The Cameron Hunting and Fishing Club

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Published on: Jul. 2, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 15, 2010

then informed northwest Missourians about the proposed amendment through advertising, literature distribution and town hall meetings. Conservation ideas were not popular at the time, and club members worried about their safety. Shortly before his death, long-time club member Bill Free said, "We watched each others' backs, and had well planned escape routes from the meetings."

Voters approved Proposition 4, which became an important milestone for sportsman's clubs and the Restoration and Conservation Federation, and for the state of Missouri. It gave the new bi-partisan Conservation Commission the authority to accomplish goals and objectives with a common conservation vision and mission.

In support of the new Commission, the Cameron Hunting and Fishing Club focused on educating and motivating the public about wildlife conservation and sound wildlife management through educational and competitive events, such as trap shoots and fishing derbies.

The club signed a lease in 1938 with the City of Cameron for the recently completed #2 Cameron City Reservoir, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project that increased waters they managed for fishing to nearly 100 acres.

When Japan's Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the lease was temporarily canceled at the recommendation of the state defense council as " . . . a precautionary measure against possible subversive activities. . . ."

The Cameron Hunting and Fishing Club negotiated with the city to reopen the reservoirs to Cameron citizens and club members under strict guidelines. The club hired a caretaker and coordinated a registration system that required anglers to purchase an annual permit for 25 cents. Anglers had to sign in and out at the caretaker's residence daily, making it possible to keep track of who entered and left the premises. In 1943, the caretaker distributed 165 annual permits at the reservoirs.

Also in 1941, Dr. Templeman, president of the Cameron Hunting and Fishing Club, and Gene Hills, president of the Clinton County Chapter of the Conservation Federation and Cameron Hunting and Fishing Club member, organized the first Northwest Missouri Wildlife Conference. On April 17, 1941, more than 200 people, representing 17 counties, crowded into Goodrich Hall in Cameron for this conference. Keynote speakers for the event were Conservation Commissioner E. Sydney Stephens and the first Director of the new Conservation Commission, I. T. Bode. The lead sentence in the Cameron Sun weekly paper's article about the conference read: "Pronouncing it a success in every way; State Conservation officials lauded

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