Hazel Creek Lake, where you reported that a potential state record crappie lives, is a great lake. My friend and I have fished here for many years, and as I told my wife of 30 years, "if Hazel Creek were a woman I'd run away with her."
Jim Fox, Chillicothe
Room for Rivers
Thank you for the excellent article, "Elbow Room for Missouri's Great Rivers." For many years I have watched with dismay and disgust as more and more acres of farmland and wildlife habitat in river floodplains are covered with buildings and concrete.
In my limited way, I tried to stop construction of the Riverside Quindaro Bend levee project, but the private developers won out.
It's encouraging to read that this situation is being addressed by you and citizen action groups.
Dorothy Days, Parkville
After reading "Pets on the Prowl," I'd like to share my recent experience when my pet went on the prowl.
In our small city park, Pepper, my 1-year-old Australian Shepherd, and I (86 years-old) go for a mile hike each day. The park joins Deer Run Park and occasionally Peppers strays from our trail.
This day, I heard two sharp barks from a wooded area. The next sound was Pepper crashing through the brush, ears slung back and panting. A doe, her hoofs high in the air, was in hot pursuit and chased the dog down the hard asphalt park trail.
Pepper ran for the car and sat there shaking until I opened the door. She jumped in and, although I left the door open, would not venture out while I continued my walk.
Lorene Henry Adkins, Ellington
Thank you so much for your July article on Mississippi River sturgeon. While on a fishing trip with a friend in late June, I caught two large fish that neither of us had ever seen before. Four days later I saw the exact same fish in your magazine.
Both fish were sturgeons. One measured 26 inches; the other, 42 inches. I caught them halfway between the Clarksville and Winfield lock and dams. They put up a good fight on 12-pound-test line, and both were released to fight another day.
Rob Kellstrom, St. Louis
Good Old Days
That beautiful bullfrog on the June cover brought back many pleasant memories.
From about the age of 9, I dreamed of the day when I would have my own .22 rifle. In the meantime, I improvised. I carried a tree branch, 6 feet long, an inch and a half in diameter, and straight as an arrow. I would walk slowly and quietly around the farm pond, usually at daybreak. There were no cripples and no escapees.
In later years, my favorite way of hunting frogs was in broad daylight, using a .22 rifle loaded with hand-made dum-dums. I haven't hunted frogs for 10 years, but I still remember the good old days.
Wallace E. Sehrt, Washington
In "Missouri's Colossal Catfishes" the date for the alternate method record for blue catfish is wrong. It wasn't set in 1974, it was set July 25,1964.
I remember that they got conservation agent Benny Krider out of the hospital bed, where he was recovering from a heart attack, to verify the fishes size and weight. The fish was caught by Azel Goans, with the help of his sons. It weighed 117 pounds and was 63 inches long.
The photo was taken of the fish as it hung from a big tree on the Osceola courthouse lawn.
Glen Gover, Osceola
I was very pleased to see the article, "Elbow Room for Missouri Rivers," in your June issue. I would like to point out that the fund-raising effort mentioned was actually a joint venture between Ducks Unlimited, Anheuser Busch, Inc. and the distinguished group of gentlemen listed in the story in honor of the memory of August A. Busch Jr.
Ducks Unlimited used portions of these funds to secure North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants totaling more than $3 million for wetland restoration at the August A. Busch Jr. Memorial Wetlands at Four Rivers and B.K. Leach conservation areas. Other funds from this effort were used for private lands work in the Missouri Bootheel, and other work is planned in Missouri, including a partnership with the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance.
Ducks Unlimited looks forward to being an active partner in conserving the wetlands associated with Missouri's great rivers.
Ken Babcock, Director of Operations, DU Southern Regional Office
Ask the Ombudsman
Q: I bought my daughter the Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit in March so she could turkey hunt. She is now eleven. Can she take the hunter education course and get regular permits for the deer season?
image of ombudsmanA: Yes. Here's what the Summary of Hunting and Trapping Regulations says:
Youth who purchase a Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit may surrender unused portions and purchase other firearms deer and turkey hunting permits if they meet age and hunter education requirements during the permit year... Deer and turkeys taken under the Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit must be included in the total season limits, and no refunds for unused portions will be given. To surrender unused portions of a permit take them to a Conservation Department office.
Only resident youths may participate in the two-day Youth-Only portion of the firearms deer season, but all firearms deer hunting permits are valid during that time. For details please see the 2003 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Information booklet or online.
Now is the time to be checking out hunter education courses. Instructors work hard to provide course opportunities in September, October and early November. For details, contact your nearest MDC office or go online.
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>