Extension Outdoors from 2018
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.
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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wild hogs are a tremendous problem for farmers and landowners throughout the state of Mississippi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From February through April, calls begin coming in about sick and dying fish in backyard ponds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.
That's right. Several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn't just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coasts ecosystem.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a flying squirrel!
While technically unable to fly like birds and bats, the southern flying squirrel is able to glide from tree to tree using the membrane between its front and back legs to stay airborne. The adaptation of gliding for this squirrel subspecies usually keeps the animals away from predators on the ground.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Over the past 15 years, there has been a steady decline in Mississippi catfish production.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, outdoor physical exercise and other outdoor recreation mean millions of dollars for Mississippi annually.
Mississippi State University scientists recently found that wildlife-related recreation generates about $2.9 million in economic impact to the state each year. Some of the money spent on outdoor recreation goes to small, rural Mississippi communities that would not see these expenditures otherwise.