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From Missouri Conservationist: December 2019

Letters to the Editor

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity. Email or write to us:

Missouri Conservationist
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Hunting Legend

Great story highlighting Missouri Bootheel legend Neely “Butch” Mitchell on his waterfowl career [Sharing Hunting’s Adventures, November;].

Scott Turnage via Facebook

Timely Article

While camping recently on the banks of the Current River, I noticed little glowing green lights while wearing my headlight. On closer inspection, I saw many small spiders on the rocks and leaves. I had never noticed these before in all my years. (I don’t usually camp in October!)

I had thrown in some reading materials and read the October issue of the Missouri Conservationist article on wolf spiders [Little Wolves of Missouri]. I found out exactly what I was seeing. Thank you for such a timely piece.

Judy Marvin Hunter

October Accolades

Thank you for the close-up photo of the spider on October’s Missouri Conservationist. My preschool students and I delighted in the detailed photo as we studied spiders and how beneficial they are. The Missouri Conservationist and Xplor are great resources of information and beautiful photos for our classroom. Thank you!

Erin Guenther Kirkwood

I just finished reading the October issue cover to cover. Every article was well-written, thorough, and fascinating! I especially enjoyed the articles on wolf spiders and the tracking of migratory songbirds. I have been receiving and reading this excellent publication for most of my adult life, and it just keeps getting better. Great work!

April McDonough Aurora

As a former newspaper editor, I have noted many good changes in this year’s Missouri Conservationist. The October issue is full of interesting and educational articles, like wolf spiders, pecans, and bird tracking. I want to note especially how the magazine does not look like a web page; it looks like a magazine with interesting text, photos, and sidebars, which draw the reader into the narrative, raising awareness and providing possible reader responses. For example, all spiders do not need to be avoided; pecans have a history; and tracking birds provides research toward their preservation. Keep up the good work.

Mark G. Boyer Springfield

November Issue

What a beautiful issue! I loved the family hunting stories [Sharing Hunting’s Adventures], but most of all I loved Danny Brown’s photo essay on birds of prey [St. Louis: Where Birds of Prey Abound]. I lived blocks from Tower Grove Park years ago and had no idea so many birds were there.

Nancy C. Jefferson City

Best issue ever! The owl and hawk photos are stunning. Nature is really all around us, isn’t it? Keep the close-ups of spiders coming. And snakes. My grandson loves them all.

Marion Miller via email

Thank you for the article with photos by Danny Brown. I love these gorgeous creatures and am glad you featured raptors in the magazine. The photos are amazing.

David M. Huddart Clayton

Opossum of a Different Color

I finally saw an opossum that I have been longing to see for about 50 years. I had read an article in a Journal of Natural Science by a man who had encountered a yellow opossum. In November 2018, a yellow opossum came to my deck for several weeks, sometimes with a “normal” litter mate. Just before winter set in, it never came back. Perhaps its color made it easy prey.

Edgar Phillips Marshall

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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