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ONE MOODY MOCKINGBIRD

My husband and I received theDecember 2005 Missouri Conservationist in our mail today. When I saw the cover with the northern mockingbird, I smiled so big and laughed. It is such a good photo.

The back photo, “Snowcapped,” reminds me of the beautiful ice-covered trees my family had on their property when I lived in the country as a child.

Thank you, Jim Rathert, for letting Missourians see your beautiful photography and thank you, MDC, for employing him. All of his photos are fantastic.

Kathy Augustin, St. Louis

The photos by Jim Rathert on the front and back of the December 2005 issue are works of art. The front is also comical. I congratulate Jim on catching just the moment of that mockingbird’s ferocious look. It’s priceless!

Mary Howard, Lonedell

DOGGONE FRUSTRATING

In your “News & Almanac” section in the December issue, there was an article about “Missouri Law protects dogs.” If I understood correctly that you agreed with the judge’s decision, then I have to respectfully disagree with both you and the judge.

First, in my opinion, the person has every right to set a trap on his own property for whatever reason he sees fit—especially leg-hold traps as he used. If it had been some kind of death trap, that might have been different.

Second, shouldn’t the owner of the dog have the liability for the whereabouts of the animal, not the landowner?

Dennis Finnigan, Hunnewell

WE’RE HONORED

I just wanted to send out a big thank you to the editors and contributors of the Missouri Conservationist magazine. It is of a professional quality that rivals even National Geographic. And best of all, it’s free to residents and about our great home state of Missouri.

Your articles and photos are top notch and interest even those who don’t just hunt and fish but enjoy camping and being in the great outdoors. Thanks again for all of your hard work.

Kevin Houseman, Springfield

For months I have wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoy your magazine. It is excellent from front to back. (This 79-year-old even reads Outside In!) I always pass it on when finished, but I keep at least two or three months to reread.

Edna Sutherland, St. Louis

LOOKING FOR LARGE PRINT

Do you have a large print edition?

Linda Sparlin, Rolla

Editor’s note: The Conservationist is not available in large print at this time. However, if you would like to take advantage of assistive technology, we encourage you to contact the Missouri Assistive Technology Commission online. They can also be reached by telephone at (816) 373-5193 (voice), or (816) 373-9315 (TTY).

Your local public library may have computers equipped with text-to-speech software and Internet access as well. Missouri Conservationist HTML files can be provided on CD-ROM if you do not have Internet service. Call the Conservation Department in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4115 for more information.

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.

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: This weekend, I found a Missouri hunting license from 1933. What year did the state of Missouri begin issuing hunting license?

A: According to The First Fifty Years, Jim Keefe’s book on the history of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Walmsley Law provided for the first hunting permits, which were issued in 1905. They were $1 and 47,746 were sold.

The permit you have predates MDC, which was formed by a citizen’s initiative ballot in 1936.

The earliest wildlife laws in Missouri were implemented in St. Louis County in the mid-1800s. These regulations did not help the state’s wildlife and fisheries resources, though, because there were no provisions for enforcement. It took almost another 100 years for conservation-minded citizens to vote MDC into existence.

See below for a link leading to more information on the Walmsley Law and the history of conservation in Missouri.

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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