North Central Section happenings: Part 3

These updates originally appear in the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society’s Fall 2019 newsletter. Photos highlighting the student chapter’s activities are also included in the section’s newsletter.

Missouri State University Student Chapter of TWS

The Missouri State University Student Chapter expressed their passions for wildlife and developed professional skills through events such as water quality monitoring, habitat maintenance and prescribed burns. The highlights of the semester were two special events: the Fall Swarm Bat Survey and the Age-at-Harvest Deer Aging Workshop. In October, the student chapter participated in the Fall Swarm Bat Survey with the Missouri Department of Conservation where they hiked down to the mouth of a cave and learned how to trap bats using the harp trap technique. Upon collection, members also gained experience in identifying the species caught and used different methods of data collection. At the end of October, students hosted a white-tailed deer aging workshop, also with Missouri Department of Conservation. This workshop helped members prepare for collecting age-at-harvest data during opening weekend for rifle season. Members learned how to age deer based on tooth arrangement, along with various forms of data collection such as antler circumference, and how to tag. Not only did members get a chance to work in the field and collect hard data, they also spoke to hunters and got a foot in the door with a professional organization.

Missouri Western State University Student Chapter of TWS

The Missouri Western Student Chapter had a huge boost in membership in the 2019 fall semester. To start off the semester, they volunteered at three different events in one weekend: Prairie Days at Dunn Ranch, assisting professionals with outreach and education of prairie ecosystems, Insect-O-Rama at the Remington Nature Center teaching children about insects, and the first of two Monarch Tagging days at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge netting and tagging monarchs. In addition to monarch tagging at Loess Bluffs, the students collected seeds to maintain native prairies, conducted deer spotlighting surveys, and planted trees. Through their partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the student chapter experienced two trail workdays, helping to rebuild trails and conduct invasive species control. Members were able to be trained on deer-aging by MDC and participated in four counties across Missouri to help MDC collect data on the deer populations. Members also helped run Park after Dark, a new event with MDC where students helped teach kids about their senses, and participated in quail covey count surveys.

University of Central Missouri Student Chapter of TWS

The University of Central Missouri Student Chapter participated in the Annual Dove Opener at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Conservation Area. Students removed a wing from multiple doves brought in by hunters attending opening day, which will be used for aging and population research data. Members participated in the annual Family Outdoors Day, also at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Conservation Area, where students led an educational booth about Missouri mammal tracks and educated the public on how to identify them.

For Fall Beautification Day in October, members teamed up with Knob Noster State Park and assisted the naturalist with the removal of the invasive species Bush Honeysuckle. Students attended the Missouri Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s fall workshop (co-hosted by the Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society) where they practiced fisheries management and sampling methods, wildlife management and outdoor skills. The student chapter teamed up with Knob Noster State Park a second time for the Clearfork Creek Clean up and during the opening weekend of rifle season partnered with MDC on deer-aging.

Header Image: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). ©Brad Smith