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Extension Outdoors from 2018

A gray squirrel pauses as it climbs a tree.
January 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Housing and Homebuyer, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The coldest days of winter do not seem to slow squirrel activity.

One significant reason is that mating season for eastern gray squirrels lasts through January, and babies arrive about six weeks later.

Most squirrels build nests for these babies in the forks of tree branches or in the hollows of tree trunks. Their nests are created mostly out of dry leaves and twigs.

A drainage ditch with moving water, limbs, and trash.
January 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most people who enjoy nature and being outdoors are careful to avoid littering -- not only because it is unsightly, but also because it can harm natural resources. Bottles, for example, can become death traps for small critters seeking food and water. Bottles and other trash can clog drainage ditches and waterways, creating additional challenges, especially if they contained toxins or other pollutants.

Several brown and multicolored adult and young hogs sniff the ground inside and outside a round wire pen with a wooden door suspended over the opening.
January 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wild hogs are a tremendous problem for farmers and landowners throughout the state of Mississippi.

Two sturdy wire gates are raised in the large round corral trap. An automatic feeder on a tall tripod is inside the pen.
January 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Late winter is the peak time for trapping wild hogs, and the door or gate is a vitally important component in the construction of any enclosure.

A partially filled pond with minimal plant life visible around the banks.
February 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Terms like climate change or global warming may elicit different responses depending on your political viewpoints, but one thing is certain: Our weather is changing.

Several ripe persimmons hang from tree branches surrounded by green leaves.
February 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Trees, White-Tailed Deer

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Deer season is over, and prescribed fire, timber management, planting food plots and other habitat improvements come later in the year, but one activity that's perfect for February and early March is planting trees.

A thin, eight-point buck stands beside a wall with drool coming from his mouth.
February 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Shock. Disbelief. Denial. Anger. Acceptance. Get busy. This pretty much sums up my range of emotions after the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks released a statement that a 4-year-old buck tested positive for chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in Issaquena County last week.

Several dead catfish and other fish species float clustered along  the edge of a pond.
February 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From February through April, calls begin coming in about sick and dying fish in backyard ponds.

A mother duck floats with her four babies on a pond.
March 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Valentine's Day may be over but not the romance. Spring is just around the corner, and that means the start of the breeding season for wildlife. The chirps and trills of spring peepers and chorus frogs now rise into the night. Bird song greets the morning. A new season of growth and life has begun.

Man waters garden flowers from a water hose.
March 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- How much water do we use each day? This may sound like a simple question until we consider the direct and indirect ways we use water.

Direct water use includes the indoor and outdoor water that we physically use when we turn on a faucet in our bathrooms, kitchens or gardens. It is what most of us think of when we are asked how much water we use, but the truth is that we consume a lot of water indirectly too.

A pile of large gray rocks stretches across a ditch in a country setting.
March 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Water Quality

This time of year seems to be a never-ending battle with Mother Nature. As the rain pours down, water levels in ditches, creeks, rivers and storm drains rise rapidly, increasing flood risk in urban and rural areas.

Only the eyes of a turkey hunter wearing full camouflage is visible. He is holding a wooden turkey caller.
March 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flowers are blooming, hardwood trees are budding and flowering, songbirds are singing, and wild turkeys are mating. Mississippi has to be the prettiest place on Earth, especially in the springtime, making it my favorite time of year.

Mississippi’s wild turkeys are majestic game birds that have always been important to people in the South. The earliest North Americans probably used the turkey as food. Since that time, the turkey has held an important niche in our economy and in the environment.

deer with velvet antlers chewing leaf
March 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Researchers at the Mississippi State University Deer Lab have one simple answer to almost every question land managers ask: Nutrition. 

How do you improve the health of a deer herd? How do you attract more deer? How do you grow bigger bucks or larger racks? Improve nutrition, and most everything else will take care of itself.

red-winged blackbird on a wire
April 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

In today's technology-rich culture, we have come to expect instant communication with others, even if they are across the globe from us. But what if there were no texts, emails, blogs or instant messages? What if there were no words? How would humans communicate?

Young boy in blue shirt holding large fish.
April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fishing is fun, it can make lasting memories, and passing the sport to friends and family is rewarding in many tangible and intangible ways.

There really is no better way to bond as a family than to go fishing together. Watching children land their first fish is a deeply personal experience. Perhaps most importantly, teaching others to fish is important for the future of fish conservation.

Extension Outdoors Archive