Annual fund-raising banquet at Litton center expo building Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

Fundraiser at Litton center Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

OUTDOORS with Bill Wehrle, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor

The Chillicothe Quail Forever Shortgrass chapter will host its 12th-annual banquet next Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center’s Jenkins Exhibition Center on the Livingston County Fairgrounds, northwest of Chillicothe, just off Highway 190.

QF is relatively new to this area, joining Ducks Unlimited and the Wild Turkey Federation, all of which exist to increase wildlife habitat conservation efforts through fund-raising activities.

The doors will open for the banquet event at 5 p.m. on the 22nd with the buffet dinner to be served at 7:00.

QF already has gained a well-deserved reputation as a family event, with plenty of fun activities for attending youngsters, so parents are encouraged to bring their kids for an enjoyable night out.

A social (visiting) period will precede dinner, so while the kids are playing games, adults can exchange tall tales about their recent hunting activities. The games will offer some great prizes, including several firearms.

The national Quail Forever organization is unique in allowing local chapters to retain all money raised at banquets like this one for use in their local area. When you attend this banquet, you are contributing to habitat conservation projects right here in north-central Missouri.

With bob-white quail populations declining, these projects will hopefully help “Bring Back Bob” locally. Some of these locally-funded projects have already shown positive results. What’s needed most seems to be more habitat conservation efforts.

Come to the Litton Center next Saturday and join others with similar interests in Missouri’s great outdoors and wildlife conservation. You’ll have a great time and you’ll also be helping the local QF chapter in its conservation efforts.

For tickets (better get yours soon as they’re expecting a sellout crowd), call Jenny Moss at 660-247-5769, David Figg at 660-752-6787, or any other QF committee member.

I hope to see you there.

It’s only February, but already a Missouri angler has caught a record-size fish.

Tyler Halley of Maryville was fishing with his uncle and family friends in a private pond in Nodaway County Jan. 24 when a sharp tug on his line and a dive in the icy water resulted in him landing a 1-pound, 14-ounces yellow perch (a northern species rarely found in Missouri waters). A quick trip to a Missouri Department of Conservation-certified scale verified it as a new state record, replacing a 1-pound, 11-ounces perch caught in 2009.

Instead of having the record fish mounted, Halley decided to get a wooden replica made, and kept the fish alive in an aerated cooler until it could be released in another pond. It’s possible that this fish will continue growing and possibly be caught in the future when it is big enough to be yet another state record. I bet Halley will give that “other pond” some consideration for future fishing trips.

Last year was a banner year for new Missouri fishing records, with 12 fish recorded by the MDC as new records, including two whopper brown trout – 34 pounds, 10 ounces and 40 pounds, 13 ounces, respectively, a 21-pounds, 11-ounces hybrid striper, and a behemoth black buffalo of 76 pounds.

With the first 2020 record caught already on Jan. 24, this could be another record-record year.

Maybe we ought to go fishing!

(Bill Wehrle’s outdoors sports column appears in the Constitution-Tribune each Saturday.)