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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2015

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

Talking Turkey

The March issue had a good article by Jake Hindman about turkey hunting. I have just one question: How can I recognize ”Turkey Talk” if I have never heard it? Is there an audiotape available for this?

William Ensley, via email

Conservation Department: The Web address mdc.mo.gov/node/29704 listed on Page 27 of the March issue takes you to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s recordings of turkey calls.

Third year is a charm. This year my 10-year-old son harvested his first turkey. I will remember this for the rest of my life. This is only the start of many more years of wildlife management.

Third year is a charm. This year my 10-year-old son harvested his first turkey. I will remember this for the rest of my life. This is only the start of many more years of wildlife management.

Todd-Melissa Deppe, via Facebook

Conservation Department: Congratulations! Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt, and it’s great that you are carrying on that tradition with your son. Make him a First Turkey certificate at mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2010/10/turkeykids2013.pdf.

Lured by Trapping

The Lure of Trapping in the January issue failed to answer some of the questions I have about this sport: How is the animal killed before it is removed from the trap to avoid damage to the pelt? Also, the beavers were skinned to avoid overloading the boat. Could this meat have been donated to a local food pantry rather than left to decay on the spot?

Rosalyn Pursley, New Haven

Conservation Department:Beaver, mink, otter, and muskrat are typically caught in Conibear-style traps that kill them quickly. Others are humanely dispatched with a .22 caliber firearm. Many trappers sell meat from raccoons and beavers; however, we are not aware of any food pantries that accept wild game, other than venison.

Natural Beauties

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the articles and photos on birding and turkey banding in the April issue. And the lovely serviceberry blossom on the Letters page was an extra treat. We don’t hunt, but love Missouri’s natural beauty. Although my eyesight has dimmed and my legs can’t hike anymore, we still enjoy trips to Riverlands and environs to see ducks, waterfowl, and eagles. Your magazine is second to none when it comes to photography. Thanks for many years of enjoyment.

Suzanne Hagan, via email

Controlling Invasives

I have a marimo moss ball from a fish aquarium. Is there a preferred way to dispose of it? The guy at the pet store said I could throw it in the trash or lake. Is this safe?

Shanna Ramirez, via Facebook

Conservation Department:Please dispose of it in the trash. Never dispose of aquarium pets or plants in a lake or other body of water as that may spread disease or unwanted species. For more information on this topic, turn to Page 20 in this issue or visit mdc.mo.gov/node/4086.


In Birds Are Awe-some, we misidentified a white-crowned sparrow in first-winter plumage as a field sparrow. Note how these two birds’ field markings are different in the photos below. —Sarah Kendrick

Reader Photo: Slithering Through the Water

Scott Garland of Kirkwood, Missouri, shot this photo of a red-sided gartersnake, which is a subspecies of the eastern gartersnake, swimming in a creek at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. Eastern gartersnakes live in a variety of habitats, but favor areas near water, and they are one of the most common and widely distributed species of snakes in North America. Garland said he and his wife visit Powder Valley and nearby Rockwoods Reservation often to walk and view wildlife. “Having my wife along with me is great,” said Garland, “because she seems to be the one who spots the deer or turkey or, in this case, the ‘water snake,’ so I can take the picture.”

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler