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missouri department of conservation

Rule Changes to Combat Damage From Wildlife Considered

Sep 9, 2019
A truck drives on top of a levee that protects a soybean field in New Madrid County, Mo. when the Mississippi River floods.
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Conservation is considering changing state regulations to help landowners combat damage from wildlife and feral hogs.

The department said in a news release this week the proposals would allow a conservation agent to authorize such as thermal imaging to take wildlife causing damage to private property.

Landowners would have to obtain written authorization to use thermal imaging or night vision equipment for wildlife.

Turkey Hunting Regulations a State Tradition

Apr 25, 2019

Missouri has started its spring turkey hunting season with low population numbers. Jason Isabelle, a Missouri Department of Conservation turkey biologist, says the state has had three years of poor hatches resulting in a smaller turkey population. This small population is affecting more than just the number of turkeys being harvested.

Missouri is one of only 10 states that continues to limit turkey hunting. Adults are allowed to hunt turkeys one hour before sunrise through 1 p.m. Changing this regulation and extending hunting hours may not be possible with the low numbers.

More than 150 people gathered in a Columbia conference center Monday morning to learn about the Missouri Department of Conservation’s new goals.

The MDC held its second annual MO Conservation Partners Roundtable event to educate its partners, students and other members of the audience about how its going to continue to preserve the nature of the state.

Director Sara Parker Pauley outlined MDC’s three new goals: to take care of nature, connect people with nature and maintain public trust.

Missouri Elk Season Could Start as Soon as 2020

Jul 16, 2018

The population of Missouri’s wild elk herd is growing fast enough that the Department of Conservation is making tentative plans for a hunting season in 2020.

At the Missouri Conservation Commission’s meeting Friday, cervid biologist Aaron Hildreth provided an update on Missouri’s elk population, including information about the potential for an elk hunting season in fall 2020.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit criticizing the Missouri Department of Conservation for paying out more than $120,000 to a former director.

Robert Ziehmer received money and benefits for months after he left the state agency for the private sector that appeared to be unnecessary and costly, according to the audit released Thursday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that part of that 10-month deal allowed Ziehmer to keep his health insurance and collect pension credits, which was "not in the best interest of the MDC or taxpayers," the audit found.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is advising motorists to keep an eye out for turtles crossing the road this spring.

Joe Jerek, a spokesman for the department, said warmer weather brings turtles out of their burrows in search of food and mates, and sometimes they end up on the road.

Jerek says motorists should avoid hitting turtles and brake if it is safe to do so. He also has advice for people who want to help a wayward turtle across the road.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has appointed a new deputy director of resource management. The Department of Conservation named Mike Hubbard as the new deputy director this week.

Hubbard began work at the department in 1999 and will transition from his current position as division chief of the Resource Science division.

Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri House has voted overwhelmingly to raise poaching fines to protect the state's fledgling elk population.

The bill approved Wednesday would allow judges to impose fines of at least $2,500 for attempting to illegally hunt elk. The money would be used to benefit local school districts.

Terri Nickerson

This week on Discover Nature, watch for a rare, snow-white visitor to our state.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Celebrate the arrival of autumn this week, and watch for a variety of ripening tree nuts falling to the ground.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week on Discover Nature, watch for scrape-marks, or rubs on trees, as white-tailed deer shed “velvet” from their antlers.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week on Discover Nature, watch – and listen – for a tiny, feathered pollinator that sings with its wings.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Do you like to camp? Are campfires a part of your plan? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds you to be safe and have fun this spring and summer, but please don’t move firewood. Otherwise, you may be inadvertently spreading an insect invader that’s wreaking havoc across the United States. In this week’s installment of Discover Nature, we recognize Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Look skyward when traveling along Missouri’s highways and backroads and sooner or later you’ll likely see a large bird that's among the most efficient in flight. This week on Discover Nature we look for the turkey vulture.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Many Americans continue the European tradition of the Christmas tree. In Europe, people used spruces and firs to decorate their homes. This week on Discover Nature we look for another Missouri evergreen: the Eastern Red Cedar.

TRIM Grant Brings More Trees to Missouri

Oct 12, 2016
blmiers / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently awarded more than $380,000 to communities across the state from the Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance, or TRIM, grant program. Jefferson City and Columbia were both awarded funding.

Jefferson City received more than $22,000. The money will go toward creating an inventory of trees to determine which are safe and which are in danger of collapsing.

Thinking Out Loud: Sharing The Land

Sep 7, 2016
Trevor Harris / KBIA

On a recent sunny late summer morning, Tony McCauslin led a group across his Macon County property. The quail and rabbit habitat improvements that he did last year got the attention of the Missouri Department of Conservation. The state agency invited him to be the inaugural participant in its new program that grants public access for hunting and fishing onto private property.


The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking for a new director. The organization announced Monday that Robert Ziehmer will step down from his position, which he’s held since 2010. 

  Ziehmer’s announcement signals the end of a 29-year career at the department, which started off with an hourly job as a fisheries biologist.

He will move on to a job in the private sector, which he said is “a very important player in the conservation field.”

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Fire plays an important role in many Midwestern ecosystems, but when it burns out of control it can also be devastating, as the wildfires in Oklahoma and Kansas have demonstrated. This time of year, when a lot of summer grasses and brush are still dead but the weather is warming up, the land is particularly flammable. That’s why agencies like the Missouri Department of Conservation take meticulous care in planning prescribed fire.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Conservation say hunters would help reduce the population of dangerous feral hogs in the state if they would stop shooting them.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has approved a measure that would ask voters whether to add two members to the Department of Conservation's governing board.

Missouri Dept. of Conversation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is investigating a dead bull elk that was found mutilated in southeastern Missouri.

The agency said Wednesday in a statement that the male was one of about 130 animals that are a part of the department's efforts to restore the elk population.

The Conservation Department says the elk appears to have been shot and its skull plate and antlers removed with a chainsaw.

A hiker who saw the animal in an area along the Current River notified conservation agents Tuesday.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

Wild hogs are creating a nuisance across much of Missouri, but conservation officials are warning against hunting the animals.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

A state audit of the Missouri Department of Conservation has noted concerns over how the department awards grants.

Antler Restrictions Revoked

Nov 2, 2015
Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri deer hunters will not have to worry about shooting a deer whose antlers aren’t big enough. 

Since 2004, hunters have been limited to antlered bucks with at least four points on one side of the bucks rack.  The Missouri Department of Conservation announced it is repealing the previous antler restrictions for a portion of the firearm season from November 14-24. 

Emily Flynn is a deer biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  She says that the restrictions were revoked because of a deadly disease that is spreading. 

dishfunctional / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking measures to save the deer population in the state.

Invasive Insect Threatens Missouri Ash Trees

Jun 29, 2015
USDAgov / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation has found an invasive tree pest in 11 Missouri counties.