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Well I'm no biologist but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night so I'll give my opinion on this subject. I've been playing this food plot and habitat improvement game for quite a few years now and while I have had some success I still think there is a lot of room for improvement/more success. My initial target species was like most folks on here, the whitetailed deer and I concentraited on that particular animal for several years. However, the last 5 years or so I've been targeting almost exclusively for the Bobwhite Quail and wabbits. I've done absolutely no predator control, none. My main area of work has been habitat, and that has consisted mainly of fescue eradication, NWSG plantings, fencerow thining, discing and other procedures geared towards habitat. I've planted BB and Indian, LB and Sideoats and I've got lots of weeds. It doesn't look very pretty but I'm starting to see results. I've got more rabbits now then I've had in a very long time, but I'm sure that a portion of the population increase in wabbits is related to the cyclical nature of their numbers. As for the quail, I just posted about three weeks ago that I'd seen my first confirmed sighting of a successful hatch in many many years. Is it just luck or is it a result of the work I've done for the last 5 or so years. I hope its the result of the work. And as for predators, I've got plenty. You cant hardly walk along the trails that lead to the creek bottom without seeing several dung piles and other sign. In fact my PLC even commented that there seems to be an inordinate amount of predator sign. Should I consider some form of predator removal, probably and I might do something this coming winter but the facts seem to be that even without any predator control measures whatsover, I'm seeing an increase in small game and that can only be contributed to habitat improvement. Sorry for the long response but hopefuly its got some validity.
 

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[rquote=2185422&tid=152662&author=MDC Deer][rquote=2185096&tid=152662&author=Sully]However to ignore and side step the issue because the MDC does not offer that program to to the public is in my opinion a injustice to the outdoor public.

[/rquote]

Sully...I respectfully disagree. To say that MDC doesn't offer a program is not accurate. There is a lot opportunity to hunt and trap fur bearers in Missouri, much of which most do not take advantage of. If you are sustaining damage to crops or other property you can get a damage permit that will allow you to take care of those situations.

As for large scale reduction of predator numbers...there simply are not enough individuals interested in hunting and trapping of fur bearers for the specific reason you stated. There's no money in it.

Discussions of expanding seasons for raccoons have been brought before the regulations committee and are strongly opposed by the trappers of the state because trapping would occur outside of the time when furs are "prime". [/rquote]

I have a reply to your last paragraph and I am just stating my opinion here. Why not allow the extension of **** season despite that trappers oppose it? I doubt it is the trappers opposing it, rather the buyers that are. My take on that is they aren't paying anything anyways so why not let the ones that are willing to trap still harvest the animals that are overpopulated and destroying the ground nesting birds:confused:

I don't know hardely anyone that traps anymore for the money. Everyone I know that traps (Including myself) do it because they enjoy it and are doing good things for the land they are trapping on. I feel good knowing that I am helping control some of the predators!! Just my :02:
 

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Back in the '60's there was more Small Grain being raised even in the southern part of the state,very little Fescue,not that many Coyotes.But not that many Deer and Turkeys and alot of Small Game.Seen several 50+ Coveys of Quail and Hundreds of Rabbits.

Now you have Deer,Turkeys and not that much Small Game.Turkeys are having a bugger time nesting and seen alot of Fawns being killed by Coyotes,seen three killed within a Hundred yards of each other.

I still do some Trapping but mainly ***** for the Meat.I've talked with MDC about just having **** Season year round because how many times have you been out Squirrel hunting and come up on fryer ***** but can't kill them because they aren't in season?

oneshot
:D The Big Grin wonders how Otter taste? :thinking:
 

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[rquote=2185329&tid=152662&author=Redonthehead] I bought a dozen dog-proof traps last fall and easily caught 20 ***** and 12 possums off the front 40 acres. If I saved one turkey nest this spring within 2 miles I would consider it a success.[/rquote]

Quoting myself from earlier.

Pulled into my place Friday evening and ran into 4 or 5 hens with about 25 chicken sized poults. I'll be trapping again this year. Again, I would like to see the trapping/hunting opportunities expanded. ie: at least let us trap through February.
 

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Wow, quite a discussion. I'm sorry my response in the MDC section upset you. I did not feel like I was giving a "canned" response, only stating what I honestly believe is the best answer. I did not intend to give the impression that we biologists do not know nest predators have an effect on ground nesting birds like quail. We fully understand that quail are prey species and most that die do so because a predator kills them. The debate is more a matter of will trapping increase production? There has been research with quail in the SE US comparing habitat improvement, predator control alone, habitat improvement with predator control, and no treatment. Habitat improvement with predator control had the highest production - though not statistically significantly higher than habitat improvement alone. Predator control alone and no treatment were significantly lower production than those with habitat improvement. In this study, predator control was done (by professional trappers) in late winter through the nesting season - not at a time when furs have value to a buyer. The cost per additional quail produced by predator control was really high but I do not recall the figure. I am not in on the discussions regarding setting hunting and trapping seasons so I have no idea what they discuss when weighing options but given sketchy support from the general public for trapping when the pelts are being used, along with limited improvement in production from trapping, it would be treading thin ice to trap them just so we'll have a few more quail to shoot. I'd encourage any land manager to use the legal trapping season to manage predator numbers but rely on habitat management to increase small game numbers. I hope you find this response more helpful than the first but until some new research proves something different to me, I will never suggest the issue is anything other than habitat.
 

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[rquote=2186995&tid=152662&author=DForbis][rquote=2185422&tid=152662&author=MDC Deer][rquote=2185096&tid=152662&author=Sully]However to ignore and side step the issue because the MDC does not offer that program to to the public is in my opinion a injustice to the outdoor public.

[/rquote]

Sully...I respectfully disagree. To say that MDC doesn't offer a program is not accurate. There is a lot opportunity to hunt and trap fur bearers in Missouri, much of which most do not take advantage of. If you are sustaining damage to crops or other property you can get a damage permit that will allow you to take care of those situations.

As for large scale reduction of predator numbers...there simply are not enough individuals interested in hunting and trapping of fur bearers for the specific reason you stated. There's no money in it.

Discussions of expanding seasons for raccoons have been brought before the regulations committee and are strongly opposed by the trappers of the state because trapping would occur outside of the time when furs are "prime". [/rquote]

I have a reply to your last paragraph and I am just stating my opinion here. Why not allow the extension of **** season despite that trappers oppose it? I doubt it is the trappers opposing it, rather the buyers that are. My take on that is they aren't paying anything anyways so why not let the ones that are willing to trap still harvest the animals that are overpopulated and destroying the ground nesting birds:confused:

I don't know hardly anyone that traps anymore for the money. Everyone I know that traps (Including myself) do it because they enjoy it and are doing good things for the land they are trapping on. I feel good knowing that I am helping control some of the predators!! Just my :02:[/rquote]

Please don't shoot the messenger as I have absolutley no role in furbearer regulations. I'm just trying to pass along their disucssions. In recent discussion before the regulations committee they are of the feeling that individuals aren't fully utilizing the opportunities they are currently afforded under the current regulations structure and that expanding the season would do nothing to increase small game numbers as indicated by Maconplc.

If you'd like to see something changed band together ask for some time before the regulations committee and plead your case. That option is open to all citizens of the state. If you'd like more information on how to do so then use the contact form on the mdc website.
 

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[rquote=2192417&tid=152662&author=MDC Deer][rquote=2186995&tid=152662&author=DForbis][rquote=2185422&tid=152662&author=MDC Deer][rquote=2185096&tid=152662&author=Sully]However to ignore and side step the issue because the MDC does not offer that program to to the public is in my opinion a injustice to the outdoor public.

[/rquote]

Sully...I respectfully disagree. To say that MDC doesn't offer a program is not accurate. There is a lot opportunity to hunt and trap fur bearers in Missouri, much of which most do not take advantage of. If you are sustaining damage to crops or other property you can get a damage permit that will allow you to take care of those situations.

As for large scale reduction of predator numbers...there simply are not enough individuals interested in hunting and trapping of fur bearers for the specific reason you stated. There's no money in it.

Discussions of expanding seasons for raccoons have been brought before the regulations committee and are strongly opposed by the trappers of the state because trapping would occur outside of the time when furs are "prime". [/rquote]

I have a reply to your last paragraph and I am just stating my opinion here. Why not allow the extension of **** season despite that trappers oppose it? I doubt it is the trappers opposing it, rather the buyers that are. My take on that is they aren't paying anything anyways so why not let the ones that are willing to trap still harvest the animals that are overpopulated and destroying the ground nesting birds:confused:

I don't know hardly anyone that traps anymore for the money. Everyone I know that traps (Including myself) do it because they enjoy it and are doing good things for the land they are trapping on. I feel good knowing that I am helping control some of the predators!! Just my :02:[/rquote]

Please don't shoot the messenger as I have absolutley no role in furbearer regulations. I'm just trying to pass along their disucssions. In recent discussion before the regulations committee they are of the feeling that individuals aren't fully utilizing the opportunities they are currently afforded under the current regulations structure and that expanding the season would do nothing to increase small game numbers as indicated by Maconplc.

If you'd like to see something changed band together ask for some time before the regulations committee and plead your case. That option is open to all citizens of the state. If you'd like more information on how to do so then use the contact form on the mdc website.[/rquote]

MDC thanks.... I was in no way intending that comment directed at you. I was just stating my oppinion. I know Jeff really well and think that he will do what he thinks is in the best interest of the state when it comes to furbearers. I would agree that extending the season, probably wouldn't be utilized by most. Therefore it probably wouldn't have much affect on the ground nesters in most areas. I would however continue to trap if it were legal:wave::D
 

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Wow, quite a discussion. I'm sorry my response in the MDC section upset you. I did not feel like I was giving a "canned" response, only stating what I honestly believe is the best answer. I did not intend to give the impression that we biologists do not know nest predators have an effect on ground nesting birds like quail. We fully understand that quail are prey species and most that die do so because a predator kills them. The debate is more a matter of will trapping increase production? There has been research with quail in the SE US comparing habitat improvement, predator control alone, habitat improvement with predator control, and no treatment. Habitat improvement with predator control had the highest production - though not statistically significantly higher than habitat improvement alone. Predator control alone and no treatment were significantly lower production than those with habitat improvement. In this study, predator control was done (by professional trappers) in late winter through the nesting season - not at a time when furs have value to a buyer. The cost per additional quail produced by predator control was really high but I do not recall the figure. I am not in on the discussions regarding setting hunting and trapping seasons so I have no idea what they discuss when weighing options but given sketchy support from the general public for trapping when the pelts are being used, along with limited improvement in production from trapping, it would be treading thin ice to trap them just so we'll have a few more quail to shoot. I'd encourage any land manager to use the legal trapping season to manage predator numbers but rely on habitat management to increase small game numbers. I hope you find this response more helpful than the first but until some new research proves something different to me, I will never suggest the issue is anything other than habitat.
Great post.
 

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Great post.
Habitat improvement with predator control had the highest production - though not statistically significantly higher than habitat improvement alone. Predator control alone and no treatment were significantly lower production than those with habitat improvement.
 

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Habitat improvement with predator control had the highest production - though not statistically significantly higher than habitat improvement alone. Predator control alone and no treatment were significantly lower production than those with habitat improvement.
Please look up "not statistically significant "....
 

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