What does an animal need to survive? How do you manage a stream running through your property? Where does a food plot fit in to managing a white-tailed deer habitat?
These lessons can be learned at this year’s Master Wildlifer Program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Experts from MU will lead eight three-hour educational sessions for private landowners who are interested in incorporating wildlife maintenance in their land management plans.
“Landowners will learn techniques they can apply to improve the habitat for a variety of wildlife species on their property,” said Bob Pierce, MU Extension wildlife specialist.
Each segment will be conducted live from Columbia and aired throughout the state via interactive television.
“What’s neat is that they won’t just be sitting there,” said Matt Seek, the education outreach coordinator for the Conservation Department, “They’ll get to interact with the experts in Columbia from any of the extension centers where these segments will be aired, throughout the state.”
In the past, the program followed the curriculum of Clemson University. This year, the department and MU decided to conduct the program using their own curriculum that focuses more directly on Missouri land and wildlife.
Each session is devoted to a specific wildlife species or type of landscape. For each species, the life history, biology and survival needs of the animal is discussed. Experts will also explain land management techniques to help provide for the animal’s needs.
Tim Reinbott, farm superintendent at the Bradford Research and Extension Center, said when landowners attempt to build habitats for certain wildlife, many mistakes can be made because there are specific elements that must be a part of the management for a habitat to appeal to the animal.
“There are several different types of habitat needs, and if they don’t have key components, there is not a complete habitat,” Reinbott said.
The sessions will be held in the Heinkel Building at Locust and Seventh streets every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning Feb. 28 through March 23. The program costs $75 per person and $110 for couples.
The program sessions also will be aired via interactive television at extension centers in Carollton, Cape Girardeau, Kirksville, Nevada, Reed Springs, Salem and St. Joseph. The cost of admission to the program varies at each extension center.