Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.
So proud of this state’s efforts to preserve and protect our abundant natural resources. Tremendous effort. To me, what elevates these efforts to a higher level are the educational tools, especially the Conservationist magazine. Great articles and, even better, the photography. This month’s cover by Noppadol Paothong is amazing. You have great photographers. Thanks for taking that extra effort to showcase our Missouri environment.
Crys Payne, Columbia
I remember the first time going hunting with my grandpa. We were hunting turkey. The night before I went to bed, I was nervous.
I woke up at 5 a.m. and got my clothes on. We were about to leave, but my mom wanted pictures. Finally, we drove out to our field. The rain had washed the road, so it was bumpy.
We set up, and then we heard something. It sounded like a turkey. My grandpa told me to get ready. That’s when I really started to get nervous. I thought I would tell my grandpa I was scared, but I didn’t. My grandpa is a professional. I got on everything that would protect me and did everything that he told me to do. So I stopped worrying. I got ready. I was starting to feel brave, but we stopped hearing the sound. We waited and waited, but didn’t hear it again.
We took a break for breakfast, and then we went back to our hunting place. We looked all around for that turkey, but we never heard him gobble or make a sound. So we called it a day.
That night, I prepared again. I wasn’t as nervous as I was before — I was excited! I woke up early again, and we headed out. I told myself I just had to remember that my grandpa knew what he was doing, and I did, too.
We got settled. I was ready, and I was brave. But then I took a nap.
When I woke up, there was a turkey in the field. I got ready to shoot. It came closer and closer. I began to shake. The closer it came, the more I shook.
“Wait! We don’t know if it’s a hen or a gobbler. We can’t shoot a hen,” said grandpa.
The turkey finally got close enough. “It’s a hen!” I said. I couldn’t shoot it after all.
It was the last day of the season, but that was all right. I told my grandpa that I wanted to do it again next season. He said he did, too.
That was my first hunting experience, and it was with my hero — my grandpa.
Kayla (age 10), Cadet
What fish are legal to shoot with a bowfishing setup in this state?
Nick Gardner, via Facebook
Conservation Department: Nongame fish are legal for bowfishing, and they include carp, carpsuckers, suckers, buffalo, drum, gar, and other species that are not defined as game fish. See pages 8–11 of our fishing summary booklet at mdc.mo.gov/node/6108. You can also pick up a copy at one of our regional offices or at a permit vendor near you.
Do you guys come and trap animals that are getting too cozy with humans? We’ve got two foxes that come up to the house and play with our dogs’ squeaky toys right out by the back door and do not run off. I love wildlife, but I’m concerned.
Tina Palmer, via Facebook
Conservation Department: We cannot trap them for you, but your regional office (see Page 3 for phone numbers) can provide traps for you to use. Before trapping, make your yard less friendly to the foxes. Remove the toys and any food that is attracting them. Scare them away with loud noises.
Andrew Tiedemann, of Nixa, Missouri, captured this photo of a female jumping spider on his deck. “I saw this little gal early one morning and the light happened to be perfect,” said Tiedemann. “It took some patience. She kept wanting to turn.” Tiedemann is a busy, stay-at-home dad raising three children. “When my children get a little older, I would like to devote more time to my photography,” said Tiedemann. Conservation Department biologist Paul Calvert identified the spider as a female. He jokingly said that you can tell the spider is a girl by her eyelashes.
Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler