(Updated August 2, 2017)
Rea among those honored at Legends of the Outdoors
Garry Mason, founder of the Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame has released the recipient of the American Outdoor Organization of the Year– NWTF. The National Wild Turkey Federation will be presented this prestigious award at the 16th annual Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame's 2017 event. As inprevious few years, this year's event will be held aboard one of the largest paddlewheel showboats in the country - the General Jackson Showboat/Music City Queen in Nashville on Aug. 26 dockside along the Cumberland River. Boarding begins at 9 a.m. and will be followed by the banquet and induction/award ceremony at 10.
Other awards and recipients this year are: The Ray Scott American Trailblazer Award to Harold Knight and David Hale for their "trailblazing" of game calls, the Outdoor Manufacturing Excellence Award – Fishing – to Strike King Lures due to their longevity and consistency in the fishing field, the Outdoor Manufacturing Excellence Award – Hunting – to O.F. Mossberg and Sons, Inc., manufacturer of quality firearm products for , and new award being presented this year, the Wade Bourne Outdoor Communicator of the Year Award will be received by Larry Rea, editor of Mid-South Hunting and Fishing News and longtime host of Outdoors with Larry Rea on ESPN-790AM in Memphis.
The inductees for 2017 are: Dave Precht– outdoor writer and editor of Bassmaster Magazine; Morris Sheehan – President, American Bass Anglers, Inc.; Lisa Snuggs - SEOPA Executive Director, & OJEFA CEO; Walter Parrott – champion turkey caller & hunter; Guy Eaker Sr – professional angler; Jerry Antley – founder of Cedar Hill game calls; Bob Foulkrod – renowned sportsman, writer and television personality; and Steve Price – outdoor writer and photographer, and our Guest Speaker this year will be Jimmy Sites, contributor to the "Sportsmen's Bible", outdoors advocate and host of "Spiritual Outdoor Adventures".
The event is open to the public. Sponsorship information and individual ticket reservations may be obtained through the Legends of the Outdoors website at www.legendsoftheoutdoors.com, or by calling 731-693-7770.
MDWFP graduates 11 conservation officers
Eleven newly sworn Conservation Officers will be patrolling areas of assignment across Mississippi this summer. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks MDWFP) held a graduation ceremony at Roosevelt State Park in Morton, honoring the 11 new Conservation Officers.
These officers will be assigned to counties stretching from North Mississippi to the Gulf Coast, protecting and serving Mississippi residents and ensuring Mississippi's hunting, fishing, and outdoor heritage is protected for generations to come.
Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony and challenged the 11 new officers to "work tirelessly, enforcing the laws you sworn to uphold and let the legal system work."
"Today marks the end of twenty-four (24) weeks of training and the beginning of a career, for these 11 new Mississippi Conservation Officers" states Capt Chris Reed.
The new officers reported to duty on July 5.
Stan Jones appointed to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Jones is a farmer and avid outdoorsman who was born and raised in Clover Bend, Ark., where his family has farmed for five generations. Although rich in farming heritage, Jones has expanded his family's original 80-acre farm into thousands of acres of rice and soybean fields as well as prime habitat for a variety of wildlife species. His passion for duck hunting led to his second career as a successful guide for more than 30 years, and the culmination of his dream in Stan Jones Mallard Lodge
Jones is an owner of Banded outdoor sporting apparel, Avery Outdoors and the Stan Jones Mallard Lodge. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and serves on the Chancellor's Cabinet. Jones was a member of ASU's 1970 undefeated, untied National College Division Champion football team, which was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He serves on the Red Wolves Foundation 500 Club and the Clover Bend Historical Society.
Wildlife researchers and managers share knowledge of CWD
State wildlife agency representatives from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas met with researchers and collaborators from the University of Wisconsin, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, University of Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech University, the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, National Park Service, US Forest Service, and the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study on mid-July at Little Rock to discuss recent findings about chronic wasting disease and to identify research priorities for the state and region.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease similar to mad cow disease that affects members of the deer family (elk, moose and deer species). It alters the brain and nervous system of the animals, causing weight loss, excessive salivation, and behavioral changes, including abnormal posture, lack of awareness, and seclusion from the rest of the herd.
The first case of CWD in Arkansas was confirmed in Feb. 23, 2016, in samples taken from an elk harvested the previous October. Since then, 213 additional positive cases of CWD have been discovered in Arkansas. Five of those have been in elk and 208 in white-tailed deer.
AGFC Director Jeff Crow said partnerships and knowledge sharing are essential in not only learning what has been successful, but also saves valuable time in avoiding efforts that proved unsuccessful in slowing the spread of the disease. With 23 states having already detected the malady in either free-ranging or captive cervids, Arkansas was fortunate to have a lot of knowledge to draw from in its efforts to educate the public and take steps necessary to slow the spread of the disease further.
Public input meeting focuses on trout management
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission played host to a special public workshop in early August at the Arkansas State University Mountain Home campus in Mountain Home. The current trout management plans for the 92 and 4.5 mile trout fisheries on the White and North Fork of the White Rivers below Bull Shoals and Norfork Dams were developed in 2007. Management actions outlined in the plans were implemented, and the AGFC is trying to determine if these strategies have worked and whether public expectations of the fishery have changed. The public meeting is the first step of the revision, which is scheduled to occur every five years in the future. Progress of the tailwaters' management plan revisions will be posted on www.agfc.com throughout the process.
Bowfisherman claims two state records in one night
Most anglers will fish for a lifetime and never catch a fish large enough to claim a state record catch, but one bowfisherman managed to arrow two records in the same outing. Jimmy Ruple of Greenbrier arrowed a highfin carpsucker and a river carpsucker on the same night (June 19) on the Arkansas River to claim the unrestricted tackle record for both species.
Ruple was bowfishing with his son Steven Ruple, when he took both of the fish.
"I've been bowfishing about two years," Ruple said. "My son got me into it a couple of years ago, and he's been bowfishing for 15 years or so."
The highfin carpsucker weighed only 1 pound, 12 ounces, but no record had ever been submitted for the species before. The river carpsucker, weighing 3 pounds, 2 ounces, bested the previous record, set in May by Ross Martin of Cabot.
According to Justin Stroman, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist who verified the species of the two fish, carpsuckers are a fairly common fish in the Arkansas River, although highfin carpsuckers are not as numerous as river carpsuckers.
Celebrating 80 years and still going strong
This year the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating 80 years of serving nature and the public. MDC was founded by Missourians -- concerned by the state's decimated fish, forests, and wildlife -- through a constitutional amendment passed in 1936 to create the nation's first apolitical conservation agency in 1937.
Keeping with its tradition of citizen-based conservation, MDC will hold open houses around the state in August through October to share information and gather public feedback.
MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley will be at all open houses to share insights on the Department's history, conservation priorities, and challenges on the horizon. Each open house will also include remarks by local community leaders.
Attendees are encouraged to give feedback on MDC regulations, infrastructure, strategic priorities, and statewide and local conservation issues.
No registration is required. Refreshments will be served. The first 80 attendees at each open house will receive a special gift from MDC.
For more information, contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115, ext. 3350, or [email protected].