. (Registration begins October 11.)

Fabulous Foliage

Oct 16 • Tuesday • 9:30–11 AM

(Ages 3 and up) October changes summer’s green leaves into fabulous fall colors. We will walk outside to gather some fall leaves and then come indoors to enjoy making a fall craft. (Reservations begin October 2.)

4 Conservation Connections • October 2012

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122 • mdc.mo.gov/node/271

Professional Photographer
Oct 19 · Friday · 7–9 PM (Ages 11 and up)

AN EVENING WITH NOPPADOL PAOTHONG

Join Noppadol Paothong, professional nature photographer, as he discusses
his techniques for capturing the “perfect” photo and shares his experiences in nature. Nop’s photos can be found in issues of the Missouri Conservationist, Birder’s World, many other magazines, and his new book, Save the Last Dance, A Story of North American Grassland Grouse. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Nop talk about his work and meet him after his presentation. Nop’s photos are on exhibit in the hallway, and his book will be available in the Nature Shop. (Reservations required.)

“I hope this book will be a window for people to glimpse the life and beauty of these extraordinary species – the birds that I have come to care so much about during the past 10 years of photographing them. Through this journey, I’ve grown to appreciate even a breeze on a prairie. I believe and hope. If a person like me – who grew up in a city on a continent 10,000 miles away – can fall in love with these birds, anybody can. If only they get to know them.”

HALLWAY EXHIBIT
Noppadol Paothong, professional nature photographer, discovered
his love and passion for wildlife photography in college in 1995. Born in Thailand, he came to the United States in 1993 to study graphic art before switching to journalism. Nop’s photographs have been published in many magazines, such as National Wildlife, Field and Stream, Shooting Sportsman, Birder’s World, and Wyoming Wildlife. Nop recently completed and published a new book, Save the Last Dance, A Story of North American Grassland Grouse with journalist Joel Vance. When not photographing, he enjoys time at home cooking. He, his wife Monica, daughter Evalyn, and their two dogs live in Columbia.

NOP’S PHOTOGRAPHY PHILOSOPHY: Wildlife photography is a combination of art and science, so to speak. It takes a labor of love and understanding of both photography and wildlife. It takes years of practice with trial and error and a long-term commitment and determination.

We help people discover nature.
Farewell to our Interns
We hated to say good-bye to our summer interns, Nikki Billen, Laine McCall, and Elly Lang. We want to thank them for all of their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment this summer while working with Powder Valley staff, volunteers and our Missouri citizens. We will miss you! Good luck at MIZZOU - “Go Tigers!”
October 2012 • Conservation Connections

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Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
Sunrise at the Champion Cottonwood
Oct 6 • Saturday • 6:30–8 AM

801 Strodtman Road, St. Louis, MO 63138 • mdc.mo.gov/node/298
Timeless Tales on the Hayride Trail

From I-270 north, take the Riverview Drive exit (last Missouri exit); go north 2.8 miles. Riverview Drive becomes Columbia Bottom Road at its intersection with Larimore Road. The entrance is on the right-hand side. OFFICE HOURS: Wednesday–Friday: 8 AM–5 PM Saturday–Sunday: 8 AM–4 PM Programs are free. Call 314-877-6014 to register. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice.

(Ages 7 and up) Did you know that Columbia Bottom has a cottonwood tree that started its life just a few years after Lewis and Clark left this area on their epic journey? This nearly 200 year-old giant is the Missouri State Champion cottonwood! Learn what it takes to be a champion while we walk the grassy levee and watch the sun as it rises over the Mississippi River. Meet at the Canoe/Kayak access parking lot “O” which is about 4 ½ miles from the front entrance. (Reservations begin September 23.)

Oct 19 and 20 • Friday and Saturday • 5:30–7 PM., 5:45–7:15 PM, 7:30–9 PM, 7:45–9:15 PM

Fall Full Moon Hike

Oct 26 • Friday • 6–8:30 PM

(All ages) Conservation lessons come alive with some of your favorite characters from the past. You may hear from Paul Bunyan how the lumber industry has changed, or Tom Sawyer might share his life on the Mississippi River. Sit back and enjoy the hayride as we hear how conservation lessons learned, lead us to a better tomorrow. (Reservations are required and begin October 3.) Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your session to allow time for check-in and boarding.

(Families) Enjoy a crisp autumn moonlight hike as Mother Nature prepares for winter. We will listen to the night sounds of the animals in our area. Hopefully, we will hear owls and coyotes and perhaps see indications of beaver activity. Meet at the Boat Ramp parking lot G for a two-mile, easy hike. (Reservations begin September 12.)

Forest Park Office

5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112 • mdc.mo.gov/node/272
Fall Frenzy

Oct 9 • Tuesday • 9–10:30 AM

From I-44 take Kingshighway north to West Pine Blvd, turn left. Follow West Pine to Lindell, turn left. Continue on Lindell past Union Dr. to Cricket, turn left. Take first right onto Grand Ave. Our office is on the right in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. OFFICE HOURS: Monday–Friday: 8 AM–5 PM
Programs are free. Call 314-877-1309 to register. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice.

(Ages 3–6) Summer is over and winter is on the way. What are the animals doing to prepare for the cold season? How are the plants changing? We’ll talk in the classroom and then take a hike to discover for ourselves. (Reservations begin September 18.)

School’s Out – Forest Bound
Oct 12 • Friday • 10 AM–2 PM
(Ages 9–14) Take a day off of school and join us for a field day in the forest. We will learn how to set up a fire, tell direction and eat lunch in the forest. Participants will also learn basic forest ecology, clever natural antidotes and enjoy the day as we become forest bound. Pack a sack lunch, bring your water bottle, dress for the weather and join us at the JFK Outdoor Classroom & Pavilion. (Reservations begin September 21.)

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August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area
2360 Hwy D, St. Charles, MO 63304 • mdc.mo.gov/node/300
Poisonous and Venomous Things Discovery Table

Oct 20 • Saturday • 10 AM–2 PM

(All ages, especially Cub Scouts) Come and learn about the poisonous and venomous plants and animals found in Missouri. We will be looking at and learning about snakes, spiders, bees, wasps, hornets, scorpions, mushrooms and everybody’s favorite; poison ivy. There will be live examples of venomous animals found in the area. You can come anytime during the 4 hour period. (No reservations required.)

From I-40 take Hwy 94 south to Hwy D; turn west on D for approximately two miles. The area entrance is on the north side of Hwy D. OFFICE HOURS: Monday–Friday: 8 AM–5 PM Programs are free. Call 636-441-4554 to register. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days

Lewis Hike – Fall Colors

(Adults) Join us for an 8.3 mile hike through the forests at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area. We will be looking for fall colors in the trees and shrubs. The Missouri River overlooks offer panoramic views of the floodplains and varying fall colors from the bottomland forests to the oak, hickory and maple forests on the high terrain of the river bluffs. Effort = Moderate to Strenuous. (Reservations begin October 12.)

Oct 27 • Saturday • 9 AM– 4 PM

Color My World

Oct 27 • Saturday • 9:30–11:30 AM

(Ages 8 and up) Discover new benefits of native plants by learning how to collect and convert plants to a colorful palette of natural dyes. We’ll have lots of examples to show while you specifically work with Osage orange and black walnuts. All participants need to bring a washed plain white t-shirt that you’ll dye naturally over wood-fired simmering pots of natural dyes. This is a great family project that you can wear around town to show your support for native plants in Missouri. (Reservations begin October 12.)

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August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area and Shooting Range

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Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
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Forest Park

Rockwoods Reservation

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Meramec River

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

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Jay Henges Shooting Range

55

October 2012 • Conservation Connections

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Rockwoods Reservation

2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood, MO 63038 • mdc.mo.gov/node/272
Creepy Creatures

Oct 15 • Monday • 4–5:30 PM

(Ages 4–8) Animals like spiders, owls and bats are found in lots of decorations this time of year. But are these critters really as scary as they seem? We’ll learn what is fact and what is fiction about the creatures of Halloween! (Reservations begin October 1.)
From I-44 take Hwy 109 north 4 miles to Woods Ave. left on Woods Ave., then immediately right on Glencoe Road. From Manchester Road take Hwy 109 south 2 miles to Woods Ave. right on Woods Ave. then immediately right on Glencoe Road. OFFICE HOURS: Monday–Friday: 8 AM–5 PM Programs are free. Call 636-458-2236 to register. If you are unable to attend a program, please call and cancel as a courtesy to those on the waiting list. Interpretive services are available for those with hearing loss with 5 days notice.

Bird Feeders

Oct 20 • Saturday • 10 AM–noon

(Families) Birds need a reliable food source to survive the cold winter months. Learn which seeds attract the widest variety of birds, then build a bird feeder (one per family) to take home and try out with your new knowledge. (Reservations begin October 5.)

Animal Adaptations

Oct 24 • Wednesday • 10–11:30 AM

(Ages 6–12) Join us as we learn about the different types of animals and their unique adaptations. We’ll get to explore items like skulls, pelts and mounts as we discover how certain characteristics make animals successful in their natural environment. Be prepared to show off what you’ve learned as you practice identifying the lifestyle of an animal based on its features. This is a great program for homeschool students. (Reservations begin October 10.)

Those Awesome Stealth Flyers
Oct 30 • Tuesday • 9:30–11 AM
(Ages 7–12) Eagles, hawks, falcons and owls are magnificent and highly specialized birds that we call “raptors.” Come and learn what makes these birds-of-prey both masters of flight and supreme hunters. Find out why it is so important that we protect these very effective predators. We’ll be focusing on those raptors that you might see here in Missouri. (Reservations begin October 16.)

Discover Nature Families: A Day in the Woods
Oct 6 • Saturday • 10 AM–3 PM
(Families all ages) Discover your Missouri forests and the beauty of the natural world by taking a walk in the woods with naturalists, biologists, photographers, wild edible experts, orienteering specialists and aquatic ecologists. Come for an hour or the entire day. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by a campfire. This is a perfect outing for families looking to gain more outdoor knowledge to take with you on your next family camp-out or hiking trip. Scouts are welcome and encouraged to attend. Reservations begin September 17 for the following nature walks. Choose up to four and indicate a timeslot of 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM or 2 PM. Each walk will last 45 minutes. Effort = easy to moderate. (Additional nature activity stations will also be available to explore throughout the event and do not require registration.) Pond Life • Nature Photography • Beginning Birding • Compass Navigation • Nature Hike

8 Conservation Connections • October 2012