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Monday, July 6, 2015
How to become an official Missouri Master Angler (07/03/15)
Nevada Daily Mail Fishing for a lunker fish is exciting. The big fish caught or lost, is the subject of many campfire conversations, and is a common bond between anglers. It also supplies a lifetime memory as a special pride in fishing accomplishment any angler can resist...
Panfish aplenty during summer months in Missouri (06/27/15)
Nevada Daily Mail One of the most catchable fish in Missouri waters, especially in the summer months is the group known as panfish. The peak catching time is now. In late June and early July, concentrations of bluegills will be spawning along shallow lake or pond shores. Look for craters of round light spots on the bottom, which are the nest sites...
Bow hunting, fishing gaining popularity in Missouri (06/20/15)
Nevada Daily Mail What most people see when looking at a tree sapling is only a sapling. However when Lyle Shaulis looks at one, he sees a bow in the rough. Recently, Shaulis found a hickory sapling he thought would make a good longbow for hunting and fishing, so he took it home and started working it into a sturdy piece of hunting equipment...
Not so cute: Otters pose major hazard for pond owners (06/13/15)
Nevada Daily Mail River otters, the largest member of the weasel family, are cute and their playfulness endears them to many humans. But to many anglers and farm pond owners they are serious fish predators with the ability almost overnight to make a pond fishless...
Modern innovations not always embraced by fishing world (06/06/15)
Nevada Daily Mail After watching a Bassmasters tournament weigh-in, some onlookers were in agreement that the fishing world had really changed from the days when you would take a cane pole with a can of worms and head for the river or lake. Modern technology has given anglers a wide selection of sophisticated gear to help find fish fast. ...
Missouri squirrel season now underway (05/30/15)
Nevada Daily Mail With the big unofficial start of the summer outdoor season, campers, boaters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts were ready to take advantage of the holiday. However, hunters like Randy Harper, Clinton, were able to get a jump start on the big weekend...
Southwest Missouri a treasure trove of ponds (05/23/15)
Nevada Daily Mail While traveling across the different areas of Missouri, it's hard not to notice all the small ponds, which were built to provide water for livestock. If a pond is larger than a half an acre, you can almost bet it holds a good population of largemouth bass, bluegill and maybe channel catfish...
Turtles on road a good sign of crappie on banks (05/16/15)
Nevada Daily Mail Harold Elliott, Mount Vernon, once told me that when the turtles are on the road, the crappie are on the bank. Recently I started seeing turtles on the road so I checked to see if the crappie were on the banks of both streams and lakes...
As turkey season winds down hunters should plan accordingly (05/09/15)
Nevada Daily Mail After the first two weeks of the three week spring turkey season, Missouri turkey hunters have taken 36,464 bearded birds. Prior to the opening, Jason Isabeel, Missouri Department of Conservation turkey biologist, said he looks for another good season...
14th annual Kids Fishing Day draws nearly 500 youth (05/02/15)
Nevada Daily Mail "It looks like Bennett Spring on opening day," said Fred Harper, Warsaw, as he looked over the one-half acre pond at the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery. The 14th annual Kids Fishing Day at the hatchery drew 476 youngsters along with parents, grandparents and other friends and relatives crowded around the pond...
Turkey with 10 beards bagged by young Missourian (04/25/15)
April 11, 2015 at 8 a.m., will be a date and time that 11 year-old Kooper Bay will never forget. For that was when he shot his first wild turkey gobbler. It wasn't just a turkey gobbler he shot, it was also a bird with 10 beards, scoring 179.25 by the National Wild Turkey Records, making it the third highest score in Missouri and ninth in the nation...
Hunt for morel mushrooms kicking into high gear (04/18/15)
Nevada Daily Mail Each April, there are three things that get outdoor minded people fired up. With good fishing as water warms ---- the fish get active and start spawning runs ---- the woods sound off with the sound of turkeys gobbling as the firearm spring turkey is about to open and hunting morel mushrooms gets underway...
Area turkey hunters prepare for spring (04/11/15)
Nevada Daily Mail It's turkey time! With some cooperation from the weather, this could well be another good spring season for Missouri turkey hunters. We know there are plenty of big toms roaming around the state. Kicking off the 2015 spring season, will be this weekend's annual Youth Hunt Weekend, followed by the regular three week season on April 20. ...
Spring crappie fishing typically plentiful (04/04/15)
Nevada Daily Mail Crappie anglers know that in April the fishing and catching can be excellent, as the fish move into the bank for the annual spawning run which makes an ideal situation for catching a limit of these tasty fish. Veteran crappie anglers say that if you can't catch fish in the spring, you just aren't a true crappie angler...
Hard to hook: Spring spoonbill season underway (03/28/15)
Nevada Daily Mail Whether you call it paddlefish, spoonbill, or shevelnose-cat, the snagging season for this living fossil began in Missouri on March 15. One of North America's largest freshwater fish will not take bait or lures, but must be snagged or grabbed with a hook, if an angler wants to catch one...
Statewide pheasant hunting numbers anybody's guess (03/21/15)
Nevada Daily Mail The news from the Missouri Department of Conservation that the pheasant hunting season this year will be open statewide, doesn't mean that the numbers of the popular game- bird has increased. Beth Emmerich, research scientist for MDC, said, "Having a statewide season on pheasants will eliminate some of the confusion regarding pheasant hunting."...
Master Walleye circuit hits Stockton Lake (03/14/15)
Nevada Daily Mail For the first time in the 31 year history of the Cabela's Master Walleye Circuit, a tournament was held in Missouri. The event last weekend kicked off the circuit's 2015 season and drew anglers from 10 states as much warmer weather welcomed the 44 walleye anglers to Stockton lake...
Time to get the tackle boxes in order (03/07/15)
Every angler should be acquainted with Kipling's outdoor poetry, not simply because of its artistry and musical quality, but because it sounds like the depths of a man's soul and possesses understanding and appreciativeness acquired by experience. It is March, and though belated blizzards come roaring down from the north, blotting out the sun and burying the earth with white, our spirits rise for we know it cannot last long. Spring and the good fishing lie just around the corner...
State trout parks set to open Sunday (02/28/15)
The countdown is about to end on the opening day at Missouri's trout parks. Of course, fishing never stops in Missouri, but there's something special about the annual trout fishing in the four trout parks on March 1. There won't be much elbow room for tossing a lure this opening day, which falls on a Sunday. Robert Sikes at the Bennett Spring State Park store, said, "When the opening day falls on a Sunday, we expect more anglers than on any other day."...
Duo promotes shed hunting at Ozarks Hunt and Fish Show (02/21/15)
Last weekend, as I looked out my kitchen window, I saw several deer feeding on acorns under a big oak tree. Several of the deer stood out as their antlers gleamed in the sunlight. This signified to me that it was time to start looking for shed antlers. Now that most of the hunting seasons have ended, including rabbit and squirrel, antler hunting gives hunters a winter diversion that has its rewards...
Ruggles takes top honors at Bass Tournament (02/14/15)
There were several firsts in the recent Polar Bear Bass Tournament held Sunday on Stockton Lake. Ashley Ruggles, a senior at Hillcrest High School, along with her mother, were the only females in the tournament. The 17-year old student proved her fishing ability by bringing the limit of five bass to the weigh-in that weighed more than 17 pounds including one fish that tipped the scales at more than 7 pounds...
Excellent trout fishing awaits at Missouri lake (02/07/15)
With the temperature in the 60s and even 70s for the first Missouri Conservation Federation's Media Camp at Lilley's Landing Resort on Lake Taneycomo Jan. 26-29, the trout anglers took advantage of some of the best winter trout fishing in the country...
Catch and release program gaining popularity (01/24/15)
Bennett Spring State Park's winter catch and release program is growing in popularity and with the spring-like weather over the last weekend, hundreds of anxious trout anglers were on hand to improve or maintain their fishing skills while waiting for the traditional March 1 start of the regular season in Missouri's trout parks...
Winter months can be favorable for hunting (01/17/15)
Don't tell a growing group of Missouri outdoorsmen, that there isn't anything to do in January or February in the outdoors. In fact, they say, they keep as busy then as they do in the summer months. Many Missourians finds plenty of things to do in the Ozark outdoors during the winter months. Hunting seasons are still going on for several species including rabbits, squirrel, goose and ducks...
Regulated trapping beneficial to society (01/10/15)
It's the time of the year when a breed of outdoor people don't mind wading in icy water and cold temperatures to pursue their sport of trapping. More than 11,000 Missouri trappers face the challenge of catching a long list of furbearers with traps they have set...
Area hot spots for cold weather angling (01/02/15)
Nevada Daily Mail The day after Christmas, area lakes saw anglers catching fish in spite of the cold weather. Anglers at Table Rock, Pomme de Terre, Stockton, Truman and the Lake of the Ozarks had fishermen casting lures. For the past 15 years, Tom Smith and Fred Stark, of Des Moines, Iowa, have made trips to fish in some of the area lakes just prior to the annual Kansas City Sportshow. ...
Canada geese population fast rising (12/25/14)
Although the duck season in the north zone has ended and will close in the middle zone on Dec. 30, the south zone will continue through Jan 25. Canada goose hunters will see their season run through Jan. 31. Recently, I was reminded of how hunting for Canada geese has changed over the years. As a youngster, I remember if a hunter shot a Canada goose, it was a big deal, like a once-in-a lifetime event...
Winter months good for outdoor activities (12/13/14)
Nevada Daily Mail December is nearly half gone and a lot of outdoorsmen and women can't wait until spring to get outside, and there are many others who look forward to the winter months for a variety of reasons. Hunters like Carl Ferguson, of Sedalia, who has hunted rabbits for more than 40 years, said, "That first snow means it's time to go rabbit hunting. ...
Reminiscing of hunting in days past (12/06/14)
Nevada Daily Mail When I was a kid growing up, I loved winter. There was snow to sled and ride on, rabbits, quail and ducks to hunt. Frozen feet, numb hands and a dripping nose were no problem. It started on November 10, when the quail season opened and there were plenty of them to hunt, the same with rabbits. The ducks had started to move into our area and hunting them was no problem...
Hymer turns houseboat into dreamboat for fishing exploits (11/29/14)
Nevada Daily Mail Dennis Hymer of Strafford, is a serious crappie fisherman. He catches crappie in all of the four seasons. In the spring, when the fish are spawning, he said "the catching is easy." In the summer he goes a little deeper. In the fall and winter, he is still pulling crappie from the lake and has come up with a way to fish indoors when the temperature gets below freezing...
Arctic blast a boon for duck hunters (11/22/14)
Last week, the Arctic weather caused a huge push of migrating waterfowl into Missouri that has made area duck hunters happy. Hunters from all across the state have tried their luck at the Schell-Osage Conservation Area near El Dorado Springs. A large concentration of the popular mallard ducks along with thousands of snow geese have stopped at the area to rest and feed on their way south...
November portion of firearm deer season kicks off today (11/15/14)
Nevada Daily Mail Missouri deer hunters are getting ready for opening day of the November portion of the statewide firearm season. Today, more than 400,000 orange clad deer hunters will kick off the 2014 November portion of the firearm deer season ---- looking for a trophy buck or a nice size doe. Many of the first weekend hunters will be rewarded as opening day and weekend usually results in a sizable harvest of up to 80 percent of the 11-day season...
Quail numbers could be on the rise this season (11/08/14)
Nevada Daily Mail Last Saturday, Nov. 1, started the 2014-15 quail season, much to the delight of many area hunters. After years of declining quail numbers, a glimmer of hope for the upcoming season should see a slight increase of the numbers of this popular game bird...
Weather too nice for duck hunting (11/01/14)
Nevada Daily Mail Weather wise, it was a great weekend, but for serious young duck hunters, it wasn't duck hunting weather. With temperatures hovering around 80 degrees and a bright blue sky, most of the hunters in the Middle Zone Youth Weekend Duck Hunt had headed for home before noon without firing a shot...
Muskie Chapter holds 40th annual tournament (10/25/14)
Last week, while on a muskie fishing trip on Pomme de Terre Lake, with Earle Hammond, (who locals refer to him as Mr. Muskie), I saw first hand the vicious strike and fight of this sharp toothy fish.Hammond cast a shad lure near some structure and started retrieving the lure...
Fall firearm turkey season in full swing (10/18/14)
Hunting seasons are popping up like spring mushrooms. The prospects of a good fall hunting season in Missouri has optimism running high. The firearm fall turkey season opened Oct. 1. Hunters reported seeing lots of young birds. The latest totals show most of the top counties are in the Ozarks. After a good breeding season, turkey numbers are very good. Results of the annual brood survey show that for the third time in the last four years, the ratio of polts-to-hen was 1.7 percent Statewide...
KAMO Adventures looks out for wounded vets (10/11/14)
Nevada Daily Mail "That was the best fishing trip I have ever had, everything went nearly perfect including the weather," said Alan Hill, a veteran from the Iraq war, who was wounded in 2007 after his truck convey was hit. KAMO Adventures, who supports wounded veterans by taking them on hunting and fishing trips here to the Ozarks, organized their second fishing adventure for several veterans on Stockton Lake. ...
National Hunting and Fishing Day provides wildlife education (10/04/14)
Nevada Daily Mail The 43rd annual National Hunting and Fishing Day was celebrated last Saturday in recognition of the millions of Americans who hunt, fish, photograph or simply enjoy the country's rich wildlife and natural resources. One of the largest events was held at the Bois D' Arc Conservation Area, west of Springfield. ...
Missourians establish 'Archery for Kids' program (09/27/14)
Nevada Daily Mail When the archery deer and turkey season opened on Sept. 15, thousands of Missouri bow hunters took to the woods in pursuit of a trophy whitetail or a big turkey. Archers have a long season and all of the state to hunt. Two successful bow-hunters were Lyle Shaulis and Ethan Gotheer, of Fair Play. Shaulis is the pastor of Harvest Assembly in Fair Play and Gotheer is the assistant pastor, both are veteran archers...
Trout anglers flock to Spring River (09/20/14)
Nevada Daily Mail The Spring River at Mammoth Springs, Ark., attracts trout anglers from all around the country. Last weekend, in just a few hours, there were visitors to the Mammoth Springs State Park Visitor Center had visitors from 10 different states...
Teal season off to promising start (09/13/14)
Nevada Daily Mail A tradition of duck hunting on opening day for more than 40 years continued last weekend when hunters from Iowa, Louisiana, and Missouri converged on the Schell-Osage Conservation Area to open the 2014 early teal season. Siman Seidel, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Mark Monday, of Heflin, La., joined Missourians David Forman and daughter, Brooklin, Walker, Charles Monday, of Lee's Summit and Roy Garreans, of Schell City for an opening weekend of teal hunting...
Teal season set to open next weekend (09/06/14)
Nevada Daily Mail Missouri teal hunters should have plenty of targets when the early teal season opens next Saturday for a 16 day run. An early breeding survey showed 8.5 million blue-wing teal, so there will be a lot of teal heading south this month...
Grasshopper invasion can be beneficial for fishermen (08/30/14)
It's that time of the year when grasshoppers invade our area, and that's not all bad. I remember when my neighbor thought it was very funny as I casted a grasshopper I had just picked up into a pond. When a big bluegill followed the hopper and hit it, the neighbor saw things differently...
Dove hunting season drawing near (08/23/14)
Nevada Daily Mail In less than two weeks the 2014 dove season gets underway, and thousands of Missouri dove hunters are getting ready. Hunters looking for a place to open the season might check, the website mdc.mo.gov/18183 to get information on nearly 100 conservation areas across the state where crops have been planted to attract the birds...
Bass and walleye are plentiful at K-Dock on Bull Shoals Lake (08/09/14)
In checking last weeks fishing report, one spot looked very interesting. K-Dock on Bull Shoals reported fishing for bass wand walleye as excellent. So I checked it out. The first angler I met was David Stewart from St. Louis. Stewart admitted he was a novice angler and it showed. Having never caught a walleye, he forgot that this species of fish has teeth...
Camping evolves into more popular pastime (07/05/14)
Camping! Either you love it or hate it, depending on when, where and how. The when is still about the same for most campers, but the where and how has changed a lot, over the years. Southwest Missouri offers visitors a wide range of camping experiences, from primitive solitude along the banks of lakes to developed sites, offering amenities including boat ramps, swimming beaches and modern plumbing...
July marks start of prime catfish season (06/28/14)
Many catfish anglers like Bob Walker, Independence, are happy to see the Fourth of July arrive. That is when he starts getting serious about going after the catfish in lakes and streams. Last year, on July 6, Walker landed a 36-pound blue cat at Truman. That was just the beginning of a lot of catfish hooked by him last year...
Catching the big ones: Every anglers dream (06/21/14)
Fishing for a lunker is exciting. A big fish caught or lost is the subject of many campfire conversations. It is a source for a common bond between anglers. It also supplies a lifetime memory, as a special pride in fishing accomplishment that no angler can resist...
Missouri anglers flock to farm ponds (05/31/14)
To avoid the crowds and still have some great fishing over the big Memorial Day Weekend, Paul Hamilton usually hits a local farm pond with one or two of his grandchildren. "It's a great way to spend time with the kids and we always catch something, from bluegill to channel catfish," he said...
Float and fish your way through the Ozarks (05/24/14)
There is nothing like floating and fishing on an Ozark stream. Every stream in the Ozarks has its own character. These float streams offer good fishing from rainbow trout to catfish, as well as smallmouth bass. Every float is different and will have the floaters waiting expectantly for the view around the next bend in the stream, a view that is always new and different. Fishing and floating are popular sports in the Ozarks, where great scenery adds to the enjoyment of a fishing trip...
Turkey season ends well for Missouri hunters (05/16/14)
Missouri turkey hunters took 43,273 bearded birds during the recent three-week spring firearms season. Adding the 4,328 turkeys taken in the Youth Weekend Hunt brought the spring season total to 47,601, which was more than 5,500 more birds harvested than last year...
Spring crappie fishing picks up in waterways across Missouri (05/03/14)
Although the spring turkey season is in full swing and morel mushroom hunters are out seeking a bag full of those tasty fungi, if you are a crappie angler, now is the time to hit the water. Fishing reports from most area lakes show the crappie run is on and anglers are taking limits of these tasty fish. David Teegarden, Racket, Mo., is one of the many turkey hunters who likes the fact that turkey hunters in the spring have to quit hunting at 1 p.m...
Turkey hunting makes memories across Missouri (04/26/14)
A light rain on Monday morning dampened the hopes of many Missouri turkey hunters as the three-week regular season opened. It was unlike the opening day of the Youth Weekend Turkey Hunt, when the weather was near perfect for the young hunters. The young hunters -- ages 6 through 15 -- checked 4,332 turkeys during the two-day youth turkey hunting season...
Outdoor activities pick up in Missouri (04/19/14)
Now is a great time of the year for the outdoor- minded people of Missouri. With turkeys gobbling, mushrooms popping and fish spawning, it doesn't get much better than this. Young turkey hunters across the state just finished their special Youth Weekend Turkey Hunt by taking 4,328 turkeys, which was the largest number of bearded birds ever harvested in the 14-year history of the youth hunt. Top counties were Franklin with 107 birds checked, followed by Cedar with 96 and Webster with 92...
Youth clinic attracts hunters from across Missouri (04/12/14)
It was talking turkey time at the 11th annual Youth Turkey Hunting Clinic at Everhart's Wilderness Lodge, northwest of Clinton, last Saturday. A total of 40 children, age 9 through 15, from all across the state attended the event to learn about the rules and regulations on the upcoming Youth Weekend Hunt, April 12-13...
Paddlefish snagging: The real craziness in March (03/15/14)
The craziness that characterizes the month of March isn't limited to just the opening day of trout fishing at Missouri's four trout parks or the big basketball tournament. Whether you call it a paddlefish, spoonbill or shovelnose cat, the snagging season for this living fossil begins on Saturday. For a growing number of spoonbill snaggers, this is the craziness of March...
Trout season opener a special day for anglers (03/08/14)
To the trout angler, there is nothing like opening day of fishing in Missouri's four trout parks to remind them that spring is coming soon, despite this winter's cold and snow. Since opening day fell on a Saturday this year, a larger than usual crowd was expected, but the weather forecast kept some anglers away. At Bennett Spring, park officials said attendance was down nearly a thousand from what they expected...
Going to the dogs: Spaniel Club hosts field trials (03/01/14)
The Missouri Hunting Spaniel Club held their Spring field trials last weekend, featuring Spaniel owners and handlers from 14 states. The event was held at Brushy Creek Farm, near Dunnegan. Tim Baker, Springfield, president of the local club, said, "Brushy Creek is a perfect place for hunting and hosting a field trial. The farm has 220 acres of habitat managed, exclusively to provide ideal habitat game birds...
Fly fishing and tying offer many rewards (02/22/14)
When John Henry, 65, of Humansville, was a kid, buying flies for fishing cost a lot of money. He said, "Some of those flies cost as much as 25 cents apiece. I figured that I would get them a lot cheaper if I made them myself. "I first got interested in fly fishing on Bear Creek, in Polk County,by using a cane pole. There were two older men who loved to get out in a boat on Bear Creek...
Outdoors: An unlikely place for a first lady (02/15/14)
Thursday marked the 129th anniversary of the birth of Bess Truman. It's a date that reminds me of the good times I had visiting with her over the years and keeping the Trumans supplied with the fresh crappie they loved. Truman loved almost all sports when a young woman was a champion tennis player and a very good third baseman on the local ball team. ...
February makes for limited outdoor opportunities (02/08/14)
It's that time of year when the outdoor calendar gets slim. The only hunting seasons include crows, rabbits, squirrel, coyotes and geese, while the trout season in Missouri's four trout parks won't open until March 1, with the spoonbill snagging season following on March 15...
Business thrives for Missouri furriers (01/28/14)
The fur industry is alive and well in Missouri, as shown by furriers across the state, including Bud Keller, Collins, who has been buying and shipping furs since 1967. Keller, 86, said, "I became interested in furs when I was just a kid. My father took me hunting...
Harsh winters affect area wildlife, habitats (01/18/14)
The recent cold and snowy weather takes a toll on wildlife, especially when the temperature goes below zero and snow covers the ground. Quail are having a hard time already, succumbing to the bitter cold when snow shuts them out of their normal food sources...
Attitude is important in firearm safety (01/11/14)
As a young man entered the classroom for a hunter-safety class, he was overheard to say, "I really don't need this, I already know about guns and hunting." Attitude is very important in firearm safety, as the instructor said, "Someone with a poor attitude about firearm safety is asking for trouble. A person might think that they know about guns and hunting, but even with all this knowledge, can't prevent an accident."...
Winter makes for prime outdoor photography (12/27/13)
Now is the time for outdoor photography. Since the leaves have fallen off of all of the trees, it's a good time to take a walk in the woods and hunt with a camera. Casually walking through the woods with a camera in hand rarely results in more than blurred images and an occasional "luck" shot, though...
Interest in muzzleloader hunting grows across Missouri (12/24/13)
Interest in hunting deer with a muzzleloader is growing in Missouri. Interest will be shown as the Alternative methods portion of deer season opens Saturday, Dec. 21 and runs thru Dec. 31. Several years ago, I visited with some muzzleloader enthusiasts at a weekend "Rendezvous." The group of muzzleloaders were set up in one pole lodges, they were throwing tomahawks and acted as time had stopped in the 1850's...
Rabbit hunting on the decline in Missouri (12/17/13)
The recent snow and cold brought back memories of watching the snow fall and then, picking up my .22 rifle and heading out to hunt rabbits. Back then, rabbits were easy to find, especially after a snow. The number of rabbits and rabbit hunters in Missouri has been on the decline for the past several years, but there are still pockets where the number of cottontail rabbits is good enough to hunt. ...
Missouri offers wealth of outdoor opportunities (11/29/13)
As Tom Stone was preparing for the opening of the south zone duck season, he said, "Missouri outdoor-minded people have plenty to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day." The Vermont transplant reminds us of the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors offered within Missouri...
Hunters flock to camps as deer season opens (11/23/13)
When people hear about deer camp, some conjure up the vision of "mountain men," roughing it in the woods, going after any deer they might run across. In fact, in today's deer camps across the state, you will find families, friends and neighbors enjoying the tradition of camping and nature...
Changing times: Deer hunters reflect on seasons past (11/16/13)
When the 70th modern-day firearms deer season opened, it was much different from when the first modern-day deer season in Missouri opened, back in 1944. Back then, there was a two-day season for bucks in only 20 counties, in southern Missouri. That year, 7,557 hunters took 585 deer...
November marks busy time for hunters (11/09/13)
Now is a busy time of the year for hunters. With the fall firearms turkey season that ran through the entire month of October, the weekend youth deer hunt last Saturday and Sunday, Middle Zone duck season opening on Nov. 2, and the quail season opening Nov. 1, hunters have been out in full force...
Fall crappie fishing picks up (10/26/13)
Last fall, Kevin White caught 15 crappie while fishing at Stockton Lake, in a short time. Most of the fish were more than the minimum 10 inches long. They were caught on small jigs, in water that ranged from 8 to 15 feet deep. His success was no fluke...
White bass, walleye fishing picks up in Missouri lakes (10/19/13)
Finally, my son, Brad, and I hit the water at Stockton Lake Thursday, in search of white bass and walleye. We had been talking about making the trip for some time. The clincher came after hearing that Les Jarman and his son, Luke, had been catching both whites and walleye. After talking with Les, who had caught both species the day before, we set out to duplicate his success...
September marks prime hunting and fishing time (09/07/13)
September is the month that kicks off the hunting seasons and when fishing picks up. Missouri outdoorspeople look forward to September for several reasons. Dove hunters got the month started, along with a small number of rail and snipe hunters. Fishermen know that as the water starts to cool, the fish will more active. It is a great time of the year for the outdoor-minded people, as well as football fans...
Truman Lake attracts anglers across Missouri (08/31/13)
Some 12 years ago, David Teegarden had been making so many trips from the Kansas City area to fish on Truman Lake that he and his mother decided to build a home near the lake. They settled on a six-acre plot in the town of Racket, which is close to the lake, and since that day, they have been happy with their decision to move and have pulled a lot of fish from the lake...
Bushwhacker Lake attracts local outdoorsmen (08/23/13)
"It used to be a secret," said Toby Williams, Joplin, when he was talking about Bushwhacker Lake in Vernon and Barton Counties. "I discovered the good fishing lake five years ago and have been hitting it any time I can. "In those five years, I have never come home empty-handed. Sometimes, I catch bass. Other times I get crappie, bluegill, red-eared sunfish or channel catfish."...
Hooked on Scouting attracts local attention (08/16/13)
A program called Hooked on Scouting has started in Southwest Missouri. The goal of the program is to introduce youngsters to fishing, as well as scouting. The Ozark Trails Council of the Boy Scouts plans on recruiting between 1,500 and 2,000 new Cub Scouts this fall and each of them will receive a fishing rod and reel, as well as a tackle box and basic tackle...
Floaters flock to Eleven Point River (07/26/13)
After talking to Wally Meeker, Springfield, about his float on the Eleven Point River near Alton, my son, Brad, and I had to give it a try. Meeker was excited about his float on the river where he saw big rainbow trout swimming in the deep, clear waters and the lack of other floaters, even on a Memorial Day Weekend...
Outdoorsmen gear up for frog, foul seasons (06/29/13)
Bob Harper, of Harrisonville, has been more than ready for sunset June 30, when frog season opens in Missouri. Harper started frogging when he was 14 and today, at 57, he is excited as ever. "Once you have had a mess of big bullfrog legs, you are ready for more," he said...
Living under the stars still a timeless activity (06/21/13)
Camping is the oldest way of living. There is hardly an adult who doesn't long for the simplicity of the open road or the campsite. All the refinements of modern civilization haven't dimmed our appreciation for a place away from it all. Our camping roots run deep. Organized camping dates back to the 1860s, but recreational camping didn't take root until the 1920s...
Bluegill fishing takes hold across Missouri (06/14/13)
Without a doubt, bluegill are one of the fiercest of fighting fish, ounce-for-ounce. Nearly every lake, pond or stream has a population of bluegill and they are caught by everyone from kids to grandparents. Recently, Jack Nelson and his son, Bobby, looked over a Vernon County farm pond where, in the late afternoon sunlight, they saw dimpling rises in the weeds along the shoreline. ...
Missouri anglers flock to Caplinger Mills (05/31/13)
When Jack Clark, Clinton, heard how good the fishing was at Caplinger Mills, he took his son and headed for the bridge over the Sac River at Caplinger, only to see lots of other anglers had beaten him there. "We counted 42 people fishing on the bridge and a lot of them were pulling out crappie or white bass," Clark said. "I had fished there before, but this time it was different...
Smallmouth bass fishing: It's not about quantity (05/24/13)
Tom Smith, Springfield, is one of many outdoorsmen who look forward to the big Memorial Day Weekend. Smith is both a squirrel hunter and smallmouth bass angler. This year, both seasons open on May 25, and Smith is ready. "There are plenty of squirrels in the Ozarks, both red and gray, and with a liberal limit of 10 bushytails, hunters' chances of taking squirrels are excellent. I use a .22 rifle -- the same one my father started me on 30 years ago," Smith said...
Fishing heats up on area lakes and ponds (05/10/13)
When the three-week turkey season concluded on April 15, hunters like Jack Martin, Springfield, turned into anglers. "Fishing goes on all year, but the turkey season only last three weeks in the spring. So now, I am ready to do some serious fishing," he said...
Catch and release fishing garners mixed response (05/03/13)
The most significant development in fishing over the past 50 years is the advent of catch and release. Even though this seems beyond reproach, there are some detractors to the practice. Anglers get a lot of enjoyment by stalking and fooling fish, but after the battle has ended, the fish goes back into the water instead of a frying pan. Usually, the fish is no worse for wear and is ready to strike another's lure...
There's more to turkey hunting than getting a bird (04/26/13)
The spring turkey season -- which runs from April 15 through May 5 -- shows that turkey hunting in Missouri has come a long way. Spring turkey hunters took 21,437 bearded birds in Missouri during the first week of this season. Leading counties were: Franklin with 560, followed by Texas with 444 and Sainte Genevieve 413...
Spring trout fishing picks up in Missouri waters (04/19/13)
While many outdoorsmen were busy getting ready for the spring turkey season, others were spending their time fishing. It didn't take long to find out if the trout were hitting on Lake Taneycomo last week when Phil Lilley, owner of Lilleys' Landing Resort and Marina, and I headed out on a cold and windy day. After a short boat ride up the lake, Lilley stopped the boat and said, "There should be plenty of rainbows in this stretch of water."...
Up the creek: It's not always a bad place to be (04/13/13)
While many fishermen were busy running up and down the lake in pursuit of white bass and crappie as spring began, there were many others up the creek catching fish. One of the best places to fish early in the spring can be one of the many creeks in the Ozarks, including Swan, Beaver, and Flat Creek. We chose Turnback Creek in Dade County to test the water...
Turkey time: Spring hunting season to begin in Missouri this weekend (04/06/13)
It's turkey time! With cooperation from the weather, this could be another very good season. While heading for the river to get in on the white bass, crappie and walleye runs, I nearly ran off the road when I saw three big gobblers all fanned out in front of several hens. It's a sight that gets the adrenaline going...
April marks prime Missouri mushroom hunting season (03/29/13)
It's almost here. April, my favorite month of the year, with turkeys gobbling, fish spawning, mushrooms popping and nature coming alive. It's a great time for the outdoors people. We remember a recent April when we finished the month by picking more than 50 nice morel mushrooms after taking two big gobblers and limits of big crappie...
Early spring marks prime season for white bass anglers across Missouri (03/22/13)
You can catch a white bass just about any time of the year in the Ozarks, but anglers really get excited about fishing for whites in the early spring when the fish gather in large numbers to spawn. Recently, a report of small white bass males starting to run up area lake tributaries fired up a lot of fishermen to the "hot spots" where the whites run in the spring. ...
Shore-birds catch lunkers, too (03/15/13)
Have you watched televised fishing shows lately? Most would have you believe that you can only catch fish with a $25,000 fishing boat. Don't sell the cane pole at a garage sale just yet. Bank fishermen can and will experience success like boat anglers, but with a slightly different approach...
Missouri spoonbill snagging season to begin March 15 (03/08/13)
With the season now open in the four state trout parks, many anglers will be joining the growing number of fishermen who throw a heavy weighted hook, cast and hope to snag a fish that might weigh 30 to 100 pounds. We are talking about snagging for spoonbills, which starts Friday, March 15. One Springfield angler, Jack Thomas, was fishing at Bennett Spring on the opening day of the trout parks...
Trout anglers flock to state parks for opening day (03/02/13)
March madness doesn't just apply to basketball. It has a meaning all its own when it comes to trout fishing. Opening day at the trout parks is also March madness at its best. On Friday, March 1, thousands of trout anglers invaded the state's four trout parks at Bennett Spring, Roaring River, Montauk and Maramec, in the annual ritual that starts the unofficial opening of the spring fishing season. More than 8,000 anglers were expected to be in attendance for the opener, weather permitting...
February marks prime trout fishing time (02/22/13)
February is the best time of the year to catch big trout on Lake Taneycomo, according to many hardy anglers who fish the cold waters of the popular trout stream. For many years, my largest trout of the year have come from Taneycomo, including an 8-pounder I caught in February. On a recent trip to the lake, I found there are many other anglers who think this month is the best time to go after lunker trout on the lake...
February marks good times for outdoorsmen (02/09/13)
February, with its cold and dreary days, can cause outdoorsmen and women to get cabin fever, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are many ways to enjoy the month while waiting for the trout parks to open and the crappie and walleye runs that spring brings...
Beagles and Bunnies (02/02/13)
Although the cottontail rabbit numbers are down from the good old days, there are still pockets of huntable numbers of bunnies. Tim Marshall, Lebanon, Mo., is one of those rabbit hunters who waits for snow on the ground to go rabbit hunting. He said, "When the snow starts falling, there is no better time to go rabbit hunting. So far this season, I haven't been out but one time. As the season runs out, I would be happy to see some snow."...
Alabama Rig: The next big thing for anglers? (01/26/13)
Fishermen are always looking for that lure that will catch fish. It seems that every year, there is a new lure on the market that draws anglers to the fishing tackle department. Years ago, there was the Shannon Twin Spin that boasted that there never was and never will be a bait that would beat the Shannon. ...
Shed antlers make great winter hunting (01/12/13)
The hunting seasons are running out now that quail, squirrel, pheasant, archery for deer and turkey, as well as duck hunting are nearly over. The dead of winter finds many Missourians with cabin fever, but one activity during the next month peaks and offers a way to fight that cabin fever. That activity is shed antler hunting...
Outdoors year in review (12/28/12)
What will 2013 hold for the Missouri outdoorsman? What did 2012 hold? In looking back over the past year, it's time to review some of the biggest news items that came from the outdoors. One of the biggest events that affected outdoorsmen in the past year was the long drought that was tough on wildlife and fish across not only the state of Missouri, but the entire nation...
Ken White
Outdoor Living