Your story, "Moving Day," provided the fourth- and fifth-grade children in my writing class with a fine challenge. We thought you might be interested to know how we used your story.
We first analyzed the characters, story line and moral of the story then, through fill-in-the-blank exercises, we tested how carefully we were reading.
Finally, we discussed the ending. We liked it but wished you had also told us how Young Deer felt about being back in his own village after making the trek to the prairie, so we wrote our own endings. Some students had Young Deer glad to be home, while others had him fondly remembering the rigors and delights of his trek.
Anita Malinckrodt, Augusta
I was disturbed to read in Joel Vance's "Antlers of a Dilemma" about an undercover agent who encountered a poacher who shot three bucks and left them lying because they weren't big enough.
One thing comes to mind - a tall tree and short piece of rope!
I've hunted in both Missouri and Colorado, and Missouri hunting is far better. So are the residents of Missouri. Let's work together and turn poachers in. After all, they are stealing from all of us.
Phil DeGrazia, Aspen, Colo.
On the strength of your scientific treatise in "The Outdoor Tattler," regarding desperate fishermen, I have converted the rear section of Clock Bait Shop to a rest room - complete with TV - for the mentally depressed, obsessed and fixated anglers who cannot find therapy for their irregularities.
Also, we thought our old fishing boat had been stolen, now we know it probably helped start a dam!
Thora Habelitz, Kansas City
I suggest that you include the State of Missouri's conservation on-line address within your masthead on page 3. Also please insert the e-mail address of the Conservationist staff.
Dane Brockmiller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe you could add a mail link to the subscription page to eliminate the paper, the stamp and a lot of processing time.
Editor's note: Starting in May, our masthead listed our e-mail address. A mail link was added in the same month to allow people to subscribe on line.
Some friends from Tipton arranged a subscription to your magazine, and we are somewhat overwhelmed by the vastness of your habitat and the variety of species.
Our patch on this overcrowded island is small, but by a careful selection of plants and a small pool we have encouraged a range of birds to visit us. Thrushes, blackbirds, tits, finches and robins regularly build in our garden and give us great pleasure. Our biggest predators are the domestic cat and magpies. We pass on your excellent magazine to the Essex Wildlife Trust, which does a terrific job preserving wildlife habitat in the county.
Stephen and Cynthia Williams, Essex, England
Could you tell me what the white and purplish-blue flowers are in the picture on page 32 of the May issue? We have them blooming on a small acreage in Lincoln County, but I am unable to identify them in any wildflower book.
Helen Tochtrop, Warrenton
Editor's note: The flowers are blue-eyed Marys (Collinsia verna). Although they appear large in the picture, they usually are only 6 to 15 inches in height. Because they grow densely over a large area, usually in moist wooded areas, they present a fetching woodland sight. According to Missouri Wildflowers, by Edgar Denison, these plants, which bloom from April through June, grow well in a garden and readily self-seed.
The Conservationist is the only magazine I read nowadays. It's great for old and young, hunters and nonhunters and anyone who likes anything Mother Nature has given. I have fished and hunted all over the U.S. and believe we have the best Conservation Department.
Bob Thias, St. Louis
You have two of the most talented photographers I have ever seen. The May issue was more than I can stand, with Jim Rathert's duck on page 10 and tree roots in a stream on page 8 and Paul Childress's picture of Stegall Mountain on 17-18. As an amateur photographer, I would be pleased if my pictures were just a fraction as good.
Earl C. Nicholson, Sr., Springfield
Fishing for catfish with setlines, such as trotlines, juglines and polelines, is becoming increasingly popular in Missouri. When using setlines on public waters, however, anglers must keep in mind several regulations.
Two setline regulations in particular seem to get anglers into the most trouble. These are failing to plainly label on durable material each setline with the full name and address of the person using the equipment and failing to attend setlines at least every 24 hours.
Anglers also need to remember that the total number of hooks on all setlines and fishing poles being used should not exceed 33 per person.
Juglines seem to create special problems. Waves, wind or fish can move juglines out of the set area. When the jugs are lost, they become litter, as well as a wasteful fish trap.
Anglers are responsible for keeping track of their juglines and for removing them from the water when the fishing is done.
To keep from losing juglines, use highly visible floats, instead of quart size oil containers or 2-liter plastic soda bottles. These containers are hard to see and can easily be lost, especially when they drift or are pulled out of the fishing area.
If setlines or juglines are lost, anglers should make every effort to find them. If they cannot be found, notify the local conservation agent about the missing equipment.
We first spotted this albino deer last November just before deer season, and we were delighted when it reappeared after the close of the season. We see it regularly, at least every couple of days. It normally is with a group of 5-6 other deer.
I never could get a good picture of her, but in February, we were walking in the woods and I spotted her lying down. I ran back for my camera and was ecstatic to find she did not move. I took pictures until I was about 30 feet away. She finally stood up and watched me while I finished my roll of film. What made her cooperate with me I will never know. Maybe she thought she was hidden in the brush and was not aware of how visible she was.
Dedra Jones, Springfield
Editor - Kathy Love
Assistant Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Director - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Composition - Kevin Binkley
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Paul Childress
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Staff Writer - Charlotte Overby
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer