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From Missouri Conservationist: Nov 2008

Fall Turkey

I was happy to see a fall turkey hunting article in the Conservationist [Missouri’s October Turkey Season; October ]. There are few fall outdoor activities more enjoyable than calling to a group of young turkeys in Missouri’s colorful fall woods. As the author noted, scattering a brood flock is the traditional method of hunting young turkeys. However, he failed to mention that running through the woods can be very unsafe. Before running at a flock of turkeys, you should first unload your gun and sling it over your shoulder or even lean it against a tree or fence post. You can return after the break-up to retrieve and load the shotgun safely. In addition, running in the woods can lead to a nasty fall if a hunter trips over a vine, rock, log, downed fence or other obstacle. Believe me, I’ve attempted to run at turkey flocks in the woods and have tripped a time or two. I now move as close to the birds as possible and then surprise them by quickly showing myself, yelling loudly and waving my arms. Not always the most effective method of breaking up a flock, but it has kept me from getting hurt from a fall.

Editors’ note: The author agrees, and he regrets not including this information.

FFA: Growing Leaders

I read with interest the stories about the FFA students and their achievements [Learning, Doing, Earning and Serving; October]. In this world of negative reports on gangs and kids gone wrong what an enlightening article this was. I realize every teen doesn’t have the opportunities these wonderful students have, but maybe there is hope for our country with the thousands of students in FFA. My granddaughters are growing up on a farm near Paola, Kan. and are learning valuable lessons that will take them into adulthood. Congrats to all these special young people on their awards and the interest they have in making this world a better place for all.

Sharon Peterkort, Lee’s Summit

I enjoyed and appreciated the special articles about the FFA students. I attended high school in Windsor and belonged to the FFA chapter. The FFA is a very important part of our education program. Thanks again for recognizing each of the students and helping make our state a good place to live. Robert Bond via Internet I’m reading Learning, Doing, Earning and Serving and cannot find anywhere in the article an explanation of what FFA means. Please advise.

Susan Morse, Imperial

Editor’s note: FFA is no longer an acronym. It once stood for Future Farmers of America, but the organization’s name changed to National FFA Organization in 1988 to reflect the expanding career field of agricultural education.

Bad Pigs, Good Pork

The feral hogs that you have recommended be slaughtered [Feral Hogs: Bad for Missouri; September] are not nearly the pest that white tail deer are and, to my recollection, have never jumped through a windshield or caused accidents, crop damage and other property damage. One is ugly and one is not, but the white tail deer outweighs problems created by the wild hogs.

Ray Sims, Kimberling City

Editors’ note: “There have been confirmed deaths due to hog/vehicle collisions in other states. We’ve had accidents in Missouri, too. The crop damage caused by hogs can make deer damage look like child’s play. Texas records more than $52 million in agricultural damage alone each year. White tail deer generate millions of state revenue dollars... hogs only create expenses.” —Rex Martensen

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler