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From Missouri Conservationist: Apr 2006


After reading the turtle article in February’s Conservationist issue, I am compelled to comment on it. As usual, your staff does a wonderful job in reporting on and photographing our outdoors!

My family has eaten snapping turtle for over 50 years. My oldest son has become quite adept at removing the shell, exposing all the delicacies beneath. We prefer it pan-fried, similar to fried chicken. My family highly recommends it.

Karen Naas, Gower

Editor’s note: Snapping turtles can be prepared in a variety of ways, much the same as squirrels or rabbits. The best results are obtained by parboiling the meat until it can be easily removed from the bone. Try stir-frying the meat with bacon in a very hot skillet or adding it to a stew or gumbo. Snapping turtle meat can be delicious if the turtles are cleaned properly and the meat tenderized and prepared with a good recipe. See below for the link to “Common Snapping Turtles: Catching, Cleaning, Eating.”


We just received our February issue, and after reading it I had to write you and tell you how much we enjoy it, along with our 7-year-old grandson, Anthony. Every time he comes over, the first thing he says is “Grandpa, do you have the book for me?” He reads and rereads them and then saves them.

Anthony really likes turtles and fish. We know he will really like this issue. Keep up the good work.

Doyle & Sheryl Lafolette, Trenton

The February 2006 Missouri Conservationist was exciting with the adorable red fox on the cover. The timing was appropriate—red fox pups were the object of a winning snapshot that my grandson took recently and it was published in a youth magazine. His snapshot came in second in the nature division. Perhaps he can be a photographer like Jim Rathert.

A big thank you to Nichole LeClair for enlightening me about the red fox.

Retha McCarty, Gladstone

I really enjoyed the latest Conservationist, but was curious about the fox article. Are the gray foxes I see young red foxes, or a different breed? I wasn’t sure after reading the article.

Roger Beatty, via Internet

Editor’s note: Both red and gray foxes are found throughout Missouri. Although separate species, they are often mistaken for one another because red fox pups are mostly brown and gray while adult gray foxes may have a considerable amount of reddish-brown fur. They are also slightly smaller than adult reds. If the body color has you confused, look at the animal’s tail. Red foxes’ tails have a white tip, whereas gray foxes’ tails have a black tip.

Thank you for the excellent article in your February issue on the Red Fox—for me, the most loved of all wildlife creatures! Jim Rathert’s photos of these beautiful animals are so very good that I have sent for your book by Jim Rathert, In Focus.

Dorothy Day, Chairwoman

Green Hills of Platte Wildlife Preserve


Editor’s note: In Focus by Jim Rathert is available from our Online Nature Shop for $18.00 plus shipping and handling You may also order by phone, fax, mail or e-mail. For more details, call us toll free (from the U.S.) at (877) 521-8632. Heritage Card holders get 15 percent off this and most other Nature Shop purchases.

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: I have a 12-year-old who wants to go turkey hunting this spring. I’m confused about what permit she needs. Please help.

A: There are two types of purchased permits available to youngsters. They are: Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit (ages 6 to 15 with or without hunter education certification) or the Spring Turkey Hunting Permit (ages 11 and older and hunter education certified) Your daughter‘s bag limit and restrictions are based on the type of permit she gets.

A Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit can be used during EITHER the youth season or the regular season but with that permit she must: hunt with a hunter education certified adult; or in the company of a landowner born before 1/1/67 on the land they own. And she is limited to one spring turkey, so if she is successful during the youth season, then she is finished hunting spring turkeys.

If your daughter is hunter education certified she can choose to hunt on a regular Spring Turkey Hunting Permit. This allows her the possibility of taking: one bird during the youth season and one bird the last two weeks of the regular season or if she’s unsuccessful during the youth season, two birds as allowed during the regular spring season

She does not have to hunt with an adult but having a mentor afield with any youth is always a good idea.

For details on permits and the privileges they afford please see Chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code.

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 <>.

This Issue's Staff

Editor in Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Writer/editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Designer - Susan Fine
Circulation - Laura Scheuler