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Extension Outdoors

Two hunters in Claiborne County take aim at incoming crows. Much like duck hunting, participants wait in blinds overlooking decoys. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Cliff Covington)
November 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss.--Farmers and other birds hate them, but hunters love crows for the productive, fast-paced hunts they can provide.

The black clouds of birds can do a number on a pecan orchard in a short amount of time. Similarly, they are known to dig up seeds in corn, peanut and other row crop fields. That is why farmers hate them.

November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.

Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.

Wearing a life jacket is the single most effective precaution a hunter can take to save his life while on the water. (Photo by MSU Extension Service, File)
November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Health, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As the days turn colder, many people can't wait to spend time on the water, and safety should be a top priority.

Hammocks offer great resting spots whether the excursion is a day trip or an overnighter. (Photo by MSU Extension Service)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler weather brings a great time to get outside, set up a hammock and "just hang" between two trees.

When I am outdoors, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the wildlife and wild places in our state -- other than when I am hunting or fishing -- is to spend time in my hammock. Whether I relax in it while hiking or sleep in it while backpacking, lying in a hammock allows me to be comfortable while enjoying in the great outdoors.

The piercing stare of the Barred Owl can catch a hunter’s attention.  (Photo by Bill Stripling)
October 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Deer season has arrived, drawing thousands of Mississippians into the woods in anticipation of creating more great hunting memories as in seasons past.

Mental images of the big one walking broadside at 30 yards with the wind in your favor keeps many hunters up at night. For some, especially older hunters, the season is about taking the next generation out to experience this unique tradition.

A successful fisherman knows that a productive and healthy lake is important to produce large fish. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Wes Neal)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Contrary to popular belief, fish don't like "clean" water.

If you have ever accidentally placed your pet fish in a bowl of pure, distilled water, you know what I mean. Fish have salts and other compounds in their blood. If their external environment is too different from their internal environment, fish have to fight continuously to keep the salts in and the water out.

Mississippi foliage is just beginning to change to fall colors in Oktibbeha County on Oct. 12, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
October 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Trees, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It appears the fickle Mississippi weather has finally caught up with the calendar.

As of the Autumnal Equinox on Sept. 22, we entered autumn or fall, a glorious transitional season between the sweltering heat and humidity of summer and the cold, damp days of winter. Recent cooler days and crisp nights attest to the change.

Signs posted on property help make everyone aware of property boundaries and often prevent trespass problems. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Daryl Jones)
October 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners often worry about trespassers entering their land, whether intentionally or by mistake, during hunting season.

Aside from not willfully or wantonly causing injury to trespassers, landowners have no other responsibility to these interlopers.

September 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Deer hunters should not take safety for granted while enjoying the benefits of using tree stands.

September 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Whether you want to provide additional nutrition during stressful times for wildlife or to increase hunting success, food plots are valuable tools.

Food plots can provide wildlife with quality forage throughout most of the year and help landowners reach management goals. Producing successful food plots is not difficult but is often complicated by failure to pay attention to small details.

Male and female northern cardinals and a mourning dove search for food in a brush pile. (Photo by Chris Taylor,
September 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Wildlife enthusiasts often ask how to attract more animals to their property, and the answer is more complicated than most people realize.

Wildlife have four basic needs: food, water, cover and space. Typically, most folks have plenty of food and water available for wildlife through natural sources and supplemental sources like bird feeders and baths.

Use off-road vehicles on designated trails, such as this one at the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex in West Point, Mississippi, to reduce negative impacts on the environment. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Leslie Burger)
September 9, 2016 - Filed Under: ATV Safety, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Speeding along a wooded trail on a bright, chilly morning can bring a lot of enjoyment and excitement. And it sure is a lot easier getting to that back-country deer blind or dove field if you can load up all the gear and head off on wheels.

But the off-road vehicle you may be riding -- whether a 4x4 all-terrain vehicle, side-by-side utility vehicle or dirt bike -- has some downsides. While undeniably fun and useful in transportation, an off-road vehicle can also be an environmental hazard and personal nuisance when used incorrectly.  

Landowners should consider several factors when preparing hunting leases for their land, including what wildlife species individuals may hunt on the land -- from bobwhite quail to white-tailed deer. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Daryl Jones)
September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There are several things landowners should consider before allowing people to use or rent their land for recreation, such as hunting and fishing.

Important considerations include drafting a legal lease, addressing accident liability concerns and figuring out what to charge. With a recreational or hunting lease, the landowner grants access to his or her land for recreational purposes for a certain period of time in exchange for fees or services.

Game cameras can capture images of some of the most elusive wildlife and their babies. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jacob Dykes)
August 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunters love new gadgets that are supposed to help them find and harvest more game, but most of this gear falls short of delivering on its promise.

Game cameras, also known as trail cameras, are among the advancements in technology that can improve hunting and management. The game camera is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for important management tasks like surveying deer population characteristics or just helping around the house by keeping an eye on your garden.

Great days on the lake like this one do not just happen. Fish management plays a significant role in meeting the pond owner’s desire for growing trophy bass. (Submitted photo)
August 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. – There is no easy answer to the debate for the best type of bass to stock in a Mississippi pond.

The genetic differences between Florida bass, northern bass and hybrid bass are often relatively subtle. Fish management plays a greater role in meeting the pond owner’s desire for growing trophy bass, but the decision is still an important one.

Before European settlement, mountain lions were part of the native Mississippi landscape, but changes in their habitat and overharvest by humans have resulted in no remaining wild populations of these big cats in the state. (Submitted photo)
August 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Most Americans over the age of 30 will recognize this line from the “Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy and her friends were traveling the Yellow Brick Road through the dark and wild forest, worried they might encounter these fearsome creatures.

Wood storks stand out in the sky with their long wingspans, black-and-white color patterns and slow wing beats. (Photo by Bill Stripling).
August 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The hottest days of the summer may drive many people indoors to the air conditioning, but bird-watchers know it is a great time to go outside to see some of Mississippi’s most colorful visitors.

Imitating bats that like to hang upside down is a fun activity for children as they explore a nature trail at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Natchez, Mississippi, on July 7, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
July 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Outdoor recreation is an economic giant that receives far less attention than most of the other industries in our country.

We usually think of the pharmaceutical, insurance, energy, automotive and health care industries as drivers of a strong economy. We rarely discuss with our friends and relatives the industry of outdoor recreation or its potential to create jobs. Yet, outdoor recreation has changed in the modern world, and it’s time to change the way we view this expanding market.

Using reusable products and eating unprocessed foods are good for the environment and simple steps along the path in the “going green” journey. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Beth Baker)
July 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The “going green” movement is evidence that people and businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment.

The development of products that are energy efficient and eco-friendly also shows that people want to protect the earth and its precious resources.

Perennials, such as ladino white clover, are available to wildlife forage all year long with its peak production time from mid-spring through early summer. In addition to finding the right soil and applying the recommended amounts of lime and fertilizer each year, managers will also have to battle both cool- and warm-season weeds. (Submitted photos)
July 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When planting wildlife food plots, which is better: annuals or perennials? Ideally, you should have different plots designated for both cool- and warm-season annuals, as well as perennials.


Extension Outdoors Archive