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Mr. Greenjeans

Thanks so much for your August article on the pawpaw and the great helpful hints on growing them!

Do you remember Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh “Lumpy” Brannum) and Burl Ives in the1950s singing “Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch on the Captain Kangaroo show?” That is my first memory of the song.

Ken Vanderslice, Tomball, TX

“Down in the Pawpaw Patch” by Cynthia Andre brought back some fond memories.

In the 1930s, when I was growing up, my grandfather, F.A. Dalton, had a cabin on the Gasconade River. The outhouse was down in a large group of pawpaws. No one ever said they had to go to the restroom, they just said they were heading down to the pawpaw patch.

James P. Dalton, Jefferson City

Dauber Death

Two summers ago, I watched a mud dauber go about its work above my garage door for a couple of weeks.

Every day, all day, the mud dauber brought mud and shaped its structure. I was fortunate enough to witness its last bit of handiwork. After it had delicately placed the last drop of mud, it fell to the ground, dead. What determination: using your last drop of energy to assure the future of the next generation. It seemed a lesson for life itself.

Michael Horton, Chesterfield

Pointing Spaniels

I read with interest Joel Vance’s article on “The Do-Everything Dog.” His statement, however, that the Brittany is the only spaniel that flushes is wrong.

Specifically, Boykin spaniels and the St. Usuage spaniel, of which there are only 15 in the U.S., are excellent pointers, water retrievers and other prey dogs.

With both these breeds, it is common to hunt upland birds and waterfowl on the same day with the same enthusiasm.

Ross Williams, Springfield

Big River

I just read the article on canoeing the Missouri River and would suggest that beginners go with someone who has had experience on the river.

Advance knowledge of river levels is important. At slightly above average flows, campsites tend to be fairly small. When water is over the wingdikes, camping is on top of islands or banks. High water increases turbulence in the river and make wingdikes, buoys and floating trees more of a hazard.

Wind is a nemesis of big river canoeing. Headwinds slow you down and can create waves that come over the bow. Large waves that come from behind are worse, because you can’t see them coming.

The big rivers are deceptively fast. A buoy or tow that looks far away will suddenly be close. Plan river maneuvers far in advance. Insist that everyone wear a PFD. In the event of a capsize, a canoeist may be in the water for several miles before a rescue can be effected.

Never get too close to tows, and watch out for boats. Waves on the river reflect off the banks, making it difficult to know from which direction a wave will hit you next.

The scale of big river canoeing is one of its charms and dangers. Nowhere else in Missouri can a canoeist see three to nine miles downstream and have sandbars a mile long. Just be sure to go with someone who knows the ways of the river.

George Behrens, Glendale

Magazine Collection

The Conservationist, as we know it, was first printed as of April. 1943. It was a pamphlet before that. I know because I have every issue in perfect condition. Also, I remember that when I was a junior in high school in 1943 we could not have a year book because paper was in short supply due to the war, but that was the year the Conservationist started in a magazine format.

James L. Curtis, Cameron

Editor’s note: The Conservationist first took on the “look” of a magazine in 1943. From 1938 to 1943, it was published as a newsletter or pamphlet.

Scorekeeping

The article on scoring deer antlers could mislead readers into thinking the Boone & Crockett system ranks deer antlers by size.

A deer that scores 200 points does not have that many inches of antler, just 200 points in the Boone and Crockett System Towards Perfection, which was the original name of the system over 100 years ago.

The system has caused mutilation of some beautiful racks when hunters have tried to knock off extra points to make a rack more symmetrical.

Tom Gogan, Isabella

The letters printed here reflect readers' opinions about the Conservationist and its contents. Space limitations prevent us from printing all letters, but we welcome signed comments from our readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: How do I change my address for my permits? I bought my deer tag and noticed it has my old address.

image of ombudsmanA: Any permit vendor can update your address information when you buy your permit. You can also call a permit vendor toll free at 1-800-392-4115 or contact your Conservation Department regional office to update your record. Regional office contact information is in the Hunting and Trapping and Fishing Summaries.

It’s important to update permit information. Landowner permits and notice to successful managed hunt applicants are mailed to the address information on record. If your address is out of date, important material may not reach you.

Q: I’ve been told to hang a deer carcass to make the meat taste better. Will it hurt to hang it when the temperature is 70 degrees?

A: Hanging is a matter of preference, but you may ruin the meat if you don’t take proper precautions. Two of the last three deer seasons have been too warm to hang a deer outside for any length of time. Here are some helpful excerpts from MDC’s website on this topic:

Hang the deer to drain blood and cool to 50°F. within 6 hours of harvest. Cooling or freezing the venison too quickly will result in tougher meat. Aging venison longer is not necessary, but when stored at 34-40° F. for up to eight days, the taste and tenderness of venison cuts can be improved

Venison does not benefit from being aged beyond the 6-hour period if you plan on having all of your deer made up into deer sausage or ground meat, or if you do not have a place where the deer can be stored that maintains temperatures between 34 degrees and 40 degrees F.

Ombudsman Ken Drenon will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Conservation Department programs. Write him at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 751-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at <Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov>.

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