Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: September 2020

I recently sat down to, yet again, watch the 1971 classic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a tale of the search for five golden tickets and the five lucky children who win a tour of a mysterious chocolate factory. We learn by the movie’s end that Willy is really in search of someone to replace him as the factory’s owner and caretaker, but only if he can find someone with the right heart — someone with a sense of imagination, yet humble and true. The story is complete when he finds such a heart in a young man named Charlie.

Just as recently, the department held a golden ticket competition of its own — the lottery draw for five hunters to participate in Missouri’s first elk season in modern history. I had the opportunity to correspond with all five winners, and witnessed their excitement as they learned they would participate in this inaugural hunt. Some shared they were avid elk hunters but excited to hunt in their own state, others talked of how they would prepare for the hunt, still others reflected on the significance of the hunt as part of Missouri’s road to elk restoration. After hearing each of their stories, I was assured of this — they understood and appreciated this magical moment in Missouri conservation history and that a grand adventure awaits them this fall. Good luck to each of our inaugural elk hunters — we can’t wait to hear how your stories unfold.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

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 - Shawn Carey
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler