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From Missouri Conservationist: Apr 2013

(Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.)

Selling walnut timber

In the February issue, on Page 21, the author states that “If you are fortunate enough to have several walnut trees on your property that have reached their economic and physiological maturity, then it’s time to sell them.” Selling and timing are choices. Just because a tree is harvestable, does not mean that the tree must be sold. I think the author misses the true point that conservation and beauty in Missouri lies in what we have, not just what can be put in one’s pocket book.

Dan Chapman, St Louis

Editors’ note: We agree that selling and timing are choices for each landowner. For many people, the greatest value is found in leaving a tree standing. However, this article was intended as a resource for readers already interested in logging their timber.

Opening day

On opening day, I fished all four trout parks and travelled 582 miles. I started in Cassville and ended at Salem.

My love of trout fishing began at the age of 9 when my dad took our family on vacation to Roaring River State Park. For 40-plus years I have continued that same trip, eventually taking my five kids and fishing the same hole, but this was my Grand Slam of trout fishing.

At 4:45 a.m., at Roaring River State Park, I checked in and headed for my hole. I soon had my first trout and the road trip was on.

I arrived around 10 a.m. at Bennett Spring. The rules had changed, but the goal was the same: one trout and move on. I put on my waders and slipped down into the cold water, chest deep. The snow was flying and the wind was blowing, but the other 20 or 30 fishermen didn’t care either. Below the bridge I hooked into a beautiful rainbow. I headed for St. James. It was now almost 11:30, but no time for lunch.

Slightly after 1 p.m., I arrived at Maramec Spring. The river was up and I could not see a trout anywhere. I had come unprepared to fish muddy waters and the result was no fish. I enjoyed watching a group of children make a fool out of me as they successfully pulled another trout to the net. By 3 p.m. I knew I’d been beaten, and I headed for Montauk State Park.

As I arrived, I saw a gentleman throw a jig into the beautiful Current River. Then it happened—a lunker! I was as excited as if I had caught the thing myself. It was the biggest fish I’d ever seen. He weighed and measured it, took a picture, and then released it to fight another day. Wow! That’s what it is all about.

I stepped into the water just a few feet upstream and caught fish number three. I’d done it! I had fished all four parks.

I will never forget this day or this road trip as long as I live. My son told me we are on for next year, and he reminded me that, though I missed the fourth fish, “It’s not about catching fish, but making memories.” I couldn’t agree more.

Ron Robinson, Van Buren

Hunting shed antlers

Thanks for the article On the Hunt for Antler Sheds in the January issue. I’m an avid bow hunter, so I see all sizes of antlered deer, most out of my range. I’ve always thought about hunting sheds, but wasn’t sure when or where.

James Farnell, Blue Eye

Mystery owl

Close to 40 years ago, we were taking a winter walk when we were surprised by an owl flying directly toward us. We couldn’t be sure what kind we had seen until now. It was on Page 13 of the February issue [On Silent Wings]. Thank you for the great article and superb photography.

Ted and Sharon Meyer, Saint Charles


In Wetlands Reimagined [March], the third paragraph on Page 12 makes reference to the “North American Wetland Management Plan.” This should have been referred to as the “North American Waterfowl Management Plan.”

Reader Photo


Steven Looney of Thayer captured this image of an American toad. “Most people in the area hardly ever see me without a camera slung around my neck, shooting sports and events for the local newspaper,” said Looney. “Or, out and about around the area, snapping pictures of the beautiful landscapes and the many points of interest here in Oregon County.” The American toad is Missouri’s most common toad. It breeds in late March, April, and early May. You can find out more about the American toad and other Missouri flora and fauna here: mdc.mo.gov/node/73.

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