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Extension Outdoors

Illustration shows plants growing above water’s surface with root system below.
December 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Water

Floating islands are increasingly popular as a way to provide attractive centerpieces in ponds while improving water quality.

From the shore, floating islands look like normal earthen islands covered in plants, but they are much more than that. They are hydroponic systems that, when fully colonized by growing plants, are essentially wetlands that float on the water’s surface and provide many of the same services as natural wetlands.

Dry leaves and pine straw are cleared away in a round, bare area on the ground below small pine branches.
November 30, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

Deer hunters know all too well the power of a deer’s sense of smell, or more technically speaking, its olfactory system. A change of wind direction can give deer just a whiff of human scent and send them running and send a hunter back to the truck empty handed. 

A yellow worm with small brown stripes circling its body crawls over the brown center of a flower surrounded by bright yellow petals.
November 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

As good food and hunting take center stage throughout the holidays, take a moment to give thanks for the pollinators that made much of it possible.

We acknowledge many benefactors during the holidays, but one group of little helpers in all of these traditions usually goes unnoticed. 

Several deer enter wooded cover area as four deer follow in single file across a gravel road with a corn field behind them on a foggy, early morning.
November 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

Hunters play a large role in helping to manage Mississippi’s deer population. Hunters not only help control deer numbers but also provide statewide harvest data that gives biologists insight into deer numbers, health and conditioning. 

As we enter the first deer hunting season since the confirmation of chronic wasting disease -- or CWD -- in the state, we need assistance from Mississippi deer hunters more than ever. 

Man walks beside his bird dog on point in a pasture with a hay barn in the background.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Farming, Rural Development, Wildlife, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

Mississippi is fortunate to have thousands of acres that are poetically "unpeopled and still." Those portions of our state are prime locations for people who want to escape urban stress and are willing to pay top dollar for the opportunity.

Preschool boy places a dead tree branch on a pile of limbs and leaves located beside an old, wooden privacy fence.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife
 
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Instead of contributing to landfills or creating more work for waste management employees, consider piling up fallen branches, sticks and leaves to make a backyard wildlife shelter.

As winter approaches, it is a good time to begin preparing backyards to serve as wildlife-friendly reprieves from the cold weather.

Large, reddish-brown dog wearing a shoulder harness sniffs the ground in a wooded area.
October 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Wildlife scientists are learning that, in addition to being our “best friends,” dogs also can be also be our best conservation tools.

The first photo shows ground that has been disked in the middle of dormant grasses. The second photo shows the same location with green plants growing beside grasses that are not as lush.
October 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Soils, Wildlife

Thinning timber, prescribed fire and planting wildlife food plots are the most common tools in wildlife management, but there is another, often overlooked practice: using light disking to disturb the soil.

Close up view of a small limb with two acorns and multicolored leaves in a part-sunny, part-shady location.
October 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wildlife

Fall is a great time to walk in the woods and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Leaves will soon change to their vivid fall colors, and deer, turkeys, squirrels and birds are stirring as the air gets cool and crisp.

A wooden pole with hash marks at 12, 18 and 24 inches from a round disk with alternating black and white quadrants rests on brown grass. Danger is written below the 12-inch hash, ideal is written in the middle section, and fertilize is written above the 24-inch hash.
October 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Water

If you own one of the 160,000 ponds in Mississippi, chances are you have invested tremendous amounts of cash and time in this resource. Building a pond can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and fish stocking, liming, fertilization and weed control are not cheap either.

Tall grass grows between a calm body of water and low-cut grass with a wooden pier in the background.
September 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries, Water Quality, Wildlife

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands common throughout the globe and visible just about any time you drive over a bridge along the coast.

Man standing in the woods inspects nylon straps on a tree stand he is holding on in his hands.
September 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife

Safety is a key aspect of having a successful and enjoyable hunt this season and for many more to come.

A fisherman in rubber waders stands in a small, quiet stream and casts a lure toward the viewer.
September 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Everyone wants to get more than they paid for, and no one is ever excited about paying taxes. With that in mind, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts can make a small investment with many happy returns.

Dust billows out of a trailer on a large truck driving across a small, grassy area surrounded by tall trees.
September 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

Planting food plots for deer and other wildlife is common practice in Mississippi, and for good reason: Food plots provide much-needed nutrition for deer and viewing opportunities for hunters.

The front of a kayak has two red meshed bags containing litter and a blue trash-grabbing tool with the words “Pearl Riverkeeper” printed on it. The boat is on a small river and approaching a highway bridge.
August 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Environment

Rivers have been the lifeblood of communities since ancient civilizations began. Healthy river systems are just as critical to modern communities as they were to settlers who navigated the rolling waters to explore America.

Tall, thinned pines in a wooded area with visible sky overhead. Ground plants are slowly beginning to grow.
August 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Forestry, Longleaf Pine, Wildlife

Acres of pine forests cover Mississippi and the Southeast, but good forest management is not necessarily good wildlife management.

Large water-filled ditch rests between a dirt road and a field of green corn stalks.
August 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Water, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer brings many activities: swimming in pools, recreation in Mississippi’s waterways, washing vehicles after traveling down dirt roads, and irrigating millions of acres of gardens and fields. These and many other activities rely on abundant water.

Putting a dollar value on clean water is difficult. Everyone uses it in their daily lives for drinking and domestic needs, but we also use water through the products we consume. This hidden flow of water is less obvious, so it’s often given less attention when we talk about water conservation.

Alert gray squirrel pauses on a platform with shrubbery in the background.
August 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Ever wonder what wildlife species are in your backyard during the day while you are at work or school and at night while you are sleeping? Well, now you can find out with the help of a trail camera.

A left hand holds a mostly red fish down with a right hand marking the tail’s end on a measuring tape.
August 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Marine Resources

Scientists have embarked on a colossal research project to estimate the abundance of red snapper, the most sought-after offshore fish in the U.S. controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

A buck looks back over his shoulder at another buck with larger antlers.
July 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

This fall, hunters will grab their bows, muzzleloaders and rifles to hunt North America’s most pursued big game animal -- the white-tailed deer.

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