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Friends & allies

Going South by Kelly Gillespie [April] was a wonderful article! I learned so much from it. I had no idea that our birds were in such peril! I also didn’t realize the physical challenge of their migratory flights. I knew hummingbirds were incredible travelers, but did not realize so many other types of birds went that far south.

I love that we are getting an international alliance — a meeting of the minds — with our Central/South American neighbors. We’ve got to create the habitat. It takes small steps with consistency to make a difference, and this is an excellent start. I won’t take my feathered backyard visitors for granted any more!

Elizabeth Frazier Fuemmeler, MA, CCC-SLP Prairie View Elementary, Lee’s Summit

Enduring ethics

I just read Catfish, Mo. in your April issue. I grew up fishing the rivers, lakes and streams in Missouri. My dad was my mentor when it came to all things outdoors. His two passions were quail hunting and fishing for catfish. My dad passed in 1996 before he had a chance to see the rapid decline of the bobwhite quail.

I am glad the Department of Conservation came to the logical and scientific conclusion that “noodling,” or whatever colorful name you choose to give hand fishing, should be stopped.

I asked my dad as a small boy why we fish so much and other fisherman caught so many more big flatheads. Dad explained that those guys were hand fishing, and then he explained the process to me. When I wondered why we didn’t hand fish, Dad made a point to tell me when the catfish is removed from the nest thousands of unhatched catfish die because there is no parent to protect them. He also said it was “against the law.” Many people justify fishing by these methods as being handed down through the generations. That makes those who do this a second-, third-, or fourth-generation poacher in my opinion. I have experienced the thrill of hooking a big cat on a rod and reel, and I’ve gotten to feel that unmistakable tug of a big cat on a trot line and a limb line. I am glad my grandchildren and their children will one day get to do the same thanks to the efforts of the MDC!

Les James, Hannibal

The silent type

What a great article, To Call or Not to Call, in the April Conservationist. An avid turkey hunter myself, with 25 years experience hunting both Missouri and Kansas, I found Mark Goodwin’s article right on — a must read for all turkey hunters, especially young hunters. Experience — that says it all, and Mark talks more about being quiet than calling. Young hunters take heed, he’s talking the right stuff here.

Rob Bolin, St. Joseph

Day-trippin’ tips

We always look forward to the Missouri Conservationist. Your recent article Walk on the Froggy Side [March; Page 6] led us to explore southeast Missouri. We visited Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and Otter Slough Conservation Area. Both sites offered great ways to view animals and nature. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for the day-trip idea!

Teresa Leicht, Cuba

Barrel of info

I have to really complement your organization for the excellent work and time you put into developing each issue — the photos, stories, feature articles and most of all the Web address you provide is outstanding. I especially liked the Collect Those April Showers article [April; Page 7] — the Web site you provide is excellent! I sure hope Gov. Nixon puts a bit more money into the Conservation funding ‘cause it sure would be worth it!

Roger R. Conway, Jefferson City

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

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