Reflections

New name

I have subscribed to the Missouri Conservationist for so many years that I can't remember when I started. It gets better every time.

If you ever want to change the title, you could call it "Missouri Conservation, Education, Pictures, History, Maps, Current Information, Nature, Native Wildlife, Fishing, Hunting, Wildflowers, Schedules, Cartoons, Safety and Education Provided for Kids (very important!) and Much More Magazine."

Clyde M. Anderson, Zapata, Texas

Frog For All Seasons

I enjoyed Bob Kitt's article, "Ozark Nocturne," because, to me, the comforting drone of tree frogs is nature's way of saying that everything is OK.

However, saying that the calling of tree frogs is an announcement that summer has come to Missouri is erroneous. Tree frogs awaken and chant any time the temperature rises above freezing and it begins to rain. It could be December, January or February. Summer has nothing to do with it.

William M. Holub, Columbia

A 'zine For All Ages

Your magazine appeals to all ages. It has been the favorite picture book of our grandson since he was just over a year old. In fact, it was the only thing that quieted him when he woke up crying.

Monna Canida, Cole Camp

Shelby and I (her grandmother) read and discuss your magazine every month. We really enjoy talking about nature and wildlife. We do what we can, such as recycle, feed birds and have habitats on our farm to help Mother Nature. Thank you for having a children's section in your magazine.

Deborah Stevat, Parkville

We enjoy the Conservationist. Occasionally our 16-year-old son even reads parts of it, and that impresses us most of all. He would much rather be hunting or fishing or exploring the outdoors than inside reading, but he can't pass up the information he finds in your magazine.

Randy & Julie Wagner, Blue Eye

I compliment you on your efforts to teach our younger generation better conservation, but devoting 16 of 33 pages of your March issue is a bit much. I doubt that 50 percent of your readers are children. Maybe one article per issue would be more realistic.

Archie Wottowa, Belleville, Ill.

Editor's note: A 16-page special children's insert, "Outside In" is included with the Conservationist four times a year. "Outside In" has its own internal page numbering, which does not count against the magazine's normal total.

Pruning Preferred

We appreciate your shepherding of your own financial resources by periodic pruning of mailing lists, which can easily become outdated. Here's my card; keep up the good work.

Jim Thompson, Columbia

Photo Surprise

I was surprised to see a picture of me taken in the Spring of 1980 on the cover of "Outside In." The photo was taken in Creve Coeur. The trees were part of a 4th-grade conservation project at Bellerive Elementary in the Parkway school district. At last report, the tree (which was an ash) is still going strong.

When I planted it, I planned to turn it into a baseball bat to further my baseball career, but I settled into the practice of law instead.

Eric Eickmeyer, Kirkwood

History File

Thanks for your "Beavers in Boomtown" and "Chicken Little was Right" stories in the February issue. The former is going into my file on St. Louis history. Because of those stories, I am sending a subscription for my cousin and her husband in East Texas.

Anna Margaret Stroud, Moberly

Appalling Manners

I was appalled by the letter writer signed "Manners are No Big Deal." He should pay a great deal more attention to any "Goody-Two-Shoes" hunter or angler he has the privilege of knowing. He might learn something about ethics.

Cathy Statler, Florissant

Creepy Invasion

Thanks for the informative articles and the beautiful artwork and photography in your magazine. Can you explain the invasion of walking stick insects in Camden County during late summer and fall last year? The creepy creatures were everywhere.

Al & Marilyn Bohnert, Laurie

Editor's note: All insect populations fluctuate in response to breeding conditions or temporary changes in the number of predators that feed on them. Numerous people have reported that 1996 was a good year for both walking sticks and ladybugs.

Arson Shocking

Richard Blatz states in "Lake Ozark Strike Team" that the Lake Ozark region has about 500 wildfires a year, of which 47 percent are caused by arson. That is a shocking statistic.

Please tell us that there is a misplaced decimal point. We'd hate to think there are that many crazies running loose among us.

George Stephenson, Ferguson

Editor's note: In addition to a long-standing tradition of burning the woods every spring, the Lake Ozark District has the greatest number of fires deliberately set to harass neighbors, government officials and firefighters. Smokey Bear is working overtime there, but educating people about the damaging effects of wildfires is obviously a long-term process.

Ducks Under Fire

Cannons don't work against nuisance waterfowl. I was at Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin and saw many migrating waterfowl calmly eating away under the constantly booming carbide cannons. Other animals than humans adapt to their environment.

Joe Engels, Gravois Mills

Bison vs. bumpers

The Conservation Department has done a good job of restocking deer and turkey, but we now know that deer and automobiles aren't a good combination.

Please don't try restocking bison. They were once abundant in this area, but I would hate to think of colliding with one of them.

Donald Fible, Ewing

AGENT'S NOTEBOOK

On warm, calm, early summer days in southeastern Missouri, many folks pile their families into the car and take a casual drive through rural areas to see the freshly planted fields and the abundant green vegetation.

Many times, they will discover that the drainage ditches along fence rows are full of water. Like most people, their first thought is about fishing, and soon they are rummaging through their vehicles to find their fishing tackle.

During these spontaneous fishing trips, it's important to remember that any artificial drainage or tributary to a stream or body of water containing sufficient water to support wild fish is considered "waters of the state."

What this means is that statewide fishing regulations are in effect, including the requirement for fishing permits. Bag and length limits apply to many species.

Many of these ditches run through private land, so you should obtain permission from the landowner before trying out a new fishing hole. Otherwise, you could be trespassing.

We encourage people to fish and to take advantage of all the waters of the state, even narrow drainage ditches. It's important, however, to prepare yourself beforehand with a fishing permit, to know the regulations and to get permission before wetting your line. Otherwise, that spontaneous urge to fish on a warm summer day could get you into trouble.

Leother Branch

Scott County