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Extension Outdoors

A deer with antlers standing in the snow.
November 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Trees, Christmas Trees

“Where are all the bucks?”

Several years ago, Larry Castle, formerly of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), and Steve Demarais of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab got together to discuss what could be done to address deer hunter questions and concerns regarding where bucks were going during hunting season. For years, Larry and his team at MDWFP would get questions from hunters who were frustrated with not seeing the deer they think they should be seeing. 

A bird eats seed from a feeder.
October 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When all things “pumpkin spice” start filling up your social media feed, you know it’s time to start winter preparations for backyard wildlife.

Many people feel invigorated to get outside and do yard work in the first cool days of October.  To help you channel this energy, here are some easy tips on how to provide needed habitat for our critter friends while still tidying up the yard.

Person in straw hat tying up white trash bags.
September 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Community, Environment

In an effort to expand Mississippi Coastal Cleanup activities inland, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program recently awarded the Mississippi State University Extension Service a grant to start a Mississippi Inland Cleanup Program. This effort will complement and build upon many of the initiatives throughout the state to reduce litter issues.

Common nighthawk resting on cross post
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

As we ease into summer, if you listen closely during dusk and early nighttime hours, you may hear the distinctive sounds of goatsuckers.

Yes, you read that correctly: goatsuckers. Despite the unusual name, these are not fictional creatures.

A pond with green film at the top.
May 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Healthy Water Practices, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics

In the age of COVID-19, we do not need more to worry about. However, the summer of 2019 proved that even recreating in your local pond, stream or beach comes at some risk.

We saw a nationwide outbreak of rare, yet severe, maladies that originated from the water. These problems usually start in the hottest part of summer.

Two men in a boat pose with a large fish in their laps.
March 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management

BILOXI, Miss.-- At Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center, we recently aged one of the largest tripletail fish ever caught.

A gray shark with a white undercarriage and face sits atop a board on a boat.
February 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Fisheries

As some of the top predators in the ocean, sharks fill vital roles by regulating food web dynamics and maintaining balance in their ecosystems.

A red fox with a white neck.
January 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife

Encounters with wildlife are becoming more common in towns and neighborhoods.

Habitat loss to fragmentation, urbanization, and expanding agricultural production means urban and suburban areas will increasingly become options for wildlife searching for homes. Song birds, snakes, lizards, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, deer and even bears are not uncommon visitors to urban and suburban backyards.

A silver fish is released into green water.
December 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Fisheries

When most people think about tarpon, they probably picture a giant, shimmering, 6-foot fish leaping up towards the sky from the crystal-clear waters of southern Florida. What many people don’t know is that tarpon are also found just off our beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Although tarpon are not considered table fare in the United States, they are prized by recreational anglers because of their large size and acrobatic behavior. Tarpon generally swim in schools and make long coastal migrations from the southern Gulf of Mexico to the north in the late spring before migrating back south in the fall.

Two English Pointer hunting dogs tracking a scent in a forest.
November 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, enjoying nature and other outdoor activities put dollars in Mississippi’s coffers. In fact, wildlife-related recreation generates economic impact of about $2.9 million per year in the state.  

A man wearing hunting gear displays a deer he harvested with a bow and arrow.
October 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease

For many of you, chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is old hat and you’re tired of hearing about it. I understand.

A red shrimp boat with similar boats behind and beside it.
September 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries, Marine Resources, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

LAPLACE, La. -- Heavy rainfall and snowmelt from the Midwest in 2019 led to three major firsts in the Bonnet Carré Spillway’s history, resulting in a massive influx of fresh water that caused adverse effects on marine life and seafood industries across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A private property sign is nailed to a tree with vegetation in the background.
August 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

As fall and cooler weather are right around the corner, one of the most frequent questions I get from landowners related to protection of their property is, “Can I shoot a trespasser?”

A man in the center of the photo is shown from the back wearing a bucket hat and black wind suit picking up trash in tall grass along a beach. Another person with a gray jacket and red backpack is in front of him with a trash bag, while another person in a black jacket with the hood up takes pictures. A blue sky and ocean water are in the background.
July 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment, Marine Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Coastal Cleanup Program hosted its third annual Star-Spangled Cleanup event following Fourth of July activities, where over 100 volunteers participated in picking up trash from local beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A green mass of hardwood trees rise up from floodwaters beside a long, raised levee.
June 28, 2019 - Filed Under: Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The stage for 2019 floods was set by heavy snowfall in the upper Midwest, followed by excessive rainfall patterns in the Plains, Midwest and South, resulting in significant flooding all along the Mississippi River.

The spring and early summer of 2019 has been among the wettest on record for many states located along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

A raccoon with gray fur roaming in the woods.
June 21, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

The story goes something like this: In his excitement to kill the rattlesnake that was making its escape across the road, the man used the only thing he had available -- his thermos bottle. The next scene in this drama has the man in the hospital receiving antivenom to treat a snake bite.

Medium-sized trees grow in straight rows as the sun highlights the green treetops and ground covering.
June 14, 2019 - Filed Under: Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Although sweetgum is not considered a highly desirable species today, it was once a very favored species. Old-growth sweetgum produces heartwood with a much-appreciated reddish color (also known as red gum), and it is even more desirable if the wood is figured.

Side view of a fish with a needle device pointed between scales in the lower midsection. “Fish Venting Tool” is printed on the handle of the needle.
June 7, 2019 - Filed Under: Fisheries

Catch and release angling can be an effective conservation tool but only when it’s done correctly.

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