Reflections

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SPECIAL ISSUE SENTIMENTS

I just finished reading the October Missouri Conservationist. What a delightful and informative overview of our state! I applaud the “All Wildlife Conservation” approach. Even when other issues have divided us, the Department of Conservation and the votes that continue to fund its work through a dedicated tax have always made me proud to be from Missouri.

Marily Braun, Fair Grove

Your magazine has always been good, but the “All Wildlife Conservation” issue has been the best ever. It gives a beautiful sweeping glimpse of our state’s ecological diversity and natural history, while providing a meaningful, balanced vision for the future conservation of these treasures.

Herb and Ruth Rice, Brunswick

I just received my October issue of the Conservationist and was shocked, it is nothing but a catalog of items to purchase from the Commission! October is the opening of the waterfowl season, archery season and fall fishing; in this issue there is not a single mention of fishing or hunting.

Bill Mundy, Platte Woods

Editor’s Note: October has traditionally been the month we’ve made our Nature Shop brochure available. It is inserted in the regular issue. The Department is no less committed to those who enjoy hunting and fishing. Those activities depend on solid habitat management. The Vantage Point piece in the front of the magazine addresses the reason for the special theme for this issue.

MYSTERY MUSSEL

In the October ‘05 issue, the “High Country” article mentions a “Neosho mucket,” but without a picture of it. I have looked in the Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife, and TWO dictionaries and cannot find the word mucket. What is it, and what does it look like?

Dave Marlow, St. Louis

Editor’s note: The Neosho mucket (Lampsilis rafinesqueana), is a mussel. The shell is oblong and dark yellow to brown, with green rays in younger specimens. They can grow over 4 inches long.

SENIORS SAVE

I am 70 years old; what do I need to be legal for fishing and hunting in Missouri?

John Guittar, via Internet

Editor’s Note: Residents age 65 or older do not require permits for fishing or small game hunting. Permits are still required for deer, wild turkey, migratory birds and, in some cases, trout. Official documentation is required and limits and methods still apply. See chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code for details and exceptions, or find it online.

HAPPY CAMPERS

I am writing in regard to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Family Outdoors Skills Camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children that took place August 13 and 14, 2005.

My deaf son, Alex, and the entire family drove five hours to take part in this unique outdoors program. We had a fantastic experience far exceeding our expectations, despite the rain. The Family Outdoor Skills Camp could not have been such a success and positive experience without the dedicated men and women who gave of their time, expertise and self.

I want to take this opportunity to send a special thank you to all those involved, including the Compton Traditional Bowhunters, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Missouri Conservation Agents [Association]. We are truly grateful and appreciative of all you do for our son Alex and all the other deaf children and their families. I was extremely impressed, by not only the bowhunters’ skills, but also their boundless level of patience! We look forward to next year.

Sheri Cerame, Florissant

Editor’s Note: Other supporters included: Missouri School for the Deaf, The United Bowhunters of Missouri, the Boy Scouts of America, Wal-Mart, the Warsaw Shrine Club, Coral Reef Seafood, Buzz’s Market and the Toad Suck Grill.

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: The Outdoor Calendar says that archery season closes January 15. Does this mean the 14th is the last day of hunting, or is the 15th the last day?

A: January 15 is the last day. Archery deer/turkey hunting will end one-half hour after sunset on that day. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 20 of the Wildlife Code: (15) Days or dates: All days and dates shall be inclusive. A day shall begin or end at midnight, unless otherwise specified.

Dates are always inclusive; however, some seasons have different daily starting and closing times. For example, during the teal season in September, shooting hours begin at sunrise and end at sunset. During the regular waterfowl season, shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end at sunset.

Legal hours for small game are specific to the animal. During the season, furbearers may be taken day and night, with some restrictions. The frog season begins at sunset on June 30 and ends at midnight on October 31. Rabbits may only be hunted from sunrise to sunset. Squirrels, quail and several other species don’t have specific shooting hours.

Such variation in restrictions allows for the protection of wildlife, better opportunities to identify legal game, and safety concerns.

For details on hunting seasons, check out the MDC Hunting page or pick up a copy of the Wildlife Code, available wherever permits are sold, at MDC regional offices and 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) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov.

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