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From Missouri Conservationist: March 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

Spectacular Photography

Danny Brown, that’s the most spectacular article and photography I’ve ever seen and right among us [St. Louis: Where Birds of Prey Abound]. Thank you!

Patricia Kiesov, Aurora

For the Love of Animals

I am an 11-year-old who loves nature and the outdoors. I read Xplor magazine, but I also enjoy the Missouri Conservationist. I really like articles about animals, such as the one about wolf spiders in the October 2019 magazine [Little Wolves of Missouri]. My favorite article was the one about opossums [Awesome Opossums]. I really liked the mouse on the back cover of the January issue. Mice are the best!

Shaelyn Butler, Springfield

Oh the Places You Can Go

Before reading the January issue of the Missouri Conservationist, I had no idea that an area like Bilby Ranch Lake existed in Missouri [Places to Go]. The description by Manager Craig Crisler has me already wanting to plan a trip! I grew up hunting quail with my dad and brother in central Missouri. I would love to take my son to Bilby Ranch so he can experience the thrill of the sound of a flushing covey of quail and the excitement of a clucking pheasant taking flight. Thank you for the article and the chance of a new hunting adventure.

Jay Dunham, Eldon

Conservationist Around the World

Born and raised enjoying the beauty of southern Missouri at Greer Spring and later in Crawford County, I am so grateful my love of the outdoors began at such a young age. Leaving Missouri for school and later moving to Canada, I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to my Missouri Conservationist every month (thanks, Mom). Every issue is always wonderfully written, full of great and practical information, and has photography that really shows the beauty of our great state. I can’t say how proud and impressed I am with Missouri’s conservation efforts. Thank you, MDC!

Meegan Gildehaus Beslic, British Columbia

Winter Quail Study

As a former quail hunter, it was refreshing to read the preliminary results of the Dade County quail study, especially about the importance of “heavy woody components” [Nature Lab; January].

The study noted the “decreased survival” within two years of a prescribed burn. Will this affect the prescribed burning on areas such as Hi Lonesome and the Mora Wildlife Areas?

Neil Heimsoth, Cole Camp

Editors’ Note: According to MU graduate research assistant Alisha Mosloff, “This study is part of a larger bobwhite research project that aims to evaluate quail survival and the factors affecting survival throughout a bobwhite’s entire annual life cycle. MDC managers will evaluate the results presented in this article, which were fall and winter specific, alongside spring and summer results to select management techniques, which will improve quail survival throughout the entire year.”

MDC Small Game Coordinator Dave Hoover added, “from a burn scheduling impact, considering the overall positive effects for quail, and many other wildlife species, burning will continue to be a critical management practice on public lands. Burn frequency will hopefully be increased on many areas, but burn timing may be more varied.” Hoover also noted that, while prescribed fire in the last two years did have a negative effect on quail winter survival, native grassland that was burned and/or grazed had a large positive effect on juvenile survival during summer months. Hoover also said the study noted winter survival was better in areas with “heavy woody cover.” More specifically, dense, low growing, woody (shrubby) cover was good, but tall tree edges were bad.

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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