Reflections

CRICKETS VS. COCKROACHES

Sue Hubbell's article on camel crickets reminded me of an experience I had with those insects. When I was a kid, my family moved into a old house infested with cockroaches.

When the breeding population of camel crickets that I used for reptile food escaped en masse in the basement, the cockroaches disappeared. Either the crickets ate the roaches or they just outcompeted them.

Shortly after, we experienced an explosion of mice in the house and, you guessed it, the crickets disappeared. After I trapped out the mice we never had an insect problem again.

Joe Tousignant, Bourbon

DEER DREAMS COME TRUE

I would like to thank the Department of Conservation, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, all the volunteers and anyone else who helped to make the deer hunt for the disabled at Smithville Lake possible.

This was the second year for me to attend the event and everything was great, from the breakfast to the blind. After 10 very long years, I have another nice rack to hang on the wall and the freezer has been restocked with "my own" venison. At the end of the first day of the special hunt, 23 of 38 other disabled hunters had filled their tags, too. Special thanks to Keith and Judy, who weren't afraid to invest the extra time and effort needed to make a dream become a reality.

Scott Stark, Odessa

CONSERVATIONIST COMFORTS

My grandmother was recently in the hospital for quadruple by-pass surgery. Her stay in the hospital was long and very hard on her. Family members stayed by her side 24 hours a day. During the moments that would seem like hours, I found much comfort in your magazines, which were in the ICU waiting room.

Debby Brawley, West Plains

OUTDOORS FOR LIFE

What happens when the holder of one of these new lifetime permits moves out of state? Does he still get to use it as if he was still a resident?

It seems unlikely that any person will reside in one state the rest of his life. Also, is this permit a piece of paper that has to be kept an entire lifetime or is a computer entry tied to the owner?

William Martin, St. Louis

Editor's note: A lifetime permit is valid for life. Even if you move to another state you can hunt and/or fish in Missouri. Holders of lifetime permits receive a durable plastic permit card to carry in the field. The card is magnetically coded and will be renewed automatically every three years. All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967 must have completed an approved hunter education program.

DIsabled hunter amazing

Thank you for featuring our nephew, Ray McDonald and his article, "A Helping Hand." Ray is an inspiration to all disabled people. He outdoes himself and is amazing to all that know him.

Dorris Richmond, Waldron, Ark.

DOGGONE!

My pointer, setter and Labrador all think someone deserves a bite on the backside for publishing "Quail Hunting Without Dogs."

Why would a responsible conservation magazine even give mention to pursuing quail without dogs? Anyone shooting at more than one bird on a covey rise will most likely fail to locate any of the downed birds without a dog to help them. If you want to shoot a flying target and leave it, then shoot trap, skeet or clays, instead. At least half the enjoyment of the hunt is to see a dog on point with several more dogs honoring the point, or to watch a well trained dog locate, point, mark and retrieve the bird to hand.

J. Lee Guthrie, Nevada

NOTE FROM UNDERGROUND

Thank you for mentioning the Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy. The sidebar in the article, however, carried incorrect addresses. The address of the Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy is Route 2, Box 234, Eldon, 65026-9529. The address you gave was of a past president.

The National Speleological Society's address is 2813 Cave Ave., Huntsville, AL 35810-4431.

H. Dwight Weaver, Eldon

ASLEEP ON BEARS?

I learned a lot from the article on hibernation. Although there was a time when some bear researchers proposed that black bears were not true hibernators, the vast majority of bear researchers now agree that they are true hibernators. It's exciting that there is always more to learn about nature.

Dan Drees, Union

WEBSTER GROVES MEMORIES

I enjoyed the article about the Webster Groves Nature Study Society. I wonder how many of the older members were acquainted with my father, W.L. "Doc" Shulz, who taught biology and, later, chemistry at Webster Groves High School?

My father instilled in me a deep love for and an interest in the outdoors that remain, along with fond memories of the Ozarks and the woods and the streams of St. Louis County.

William L. Schulz, Jr., Baytown, Tex.

ARE YOU KUDOING?

I teach classical languages at the University of Missouri. Imagine, therefore, my surprise and disappointment in finding a gross linguistic error in your generally magnificent magazine. I refer to the heading "A few kudos."

The Greek word "kudos" is a singular noun, meaning something like glory, honor or fame. Misled by the fact that it ends in "s" English speakers sometimes treat it as a plural. One can no more have a few kudos than a few snow or a few butter. What you should say is "a little kudos."

Eugene N. Lane, Columbia

bits of PRAISE, then

"Aunt Margaret" by Robert Flanders is a perfect example of what I've come to expect from the Conservationist - well written, educational and entertaining. I'm looking forward to future issues.

David Schmitton, Weehawken, N.J.

Thanks for the articles on nature photography with Jim Rathert's photos and tips. Jim is a singular talent and his photographs are world-class. Please run more.

Henry W. Robison, Ph.D., Magnolia, Ark.

AGENTS' NOTEBOOK

Agents who work the state's four trout parks at Montauk, Bennett Spring and Roaring River state parks and Maramec Spring - are asked the same question over and over: "What lure can I use?"

There are four zones at the parks: artificial lures, natural bait, fly fishing and catch and release. Some parks combine zones, such as artificial lures and natural bait, or fly fishing and catch and release but the following rules give you an idea what is allowed in each zone.

  • Artificial lures: you can use spinners, plugs and plastic worms, eggs, crawfish, etc. that do not contain natural or prepared food substances.
  • Natural baits: anglers can use real salmon eggs, live or dead grasshoppers, worms, crawfish or other creatures and organic baits, such as corn, marshmallows, dough balls or cheese.
  • Fly fishing: flies only may be used and flies must be constructed of a single-point hook, of feathers, tinsel, chenille, yarn, fur, hair, silk, rayon or nylon thread or floss, with or without spinner. You are not restricted to fly rods, reels and lines, however.
  • Catch and release: at all parks during the winter months and throughout the year in a special zone in Montauk Trout Park, you must use flies only, but you are not restricted to fly rods, reels and lines. All fish must be released unharmed immediately after being caught.

Always check each park's rules before fishing to learn complete regulations.