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From Missouri Conservationist: December 2016

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

Deer in SW Missouri

The article on white-tailed deer [Studying White-Tailed Deer in the Digital Age; October] reminded me of 1944 when my uncle, Otto Bower, one of the early conservation agents, was trapping deer on the Drury Ranch in Taney County (now Drury-Mincy Conservation Area) and releasing them in McDonald, Newton, Lawrence, and Barry counties. This was the return of deer to southwest Missouri. I was in the first grade in Cassville. He would come by the school and show the class the deer. Then I would get to go with him to release the deer.

Jim Bower, Cassville

Questions Answered

Thank you for having quick and efficient staff. Kristie [Hilgedick] answered my question aboutbeaver teeth in a short time [AskMDC@mdc. mo.gov]. The Missouri Conservationist will always be a great magazine.

I am 77 and my father, Henry Gassmann, my two brothers, John and Russ Gassmann, and I have probably had the magazine through the years as long as it has been published. Thank you again.

Rosalie Schaefer, Louisville, KY

Missouri in the Fall

What is your first thought when you hear the word ”autumn” or ”fall?”

When September hits, all the hunters, includingme, count down the days until deer season. Deer season, among other reasons, is why I lovefall. Have you ever been sitting 15 feet up in a deer stand, waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon? It may not sound substantial or exciting, but when you are up there and it’s so bitter cold and quiet you can hear your heart beating, it’s just a feeling that cannot be put into words.

When the beginning of October comes around, it’s the best time to fish. The water is still warm, but it’s not so hot out that it’s not fun

to fish all day. Being out all day without getting hot is pretty nice, but so is watching the sun set from atop the hills and driving down south to set up for gun season.

Fall is my favorite season.

Jessica Dawn, via email

Dutch Oven Cooking

I just attended the Dutch Oven Cooking School at Honey Creek CA today with my two grandchildren and their mother. We had a great time.

It was very helpful and the instructor was very informed and fun to listen to. I hope you will have more of these schools to help the public enjoy outdoor cooking.

I also want to thank you for having an area at Honey Creek Conservation Area to ride our horses. We have gone many times and enjoy it every time.

Thank you again for these wonderful services.

Ruth Trimmer, Maitland

Master Naturalist

It was so inspiring and great to read about the work of all our fellow Master Naturalists [A Lasting Legacy; October]. It was especially intriguing to read about the outdoor classroom built and maintained by the Confluence Chapter [St. Charles].

Heather Feeler, your piece is very well written and beautiful to read. And David Stonner, your photos and selections are right on.

We’ve been nursing our trees potted from saplings and even those started from seed by a chapter member, and my front porch looks likea small forest. I’ll miss these little beauties but they are ready for their new forever homes.

Mary Jo Ostenberg, President, Loess Hills Master Naturalist Chapter, St. Joseph

Reader Photo

Let Sleeping Turtles Lie

Matt Morasch of Ashland captured this photo of snapping turtles under the ice of a pond on his property. “They all appeared lifeless, so I broke through the ice with my walking stick and touched the head of one turtle,” said Morasch. “He was very lethargic and just turned away.” In cold weather, when their metabolisms are slow, snapping turtles can survive under ice without taking a breath for several months. The turtles absorb oxygen from water through the membranes of their mouth and throat. Morasch was able to improve the pond several years ago with advice from the Department. “It was one of the best property improvements I have done,” said Morasch.

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