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From Missouri Conservationist: Aug 2012

Jumpin’ Jack Splash

Jim Low’s article in the July issue brought back many fond memories since, as a child and youth in northwest Missouri, I grew up hooking, shooting and gigging bullfrogs and proudly taking the legs home so that mom could fry up a feast.

After a hiatus of several years, my pursuit of “Jumpin’ Jack Splash” resumed in my early 20s when my late father-in-law suggested that we go frogging on his Howard County farm. After our first successful outing, I began to cut off and skin the legs when my father-in-law walked up and said, “What are you doing? You don’t just eat the legs, you cut off the head and then skin and fry up the whole frog.” He went on to explain he and his nine siblings always did it this way as they struggled to get by on their family farm in the earlier years of the 20th century. And you know what? There really are a few good bites of meat on the parts of Jumpin’ Jack that we usually throw in the garbage!

Jim (PJ) Pettijohn, Springfield

Author’s Note: Several folks who read my article were kind enough to educate me about more efficient use of frogs. Cutting off the legs is how I was taught, but I’m not too old to learn a better way!—Jim Low, news services coordinator

Barred owls

Being an amateur birder for over 25 years, imagine my delight as I opened July’s Conservationist to Danny Brown’s photo and story on barred owls. I will never forget first hearing the nocturnal call of these “jewels of the night” on the Current River. Hats off to Danny for his marvelous photograph of these rarely seen darkeyed beauties. And thanks to property owners such as Art Tilley in Chesterfield who enjoy sharing the wildlife in their own backyard. The Missouri Conservationist has again offered the most beautiful nature photography in the state!

Debra Stevenson, Holts Summit

Mysteries of the deep

After reading Four Fishing Records Fall [July] and seeing that there are 26 open categories for fish records, I had to look into that and see what I could catch or maybe have caught that may have qualified.

I am a lifelong outdoorsman and was shocked to see how many fish I didn’t recognize. I even had to Google some, having no idea what they looked like. Some of the species I had to look up included: burbot, eel, warmouth, mooneye, bowfin, skipjack, white and yellow perch and a few others. I am an avid fisherman in Missouri streams and lakes but have only ever targeted bass, bluegill, goggle-eye, crappie and catfish with a line and pole and gar and carp with my bow.

Nathan Leiweke, via Internet

Big Piney, big times

The picture on Page 2 [Letters; July] of Big Piney River was taken on our family farm. In 1952, when it was hot and dry our family would walk to the area where the photographer was standing, carrying a gas lantern. We would swim until dark, when the air would cool, and then walk back to our house for a good night’s sleep.

Richard Hicks, Houston, Mo.

More turtle tips

I read your editorial comment about turtles [Letters; July]. Here are some of the wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the state: Lakeside Nature Center, 4701 E. Gregory, Kansas City, MO 64132; Wildlife Center of Missouri, 1128 New Ballwin Rd., Ballwin, MO 63021; and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 1864 Little Brennan Rd.,High Ridge, MO 63048. Most are near Kansas City and St. Louis, but your readers may find their locations helpful.

If the wounds on injured turtles can be cleaned and made safe from flies and maggots, that would save the turtle from unnecessary suffering. We all want to help these creatures from injury on our roads and highways.

Sharon Goff, Friends of Lakeside Nature Center, Inc.

This Issue's Staff

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