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From Missouri Conservationist: Jul 2014

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

Check Out a Favorite

Jim Low, you created one of the best yet with your informative commentary and wonderful photographs [May; Browsing Nature’s Library].Please continue your contributions after you retire. Made me say to myself, “I need to get going.“ Had to write and say thanks.

Mark Rost, Shawnee, Kansas

Places to Go All Year

I love the short one-page articles on the natural areas. Please do this more as we now know which direction to head next. As always, the photos are fantastic! The only thing that I might have liked in each natural area article would be a small drawing of the state with a star to show where that area is located.

Linda Jager, Cedar Hill

Editors’ Note: We have some good news for you: “Places to Go” currently runs every month on Page 32, and, if you look to the bottom of the page, you will find the very map you suggested. Our design may have made the map appear to belong to another feature, so we appreciate the feedback. We will review that for future issues.

Handle With Care

Andrew Branson’s article Fishing for Beginners was excellent. However, the photo that appeared on Page 15 should have shown the person removing the hook from the fish without touching the fish (assuming it’s catch and release) since children should learn early that fish have a protective slime covering them that protects them from disease. When we touch a fish with our hands we tend to remove that slime and, when returned to the water, the fish is more susceptible to contracting a disease. The best way to remove the hook is by using a pair of needle-nose pliers but attaching the pliers to the hook and jiggling it so that the fish jiggles free and plops back into the water, untouched by human hands.

Marv Fremerman, Outdoor Wilderness Adventures, Springfield

Private Tree Champs

I read about the new champion black maple in the May issue [Champion Black Maple Found in Harrison County]. Would you please email me the location so I can go see it?

Jack Stoerman, Olathe, Kansas

Ombudsman’s Note: Unfortunately, we are unable to share the location of the tree. Because that state champion tree is on privately owned land, we do not give out directions for persons wishing to visit it. We appreciate that private landowners participate in the program to recognize the state’s largest trees. The designation does not include any agreement by the owner for public access to private land. —Tim Smith

Wild Tasty Recipes

I enjoyed the short article Hefty Spoonbills Await Snaggers [March], however, I’d actually like to know how to cook them! A small recipe would be nice as well.

Dana J. Pelletier, St. Charles

Editors’ Note: You can find a wide array of recipes and cooking videos on the Department’s “Cooking” page at mdc.mo.gov/node/3500. Don’t miss the recipe and video for Three-Alarm Spoonbill Jambalaya! Correction

The June “What is It?” segment, Page 8, said that the nine-banded armadillo will curl into a ball when cornered. However, though there are armadillo species that can curl into a ball, such as the three-banded armadillo of South America, our Missouri species is not one of them.

Reader Photo

Beaver Business

Rick Shults, of Salem, captured this photo of a beaver at Montauk State Park. “I live just a few minutes from the park, so I’m down there a lot,” said Shults. “I love to shoot landscapes and wildlife. Montauk is the honey-hole, so to speak, in my backyard.” Shults said that he takes his camera with him whenever he goes hunting or anytime he goes out in the woods. “I spend a lot of time down along the Current River between Montauk and Akers Ferry,” said Shultz. Shultz took the photo behind the old hatchery building at the park. “I had gone down there well before daylight to get to the area where I had known the beavers tend to be,” said Shults. “I was able to make my way to around 25 yards or so from it and got this. Once it got the limb cut, it took off for its lodge, and that was the last that I saw of it that morning.”

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - vacant
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Brett Dufur
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler