Fall Festival Highlights Busy Semester for Central Missouri

By Saidee Hyder – UCM TWS Chapter Reporter

Whitetailed Deer Image Credit: Bill Thompson, USFWS

The fall 2014 semester was very busy for The Wildlife Society Student Chapter at the University of Central Missouri. Student members have been very involved this semester; from aging deer for the Missouri Department of Conservation to attending various conferences, members have accomplished a great amount.

Several members attended the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists in October, where students learned about research being conducted in the Central Plains and by Central Plains’ researchers, including information about black bears and bats. Soon after that another large group attended the Kansas Herpetological Society Conference. At KHS there were many speakers that discussed research being done throughout the state of Kansas and there were a lot of live animals present for attendees to observe and learn about. All members in attendance reported having a great experience at these conferences and brought back lots of new information.

In November the Chapter had a record number of members sign up and participate in the annual deer aging event with the Missouri Department of Conservation. The days were long and cold but very educational. It was interesting to talk to different hunters and to learn more about how Missouri Department of Conservation monitors deer populations, particularly for members who had never been hunting.

The student chapter’s biggest accomplishment this semester was a new event, the Fall Festival, which was held during the first weekend in November and was a huge success. This outreach event had many volunteers teaching adults and children about all kinds of wildlife. There were discussions about herpetology, mammalogy, and ornithology, as well as face paintings, a petting zoo, hayrides and lots of soup and chili. It was a great success and all the proceeds will go towards the chapter’s trip to a White Tailed Deer Ranch located in Texas in January. The student chapter will be doing a prescribed burn and learning other management practices.

Overall The Wildlife Society Student Chapter at the University of Central Missouri had a successful and fun semester and members look forward to what the spring semester will bring. For more information on the student chapter visit their website and Facebook page.