I first started hunting in the late 1950s, carrying my BB gun in a line of pheasant hunters. Ever since that time I have enjoyed the thrill of getting close enough to game to be able to take them. Even the other day, after shooting four green-heads, my dog and I stayed and continued calling ducks into our spread just for the fun of it. Over the years I have had the opportunity to hunt almost all of the different game, and it was always a thrill. At this time I take advantage of hunting turkey, doves, deer, and my favorite, the ducks. All of my hunting is done on conservation areas and public ground. I am thrilled that I live in a state with a great conservation department that offers the average person a place to hunt without leasing or paying a day fee to hunt.
James (JB) Borisek, Springfield
As a lifelong Missouri resident, there are very few things that I am more proud to support through my tax dollars than the Missouri Department of Conservation. I remember when the 1/8 of 1 percent sales tax went into effect, and I can honestly say that I know of no other place where I feel like I’ve gotten as much direct benefit for my tax dollar than through the efforts of the MDC. My family and I regularly visit the Conservation Areas, shooting ranges and other public areas sponsored by the MDC.
I tell my 10-year-old grandson stories from when I started deer hunting in Missouri 40 years ago, and how my dad and I were lucky to even see a deer or two during deer season. With today’s thriving deer herd, that’s hard for him to even imagine, especially since he’s already taken two deer during Missouri youth seasons. Now he’s so excited about the reintroduction of elk to Missouri that he can talk of little else. I can almostpicture him telling an incredulous novice hunter someday that there once were no elk in Missouri! I just signed him up for e-mail updates on the elk reintroduction project, and we’ll both be anxiously awaiting the news of how the program progresses.
Mike Lewis, Eureka
I just wanted to drop a note of thanks for the spectacular cover photo of the February issue of the Missouri Conservationist. From the drip of water on the swan’s beak to the drip of water on his tail, it is a masterpiece. We are all lucky to be able share in Danny Brown’s artistry.
Virginia Emanuel, St. Louis
As a person who calls himself an artist, I spend more time than I probably should looking at the photos in your outstanding magazine. While there are always countless wonderful images to pore over, the cover photo of a trumpeter swan by Danny Brown sets a whole new standard. There are pictures and snapshots, but once in awhile we get to enjoy works of art created through the lens of a camera. I often wonder if the photographer got lucky, or really had the talent to put it all together to get a shot like this. My guess is that in the case of Mr. Brown, he is just that good.
Jim Swearngin, Des Moines, Iowa
The Sweet Life
I wish to compliment authors Anna-Lisa Tucker and Shanna Raeker on their article Reviving a Sweet Tradition in the January issue of the Conservationist. It was well researched and presented. As a (small family) maple syrup producer here in upstate New York, I found the article interesting and informative, particularly the Native American and Missouri history of maple sugar production. Keep up the good work with articles of this sort describing the use of the land and forest resources in that region.
John Underwood, Salem, NY