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From Missouri Conservationist: Dec 2000

Cover Talk

The cover of the October issue is a work of art. It tells the story in a perfect photograph. The dog is concentrating on the quail and probably reached it before it hit the ground.

A.O. Goldsmith, Kennett

My friends and I would like to know the breed of the dog shown on your October cover and on pages 18-19.

Dorothy Fox, Plains, Kansas

Your lovely October cover causes me to assume that you are opposed to gun control laws. I hope you can tell me that I am wrong in my assumption.

Elmer Stuetzer, St. Louis

Editor’s note: The dog in the pictures is a vizsla. Its name is Blaze. Hunting with firearms is a legal and wholesome activity. It also is an integral element in the Conservation Department's management program for Missouri's wildlife.

Informed Electorate

Thank you for the article about Prop. A. I thought it informative and well balanced. I imagine you will be criticized for writing about a political issue, but until I read your article, all my information on Prop. A had come from "scare" advertising that never explained what it was really about.

Grant Miller, Warrensburg

Shadowy Calculation

You have to trust your head and eyes not to waver if using a friend's height to calculate a tree's height. Back in grade school, we were taught to measure the length of the tree's shadow and then measure the height of the above-ground part of a nearby pole and its shadow.

You figure the height of the tree by dividing the tree's shadow length by the pole's shadow length and multiplying that result by the height of the pole. If a tree casts an 85-foot shadow and a 4-foot fencepole casts a 5-foot shadow, then the tree is 68 feet tall.

H. M. White, Independence

The Cost of Nature

I'm one of the few small landowners in the Bootheel flatland area who has retained some forest land. Many have suggested I could make more money by putting my land into cultivation, but the presence of wildlife and the beauty of the trees and wildflowers makes my land worthwhile the way it is.

Thanks for promoting conservation with your outstanding articles about our state's beauty and resources.

John E. Clement, Bernie

Land Scam

You reported in the September issue that "Missouri land was sold sight-unseen to unsuspecting Eastern buyers."

My great-grandfather, Turner Harper Brown, was one of those purchasers. He bought wooded acreage near Linn with the idea of harvesting timber for railroad ties. When he arrived at the property with his wife and several children, he discovered that a duplicate deed for the property was held by another person. The Osage County court awarded each deed-holder half of the property.

Marilyn Kimberling, Kansas City

Armadillos Spring Up

The reason people don't see more armadillos is that the animals are mostly nocturnal. You will see them if you take a flashlight and spend some nights outside until 10 or 11 p.m.

Sneak up on one and surprise it, and its first movement will be a straight-up bounce, as if it was on a trampoline. Then it may bounce off or just run away and stick its head into the first hole it can find. They are interesting, but if you have armadillos and moles around, your yard turns into a rough series of ridges and holes.

Cordell Smith, Van Buren

Search for Quality

I'd like to voice my opinion about Quality Deer Management. Its aim is not just to produce "super bucks." Instead, Q.D.M. makes possible truly healthy deer herds that include bucks and does of all age groups. In Missouri we harvest large crops of young deer, and hunters never get to see animals in older age groups.

Bob McMorris, Paris

Bird Booster

After receiving your November issue, I had to write to tell you that I really enjoyed the lovely pictures and terrific write-ups about all our feathered friends in "Backyard Banquet."

Charles Mathews, Sedalia

Conserving Birds

I'd like to remind your readers to put bird-proof vent caps on their furnace and water heater exhaust pipes. I'm a heating and cooling contractor, and I occasionally find dead bluebirds and woodpeckers that have entered vent pipes looking for places to nest. The pipes of outside woodstoves also attract birds. Bird-proof vent caps are available through any hardware store.

Clinton Hornbuckle, Fulton

Kudos and Correction

I am very pleased with the unexpected article, "Frost Flowers," and with the article, "Cave Restoration." The picture on p. 17 is good to look at repeatedly in incandescent lighting.

"Graffiti" is plural , so your sentence should have read, "Graffiti in caves go back . . ." If singular, "Graffito" is the correct word.

Carl Masthay, St. Louis

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: Do I need a permit to run the boat for my friend while he gigs?

A: Unless you are age-exempt, you need a fishing permit to operate a boat being used for gigging. Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri states that the act of taking wildlife includes any act of assistance. Other chapters specify that a permit is required to take or attempt to take wildlife.

Q: I'm a bowhunter. Do I have to wear hunter orange during the January Extension of the deer season?

A: If you are archery hunting during the January Extension (January 6-9, 2001) of the firearms season in open Units 1 thru 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 58 and 59, you must wear a hat and a shirt, vest, or coat of "Hunter Orange" (also known as daylight fluorescent orange or blaze orange) so that the color is plainly visible from all sides while being worn. "Camouflage orange" does not satisfy this requirement. The only exception to this requirement is if you are archery hunting within municipal boundaries where discharge of firearms is prohibited, or on federal or state public hunting areas where deer hunting is by archery methods only.

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) 751-4115, ext. 3848 or e-mail him at

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Bryan Hendricks
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer