What's New ?

March is supposed to be "In like a Lion, out like a Lamb". It has just been a lion so far.

Late February and early March provided weekends full of wind and moderate temps. The wind kept me from attempting coyote hunting trips.

Me and my brother attended a "Quail Seminar" put on by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in early March. It was pretty informative. During the session, the presenter asked our thoughts on why the quail population had declined and continued to decline. Of course, all predators were listed, including turkeys, raccoons etc. Never really thought of a turkey as a predator but evidently if I were a quail, I would consider them a predator. 

They gave percentages on the damage each type of predator does and it made predation seem insignificant until one attendee brought up a good point. The cumulative total of all predation. It added up to beyond 50% and when you add in typical mortality rates, it is no wonder there are no quail.

North west Missouri holds plenty of raccoons and now, we are thick with turkeys. They said that with fur prices near $0, raccoon populations have skyrocketed. I guess raccoons eat a large number of quail eggs among all the other things they tend to get into. Both of these "predator" numbers have increased dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years.

Anyway, it was an interesting meeting and well worth the time spent. We learned a few tricks that we can use to increase or attempt to increase the quail population on property that my brother owns. We had already been working on some brush piles for the rabbits and better grasses for the birds but we have a little more ammunition now.

My brother had a tree cutter come in during January and take out a large number of thorny Locust trees which we had quickly come to despise. We planned to burn some of the large brush piles that were created but while stomping around the property in a heavy snow, we discovered that deer, turkey and rabbits were already utilizing the brush for cover.

We plan to get started with some grass burning projects right away and that should help out the game population for us. 

The only major gun related stuff I've done recently was a trip to the Sierra Bullet plant at Sedalia, Missouri. Not a long trip, just a nice "get out of the office" day. You can buy "Seconds" at a discounted price, direct from the factory. I Picked up 20 pounds of 45 caliber bullets to split with a buddy of mine and some .243 stuff. If you live close enough to get to Sedalia, it is worth the trip. They are only open weekdays but a good excuse to get out of town.