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From Missouri Conservationist: October 2016

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

Fishing for a Badge

I’m writing you because it is my final requirement for my last merit badge in order to obtain my Eagle Scout rank. I’ve been reading the Missouri Conservationist for the past seven years, and to this day, it is the only magazine I get excited to read. I was reading the July issue, specifically the article Up a Lazy River and thought what a perfect article to write about. Fishing is one of my passions, and stream fishing for smallies is by far the most fun to me. The author of the article does a fantastic job of putting the reader in the moment; it was as if I was right there with him. I’ve just recently begun kayak fishing, and I feel that it brings you much closer to nature. You can go where most boats can’t, and with no engine noise, you can hear all the sounds of nature. Just sitting here writing this makes me want to go fishing. The article has me thinking that I would like to go on a float trip of my own now, but I might wait for it to cool off a bit.

Hayden Loughery, via email

Milkweed Method

Norman Murray’s method of starting milkweeds in pots in the winter works very well [Homegrown Milkweeds; January]. I started my seeds shortly after reading his article in January, and in April or May, I had more seedlings than I knew what to do with! I planted numerous seedlings at home and in my prairie project in Phelps County. I also gave a lot to friends and even sold some at local farmers markets. Thank you for a great article on an easy way to start milkweeds.

Bob Bader, Labadie

Swamp Milkweed

I’m 67 years old, and I’ve been subscribing since my early teens. Thank you so much for a great magazine for so long. I’d love to grow some swamp milkweed [September; Page 30] but suspect I’d have to go find some in the wild to get seeds.

Tom Moss, via email

Editors’ Note: For information on where to purchase swamp milkweed seed and other varieties of milkweeds, visit grownative.org

Feral Hogs

Your September article A Sounder Approach to Feral Hog Control was excellent. Matt Hill and Mark McClain wrote a great article of what feral hogs really are, and the harm these invasive species do to Missouri’s fish, wildlife, and environment. Great description of the modern traps being used by incorporating electronics. Hopefully this article will educate Missouri hunters who feel they are doing us a favor when they try to shoot a single feral hog.

Carl Combs, via email

Learn and Share

You did it again. We are always challenged to read the whole magazine. Right off with this edition, Pages 4 and 5 were words we do not usually see or use and will now get to because we used the internet to see what they were. The words were atlatls on Page 4 and gynandromorph on Page 5. We are so much smarter, and enjoying the rest of the magazine in the process. We love each edition and end up sharing with people in the building we live in. Our days to be outdoors are fewer, but we can enjoy most of it from your good work in each issue.

John and Gaye Merchant, via email


In Keepers of the Karst [August], we failed to credit the following for their efforts to help Department staff clean up sinkholes on private land in Perry County: Bridgestone Tire Company Tires4ward Tire Recycling Program, the Missouri Speleological Survey and other local caving groups, Southeast Missouri State University Agriculture students, Wildlife Society Student Chapter members, Stream Team members, and local citizen volunteers. We regret the omission. Department staff depends on a wide range of partners to help complete karst habitat conservation projects throughout the state. The Department recognizes and appreciates all their efforts.

Reader Photo: Stirring Up a Hornets’ nest

Melissa Mayes of Montgomery City captured this photo of a bald-faced hornet nest in a tree in her neighbor’s yard. She says her neighbor was not concerned about the nest at all. “She had mowed by it many times before she had actually noticed it.” The nests of bald-faced hornets are made of wood pulp — literally paper. The wasps chew wood, mixing it with their saliva, and construct nests of several layers of horizontal comb enclosed by an outer envelope. Mayes said she loves all things outdoors, especially fishing, and loves to take nature photos.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler