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From Missouri Conservationist: February 2020

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

Fan Mail

Although I’m not a resident of Missouri, I thoroughly enjoy both the Conservationist and Xplor magazines. They
are outstanding! The content and design are always top notch.

Julie Vogel, Lakeland, Florida

Oh Deer

When opening day of firearms deer season started, I found myself in one of my favorite places — my deer stand. This was my 50th consecutive opening day. This is a privilege I do not take lightly. Thanks to MDC for the work you do to help the state deer herd increase, making it desirable to hunt deer. I realize many have sacrificed their deer season so I could enjoy mine — our great men and women of our U.S. armed forces. One other person helped to make this happen — my wife. She has been on board with me hunting for 45 of those 50 years. The last 20 or so joining me in the deer woods. I’ve tried to pass this great heritage onto many, young and old alike, including my daughters, their husbands, and all eight of my grandchildren.

Randy Yancey Dexter

I have been hunting deer in Missouri for the past three years. As I was leaving my hunting location this season, I encountered Conservation Agent Kevin Powell in Adair County. He was very professional and courteous throughout our conversation. Being a 29- year state law enforcement officer, I was thoroughly impressed with his high level of professionalism. He is a great asset and ambassador for your agency and the great state of Missouri.

Rick Jacobs Rome, Georgia

Thank you for providing such great hunting and fishing opportunities in your state. I spend more time there in the outdoors than in my own state. Travis Lewis Piggott, Arkansas

Birds of Prey

I have enjoyed your publication since the 1950s. I really liked St. Louis: Where Birds of Prey Abound in the November issue [Page 18]. Keep up the good work.

Richard Bentley Ballwin

Magazine Fans

Thanks to the editors, authors, photographers, and others who put together the Missouri Conservationist every month. I could not resist reading every single page of the December issue as soon as it arrived. The devotion of a life-long bird watcher, the skills of wood carvers making duck decoys, pioneering attempts to control invasive Asian carp, and a newto-me conservation area to explore sucked me right into the pages. And a black-walnut chocolate biscotti recipe in time for Christmas cookie season? Yay!

Mary Jones via email


In the December issue, Brad’s Big Year described one man’s quest to tally more bird species in a year than anyone else in Missouri. The article led readers to believe that Brad Jacobs is Missouri’s sole Big Year record holder. In fact, who holds the record is subject for debate, and a birder named Kendell Loyd also claims the title.

Competitive birders follow strict rules governing which birds they can include in their tallies. For example, a wild turkey is countable. A domesticated turkey is not. The controversy over the title stems from the fact that Mr. Jacobs followed one set of rules, and Mr. Loyd followed another. Both birders published their Big Year lists and the rules that they followed in The Bluebird. To read their accounts, visit Mr. Jacobs’ article is in the March 2019 edition; Mr. Loyd’s is in the September 2019 edition.

In our article, we should have recognized Mr. Loyd for his achievement. We also should have recognized Debbie and Steve Martin. Although neither Mrs. nor Mr. Martin tallied enough birds to claim the title, both birders surpassed the previous Big Year record, which was set in 1991. Finally, the article noted that Mr. Loyd was a graduate student when, in fact, he was a full-time teacher.

—the editors

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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