Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

By |
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2019

The week before firearms deer season, as we were preparing deer camp and getting in some bowhunting, the weather turned sharply overnight. With temperatures plummeting and high winds howling, sending snow whirling across open fields, we opted to stay in the warmth and watch movies. The consensus was to take a break from the usual Westerns to watch a favorite documentary, Alone in the Wilderness. It tells the story of Dick Proenneke, who lived alone in the mountains of Alaska for more than 30 years. But the film, which he shot himself, is primarily that of his first year, in which he builds his own log cabin, hunts, fishes, gathers and gardens for sustenance, while capturing the awesome beauty of the natural world around him.

What intrigues me most about this film is that it captures not only the sheer mastery of Proenneke’s skills, from carpentry to filming to survival in the wild, but it also reveals what adventures are possible when one is relentless in their passions and pursuits. I find the same intrigue in the article about Brad Jacobs on Page 10 — that of a relentless birder, a master of his trade, and the marvelous journey that combines both.

May the close of this year and the coming of the next inspire us all to become a better version of what we want to be — a naturalist, a birder, an archer, an angler — and may we enjoy great satisfaction through each step of the journey.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Sara.pauley@mdc.mo.gov

Also In This Issue

Ben Yeargan's Drake
Collectors find joy in unraveling the mysteries of Missouri’s duck decoys.
Brad Jacob
"The truth is that everyone has obsessions. Most people manage them. Birders, however, indulge them.” —Mark Obmascik in The Big Year

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler