Reflections

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Living on the Edge

I want to say thank you to the Conservation Department for the wonderful book on quail, "On the Edge. " It has the best information on quail that I have ever read, and it was free!

This shows why we in Missouri enjoy the best conservation in the country.

Arvil Kappelmann, Washington

Editor's note: For a free copy of "On the Edge, " write Publications, P. O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or email <publications. staff@mdc. mo. gov>.

Saved, the Meramec

I, too, am glad the Meramec Dam project was cancelled. First, because we really enjoy the upper Meramec. Second, because we were lucky enough to purchase a parcel of this land when it was auctioned off in 1987.

Missouri has several large lakes, all created by damming up beautiful, scenic rivers, creeks and streams. We lost caves, wildlife habitat, bluffs and places to seine for fish, but we gained fishing, boating, water recreation, stores, hotels and tourism on some of the most beautiful lakes I've ever been on.

I just wonder if the Meramec project had gone through, would we look back and wonder if we shouldn't have done it.

Dave Decker, St. Louis

Forest Hero

Your article about Leo Drey is wonderful. Having had the privilege of knowing Leo for many years, I believe you have captured his spirit, offered his outstanding example up to others for inspiration, and given all of us who admire him a fine memento of lasting value.

John Karel, St. Louis

Thank you for the article about Leo and Kay Drey. The forest management and conservation practices they have promoted should be a lesson for everyone. Also, their generous donations of land for public use has benefited us all.

W. Dudley McCarter, St. Louis

Bridge to the Past

"The Bridges Place" John Hoskins speaks of in his editorial is a very important part of my family's history. I am a descendant of Andrew J. Bridges via my grandmother Vesta (Bridges) Stevens.

The Bridges Place and the surrounding areas hold a lot of memories for me. Thanks to the conservation efforts of the Hoskins family, I can look forward to someday taking my grandchildren to the place where their great-great-grandmother grew up.

Darin Stevens, Doniphan

Red-Faced

My husband and I enjoy reading the Conservationist and look forward to the fabulous photos of the birds and flowers. We think you do a great job of teaching people about our state's natural resources.

However, I was surprised to see on page 7 of the November issue the redbellied woodpecker identified as a "redheaded woodpecker. "

I bet I'm not the only "birder"to notice.

Ann Read, Rolla

Editor's note: No. You are not. There were others--many others. Now we're waiting to find out how many readers will know that what we called an eastern meadowlark on page 22 of the December issue is actually a western meadowlark.

Learning a Secret

My 9-year-old son, Sam, went deer hunting for the first time this year and harvested a button buck. He couldn't have been happier if it would have been a 200-class deer, and I couldn't have been more proud.

He sat still from 6 a. m. until 5 p. m. , when he shot his deer. A couple of times during the day, I laid my head back and closed my eyes, but it wouldn't be long before I would feel a tap on my leg and hear my son say, "Dad, are you awake?"

After he shot his deer I told him how proud I was that he was able to sit so long and so quietly. He told me that after reading "The Real Secret to Deer Hunting Success" in your magazine, he believed his deer could show up at any second, minute or hour. Thank you for helping make Sam's first deer hunt so successful.

Dave Montgomery, Farmington

Birder ID

I enjoyed the article on Pete Winter, and that's a great picture of him on Page 4 of your December issue. However, the picture on Page 6 shows Pete's brother-inlaw, Bud Taylor. Bud lives on the Roaring Spring Ranch, near St. Clair, and helps Pete maintain the bluebird boxes.

Howard Sanders, Steelville

I read with interest the article on Mr. Winter and the bluebirds. Having grown up and still living in Fenton, I am quite familiar with the Winter name and park and gravel business but did not know about his interest in bluebirds.

Yesterday as I was leaving the driveway, there on my trash container, was a bluebird, the first I've seen in years. (We've lived at this location since 1964. ) My husband has seen them periodically on his walks.

Vera Mater, St. Louis

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: Is it true that the Missouri Department of Conservation is doing away with the deer season farm tag?

A: image of ombudsmanThe Conservation Department liberalized the "farm tag" landowner privilege this past season so that qualifying landowners could take either a doe or a buck (one deer total). Previously this privilege was limited to only a buck for those landowners with at least five acres but less than 75 acres. Starting in fall 2004, free landowner permits will be required for all deer (and turkey) hunting seasons. We're requiring landowners to pick up a permit and provide some basic information so we can accurately gauge hunting pressure and success. With the old system, we only had a record of the landowners who were able to "farm tag" a deer. The new system will provide valuable input from all landowner hunters.

Deer permits become available in July, which means landowners have at least four months to pick up their free permit from permit vendors. Landowners of 75 or more acres will also be able to pick up their landowner any-deer and bonus permits at vendors, or they may continue to apply to the Conservation Department. The 2004 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Information booklet, which also will be available in July, will provide more details on landowner privileges.

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) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at <Ken. drenon@mdc. mo. gov>.

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