Is the sign reading "Private Land" that's on the artwork on the cover of your December issue available for purchase? It would help in our efforts to preserve wildlife on our land.
Mr. & Mrs Rudy Nadler, St. Louis
Editor's note: The sign is available to people who take part in the Landowners Assisting Wildlife Survival program. In the program, landowners and the Conservation Department cooperate on a land management plan. For more information about the LAWS program, call your nearest regional office. The phone numbers are listed in the box on page 3.
I read your canning instructions in the Reflections section of the January issue, and I wanted to caution people to take extra care during home canning. Improperly processed home-canned foods are one of the leading causes of food-borne illness, including deadly botulism. It is very important that home canners carefully follow only safe, tested recipes, such as those from the USDA.
The recipe you printed for canning venison corresponds to current USDA recommendations for anyone canning at altitudes under 1,000 feet and using a weighted-gauge canner. At altitudes above 1,000 feet, the correct pressure with a weighted-gauge canner is 15 pounds. If canning with a dial gauge canner, the correct pressure is 11 pounds, up to 2,000 feet in altitude.
University Outreach and Extension, which has an office in most Missouri counties, has free or very low cost publications with tested instructions and recipes for home canners that correspond to USDA guidelines.
Linda S. Rellergert, nutrition specialist
Our weekly Wayne County newspaper recently gave the total deer kill in Wayne County for 2000 as 1,634. The same paper had a small column of historical news from 75 years ago. On November 26, 1925, the paper reported that the deer season would be closed for five years, until 1930. It said there were only about 140 deer left in all of Missouri. What a contrast from 1925 to 2000!
Lil Becker, Williamsville
I own a concrete basement pouring business. Being a boss and a lady, I can bird-watch and work without much hassle. I got hooked on bird-watching after getting hurt one winter and being laid up. When I had nothing to do but watch TV or look outside, I discovered the amazing and beautiful sights and sounds of birds. To the end, I will be devoted to the outdoors and its wonders.
Onie Parrott, Warrensburg
My grandson and I split some persimmon seeds. We weren't sure what they meant until we read your article on persimmon seeds. Thanks for clearing up that matter.
Charles Hamilton, Brunswick
Will you please post the exact date the 2000 migratory bird cards expire. Some say Feb. 28; some say they're valid till the end of the current "conservation order." Please post an official response on the waterfowl page.
Tim Bashore, Eldon
Editor's note: The 2000 Migratory Bird Hunting Permit is good through June 30, 2001. The 2001 Migratory Bird Hunting Permit will be available July 1, 2001, and is good through June 30, 2002. Future migratory bird hunting permits will be valid from July 1 through the end of the following June. It's understandable that this transition year may cause some confusion. We regret any inconvenience, and we'll work to make the correct information widely available.
Thank you for your years of educational material. I have read the Conservationist since I was old enough to read. It is partially because of your magazine that I am a biologist today.
Jennifer Picker, Cape Girardeau
Thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation for the wonderful magazine and the great website. Especially nice are the archives of the magazine online. There is a lot of work going into both the conservation of our resources here in Missouri and the publishing of both the magazine and the web page.
Harold McGee, Kirbyville
I'm so glad my dad turned me on to your magazine many, many years ago. My Kansas co-workers seem to be a little envious when I bring in issues to share with them. I'm blessed to live in a state with such a great conservation program.
Nels T. Crawford, Grandview
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: Won't the new White River Border Lakes permit create problems for anglers because of the different regulations between Missouri and Arkansas?
A: The only thing that has changed is the cost of fishing. Anglers have always been obliged to know and abide by each state's regulations. Now Missouri and Arkansas anglers may fish White River Border Lakes using their resident permit and the new $10 permit. Of course, both Arkansas and Missouri non-resident permits also will continue to be valid in each state's waters.
Arkansas and Missouri fishing regulations are similar; however, there are some differences. On Table Rock Lake, for example, anglers cannot legally possess a 12-inch spotted bass (legal in Arkansas) on Missouri waters. Anglers should learn the regulations for both states. One fisherman I talked to said he would have no problems because he intended to follow the most conservative regulation, regardless of where he fished. That may be a good tactic.
For details on fishing regulations in Missouri and Arkansas see each state's Web site: www.mdc.mo.gov and www.agfc.state.ar.us. Regulation summaries also should be available from permit vendors and agency offices. For links to other state and federal agency web sites go to "Government Agencies" at www.mdc.mo.gov/links.
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. 3848 or e-mail him at Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov.
Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Bryan Hendricks
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