By MDC | March 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: March 2023

Letters to the Editor

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

Missouri Conservationist
PO Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102


Your February article about scaleshells was interesting [Page 8]. I have a mussel shell, given to me

by my father many years ago, with seven perfectly round holes made by a button factory in Osceola.

Ethelene Stark, via email

Winter Hike

My wife, Merilee, and I could so relate to Jill Pritchard’s latest episode of Nature Boost [Episode 36: Let’s Go on a Winter Hike]. Everything she referenced about winter hiking is so true. My wife and I enjoyed a winter hike at the Hayes Spring Conservation Area in Stone County. The peace and tranquility of the experience is unequaled.

Curt Lewis, Battlefield

Editors’ note: Join MDC’s Jill Pritchard, host of the podcast Nature Boost, as she explores everything nature has to offer — from health benefits and wildlife viewing, to outdoor recreation and unbelievable conservation stories. Listen to past episodes at Subscribe and get your own nature boost!

Feral Hog Elimination

I was pleased to read in the January 2023 edition that the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership is making progress in eliminating feral hogs from our state [Annual Review, Page 15]. I was not surprised, though, since I have noticed that there is less hog damage at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge than there was a few years ago.

But there is more work to be done! That is why I have signed up my property in Crawford County to allow aerial operations for removing hogs, and I encourage other Missouri landowners to do the same. When we all work together, we can be successful in protecting fragile habitats from being damaged by feral hogs.

John Hickey, St. Louis


I was pleased to see Show-Me Ticks in the February issue [Page 16]. Many people may not be aware of potential dangers of tick bites, as they are so commonplace in many parts of our state. One disease associated with tick bites is alpha-gal syndrome. Alpha-gal causes an allergy to mammal meat, and the consequences of eating a simple hamburger can be dire. Since the age of 10, my grandson has had to have an EpiPen available in case of anaphylactic shock. Tick bites should be taken seriously!

Thank you for your wonderful magazine, I look forward to every issue.

Alan Coffman, Washington

Editors’ note: Alpha-gal syndrome is an allergic reaction to a tick bite. There are multiple tick species associated with this syndrome and symptoms vary from person to person just like any allergic reaction. During this study, the lab was not equipped to study both bacterial pathogens and allergic reactions at the same time, so scientists focused on bacterial pathogens transmitted by ticks. This study is the first of its kind in Missouri, and the goal is to continually build on that information to educate the public and the medical community about ticks.

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This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler