From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
December 2015 Issue

Letters

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

Bowhunting

I really enjoyed the article The Evolution of a Bowhunter [October]. I started bowhunting at the age of 20 and I am still at it at 69. I never hunted for a specific buck. I have always enjoyed the close encounters no matter the size of the buck. I have taken several nice bucks over the years, and I have taken a lot of smaller ones, and I still remember every one of them. Persistence is the key to being a good bowhunter.

O.L. Chastain, Fairfax

A Fish Tale

I am a mom of two boys, and have raised them hunting and fishing like my dad raised me. We love the outdoors. My youngest, Clay, just turned 12, and he has had a love for fishing all of his life. He recently caught an 8 lb., 6 oz. largemouth bass, but this is not just another big fish tale. Clay has shared his love of fishing with my 24-year-old niece, his cousin, who suffers from depression and anxiety. When Clay talked her into going fishing, she fell in love with it, expressing how much it relieved her anxiety. Now the two fish about five days a week. On the day Clay caught his big fish, his cousin caught one first, and though we didn’t get an accurate weight on it, the fish looked to be about the same size. I think this is a wonderful story of how conservation has changed the life of my niece and how it could change the lives of others as well.

Christy Coffman, via email

Bats

Thank you for publishing The Fight Against White-Nose Syndrome [October]. It is truly a well-written, informative, and interesting article.

Cecily Westermann, St. Louis

Permit Purchases

Is it true that starting in March 2016 I won’t be able to go into a sporting goods store to buy my fishing/hunting licenses, and that they will only be able to be purchased online, meaning I’ll have to print my license out or use the new MO Hunting app?

Jim Horrom, Kirkwood

Editors’ Note: No, that is not true. You will have the option to purchase permits at participating locations like you have always done, but you also will have the option to purchase online or through the MO Hunting app. See Bringing Technology and Nature Together.

Mind the Tracks

With hunting season upon us, I would like to bring up some railroad safety tips. While traversing the remote areas to your hunting locations, remember that trespassing on the railroad tracks and right of way is not only illegal, it is extremely dangerous. Here are a few tips: If you must cross railroad tracks, do so only at approved public crossings. If you’re near a railroad track, the only safe thing to expect is that a train is headed your way. Locomotives and rail cars overhang the tracks by at least 3 feet on either side of the rail and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. Railroad trestles and bridges are only for trains. Do not navigate to a fishing hole or hunting spot if you must trespass on a railroad trestle. Find an alternate and safe access point. For more information, visit oli.org.

John Plebanak, via email

Thank You

I have received this great magazine for many years. I grew up on a farm in my early years; therefore, I enjoy this type of magazine. This has been good information for our family and grandchildren. I worked many years in St. Louis at MDC/Boeing, and I still have the old farm, which is third generation. I want to thank all the people that put this great magazine together. I am retired and have returned to my roots in the country.

Conard G. Cooper, Owensville

Reader Photo

The Turkey, Raccoon Trot

Marc Gottfried of Defiance captured this image of turkey and raccoon prints in the Charrette Creek bed at Frank, Emma Elizabeth, and Edna Reifsnider State Forest. Gottfried took the photo while on a visit to the area with his girlfriend, Laura Montgomery. “We were hiking the river bed after a leisurely picnic on a large flat rock in the dry basin,” said Gottfried. “We were looking for fossils when Laura spotted these extremely well-defined prints in the wet sand.” Montgomery added, “You can almost picture the raccoon stopping to smell the scent of the turkey. We didn’t get to see the animals in the fur or feathers, but it’s always fun to see their tracks.”

Also in this issue

German Shorthair and an English Pointer

Sporting-Dog Rescue

“Second-chance” bird dogs can enrich your life in the field and at home.

Flooded Timber at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Wondrous Wetlands

The Department is planning for the future so the wonder continues for generations to come.

Stars over Castor River Shut-ins

Discovering Nature at Night

Discovering nature doesn’t end when the sun sets. All you need is a clear night and an open sky.

And More...

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This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler