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Dedicated to Conservation

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Published on: Sep. 2, 1998

Last revision: Nov. 2, 2010

that there will be an annual open season." His vision came true in 1944, and look at us now!

Palmer raised other wildlife on the farm, as well. Under permit from the state, he and his family raised prairie chickens, ducks and geese, which were not sold, but allowed simply to wander off the farm.

During the early 1930s, Palmer became involved with the field trial organizations around the state and for 10 years hosted the state field trial championships. In 1936-37, the farm was the site of the national championships. His son, Charles Jr., says, "I remember every riding horse in the area being borrowed to fill the needs of the number of shooters participating in the nationals. I also remember traveling with my father to an area near West Plains to pick up quail and pheasant for the trials.

"We had a 1930 Chevrolet and would remove the back seat to have enough room to haul the birds home. We would release the birds on the farm where the trials would be, and then Dad would patrol the area, to keep the locals out until after the trials."

In late 1934, the state appointed Palmer as a special deputy commissioner of the Game and Fish Department, and he held that position through 1936. Deputy commissioner was the title of the times for game warden, and a "special" was one who was hired (for $4 a day) on an as-needed basis. During his time on the farm and his work with various wildlife organizations, his concern for the welfare of the still struggling wildlife populations grew.

Citizens of the state, disgruntled over what they viewed as failures of the Game and Fish Department, successfully voted the approval of a constitutional amendment that abolished the old agency and created the new Conservation Commission.

This is not the end of Palmer's story for, at the age of 58, he was one of only 16 former Game and Fish Department wardens hired by the new Conservation Commission. On Feb. 15, 1938, he took his place among 43 others. They became the first group of conservation agents in Missouri.

As a new agent, Palmer worked in district 15, which then consisted of Boone, Callaway, Cole and Osage counties. Not a bad place to be, except for the fact that he was the only agent in those four counties!

His duties as an agent included not only enforcing the new wildlife laws

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