"Got Chiggers? It Figures!" was fantastic. Although I've been exposed to the outdoors my whole life and have hosted these little critters, I learned a lot about them that I did not know before, especially the "children" being the biting culprits. Thanks for the info. Also, our family remedy for easing the itching is dabbing on a little Absorbine Junior.
Kathy Rohlfing, Barnhart
I laughed and learned a lot as I read your chigger article. When I was a teenager, I drove my mother and aunt to a church camp in the hills near Branson. As we were walking to the mess tent, an elderly lady in pop-bottle glasses pulled a small child off the ground saying, "Get up! I see a chigger on you!"
We laughed, and my aunt said, "Either I need glasses like those or else we need to pray for that liar!" I almost fell on the ground myself.
Margaret M. Ross, Springfield
I had the pleasure of seeing "Otter Chaos," mentioned in your April issue. I also had the pleasure of going to school with Glenn Chambers back in the early 1950s. Glenn always had a determined interest in wildlife and nature, becoming an accomplished taxidermist before graduating from Lee's Summit High School in 1954.
Glenn proves that we should take the dreams of our youth seriously. With work and determination, their dreams can be made true.
Burl Yarber, Kansas City
Thank you for the mention of Davisdale Conservation Area in your April issue. I regularly hike, fish, photograph and pick up litter in this area. It is truly a beautiful land. I have accepted the challenge of finding all the ponds in this area. I have yet to find any Indian mounds, though.
Michael Tripp, Stream Team #1102
What a super article on smallmouth bass fishing in your May issue. Your coverage was so complete that one had to wonder if you swam under a log and interviewed a smallmouth bass to write the article!
Glad you showed the various lures that catch these amazing fighters. I have caught many smallmouth on crawdad crankbaits, but also on yellow (artificial) grasshoppers, as well.
My women friends and I love to fish the Big Piney River at Licking. Besides fishing, we enjoy the wildlife. There are beavers swimming by, turtles sunning themselves on logs and herons swooping down on the water, and we even saw a mink eating a crawdad.
Connie Leech, St. Louis
When I read the first line, "Smallmouth bass give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning," I thought my husband, Dan, had written the article, instead of Stephen L. McCombs. Then when I read "...5:45 a.m. in the morning is a great time to be standing ankle deep in your favorite smallmouth stream," I couldn't believe it. Dan has said that to me a thousand times. I suppose all avid fishermen think alike.
Christine Henigman, St. Charles
The cover photo of your May issue is perfect for any frame. Thank Jim Rathert for getting up early or staying up late to capture such breathtaking pictures. Your hard work has paid off with beautiful photography.
John & Judy Alcorn, Arnold
Great waterfall picture on front of the May Conservationist, but where is Coward's Hollow Natural Area?
Rex Myers, Overland Park, Kan.
Editor's note: The waterfall is in Coward's Hollow Natural Area, a 56-acre portion of the Mark Twain National Forest southwest of Van Buren. Access is by Forest Service roads 3142 and 4875. For further information and a brochure about the site write District Ranger, Doniphan/Eleven Point Ranger District, 1104 Walnut, Doniphan, MO 63935, or call (573) 996-2153. Photographer Jim Rathert cautions that the waterfall is best viewed within a day or two of a heavy rain.
I enjoyed your June article, "Birding by Canoe." For the record, however, the warbler pictured on page 16 is not a yellow-throated warbler.
David A. Easterla, Maryville
Editor's note: You are almost certainly correct. We believe the bird is a prairie warbler. The photo was taken in August. Birders find it difficult to distinguish warblers in their relatively drab, fall color phase. The fact that birds sing less after the spring breeding season adds to the complexity.
Your article on plant poaching was generally on the mark, but the digging of medicinal roots is a very important source of income for many Missourians.
For those of us who never dig on public lands and only dig on private lands with permission, who practice proper stewardship of the resources by never overdigging and by replanting, cultivation is the death knell for our livelihood.
I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry is ecstatic about cultivation, since it is probably cheaper for them than paying a fair price to wildcrafters for roots and herbs.
Bob & Karen Fischer, Marquand
My grandmother from rural east Texas told me on more than one occasion that they used to refer to armadillos as Hoover hogs because of the hard times the Depression put on folks.
Ron Hairston, via Internet
Gus Hurt caught this two-mouthed channel catfish on a limb line while fishing in the St. Francis River several years ago. He was so taken with the mouthy fish that he moved it to his farm pond near Arcadia. Now when he wants to see "Charlie" the two-mouthed fish, he just throws some fish food in the water and watches his pet channel cat gobble it up on the double. Both mouths work, although the lower one doesn't have the customary whisker-like barbels.
The letters printed here reflect readers' opinions about the Conservationist and its contents. Space limitations prevent us from printing all letters, but we welcome signed comments from our readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.
Q: Do I need to have a small game hunting permit in addition to my deer or turkey tag?
A: If the only species being hunted is deer, the only permit required is the deer permit. A turkey permit is all that is required if you're only hunting turkey. Hunters not age exempt (15 or younger or a Missouri resident 65 or older) who will hunt wildlife other than deer or turkey during those hunting seasons will need the appropriate permit(s).
Other (special methods) regulations apply during deer and turkey seasons, so be sure to pick up a 2000 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Information pamphlet wherever permits are sold or at Conservation Department offices. This information is also available on the web at http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/hunt/deer/index.shtml.
For more information on permits (cost, privileges, exemptions, etc.) please see the Hunting & Trapping Regulations Summary, also available from vendors and Conservation Department offices, or Chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri which can also be found on the web at http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/regs/index.html.
Ombudsman Ken Drenon will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Conservation Department programs. Write him at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 751-4115, ext. 848 or e-mail him at Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov.
Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer