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From Missouri Conservationist: Sep 2006

Way To Go, Joe!

The look of intense concentration on the faces of the children on page 14 of the August issue [“Meet Joe Polka”] just about broke my heart. What a wonderful thing Joe is doing for the children lucky enough to enjoy his talks. I’m sure he makes a lasting impression on them. Joe is one of the unsung heroes in our state. I’m just happy Lynn [Youngblood] informed the rest of us of Joe’s talent.

Virginia Narzinski, Lincoln

Memory Boxes

Your beautiful July issue brought back memories. The stunning photos of box turtles and the intriguing article made me think of the summers my mother and I spent watching box turtles. I was fascinated by them, so when I was about 5, my mother suggested we study them more closely.

Since we didn’t know whether we were seeing the same turtles or new ones in our yard, we developed a system of marking them.

We would name each turtle, alphabetically, then mark its initial and the year we first saw it in red nail polish on its carapace. We recorded its name, gender, weight, appearance and place found, then released it. If we saw it again, we gave it a fresh coat of polish, re-weighed it, noted its visit in our records and let it go.

It was a fun project and I still expect to see a bright red letter on the turtles that wander into my yard!

Sarah Bennett, Niangua

We Make Housecalls

I’ve read your magazine the past couple of times I’ve gone to the doctor’s office and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it (the only good thing about the doctor’s office). Your readability level is great—your editors do a really good job at making this magazine friendly to readers who are new to the subjects. I’ve subscribed so I can stop going to the doctor to read it, and because I know my 8-year-old will love it, too! Thanks for your good work!

Jeanette Littleton, Gladstone

...of a Different Feather

I was reviewing your article “Birds of a Feather...” in the latest Missouri Conservationist (August issue). The picture shown on page 20 is identified as a field sparrow. The photo shown is clearly not a field sparrow—it is a very nice-looking song sparrow.

Just thought I would bring this to your attention.

Dave Pierce, St. Louis Audubon Society

Editor’s note: The bird is, indeed, a song sparrow. We regret any confusion this may have caused our readers.

Reader Relay

My husband, Bruce, and I moved to Missouri over five years ago. This is a sort of coming home for Bruce. His mother was born in Ava and his father in Columbia. The Brown family moved to Missouri in 1820, and Brown Station is named after one of his relatives.

Since we are outdoors-type people, we immediately subscribed to your magazine and loved it so much that we sent a subscription to Bruce’s father and mother, Ross and Gwenneth Brown, in Indiana, where they live. They have enjoyed it as well since it often brings back memories of their childhood and courtship.

Ross was so taken by the quality of the magazine that he started sending his old copies to a pen pal he has in Europe. His pen pal, Eric Rogers, and his wife, Christine, live in Norfolk, England. Eric is a retired forester and loves your magazine. They have often commented about its quality and decided to share it with other folks in their hometown. Eric donates the copies to the local library for others to read about life in Missouri.

So, to make a long story short, you are reaching far beyond the state line in educating folks about Missouri wildlife and citizens. Thanks for all you do.

Dr. Lisa A. Ford-Brown Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, Columbia College

Applauding Adventurers

I wanted to commend Agent Randy Doman for his article in the August 2006 Conservationist [“Agent Notebook”].

My son, David, is totally blind. His best friend, Stewart, has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair. Both of them enjoy nothing more than to go fishing or hunting with Stewart’s dad. Many people laugh when I say David went hunting with his friend Stewart. There isn’t anything in this world as beautiful to me as David’s smile and excitement when he comes back from one of their hunting or fishing trips. Although David can’t see and Stewart can’t walk, they both enjoy spending the time together and together they make a great team.

Thanks for realizing that people with handicaps are people, too, and they enjoy the same things as you and I.

Jill Speckhals, Jefferson City


In the July 2006 issue, the cover photo caption (page 1) incorrectly read“ornate box turtle.” The caption should have read “three-toed box turtle.”

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: When folding my fishing permit it got all wrinkled, so i decided to laminate it. to my surprise, the permit turned black. my signature and year are visible (barely). What are my options?

A: The material used for permits is treated for printing with a thermal printer head, so the printing is actually created by heat, not ink. The lamination process also uses heat, and unfortunately it turns the whole thing black, as you discovered. A permit that has been destroyed or lost can be replaced by any permit vendor for $2.

Heritage Cards that have been lost can also be replaced in the same manner, but please be sure the vendor knows you want to replace a Heritage Card instead of a permit.

While we’re discussing permits, dove and teal seasons begin this month. Don’t forget to purchase your Migratory Bird Hunting Permit. It’s required for those age 16 and older in addition to the prescribed hunting permit to pursue, take, possess and transport waterfowl, doves, snipe, woodcock and rails. A federal duck stamp also is required for hunting waterfowl.

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 <>.

Also In This Issue

A personal history of campaigning for the conservation sales tax reveals the people and passion behind the celebrated Design for Conservation.

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