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Deer Grandpa

For many years I have told the story that my grandpa helped biologists invent the white tail deer and wild turkey traps, and that he helped to introduce these species to other states in the country. Much to my family’s surprise, there he was on Page 8 of November’s issue (in the front, releasing a deer). His name was Ray Woodring and he lived in Willow Springs.

To a young girl, he was just grandpa in a green suit and hat who drove a truck with “Missouri Conservation” on it. As a woman, I have learned the tremendous value of the role he played in the “evolution of deer management.”

Thank you so much for proving my story true!

Lea Ann Payne, Ozark

When I reached Page 8, I got a proud surprise. The man under the “Deer Season Closed” sign is my grandfather, Ray Woodring.

Occasionally, my grandfather would take me out to the refuge. We would bait the area where he planned to catch and tag turkeys. We would spread cracked corn near the blind and he would show me the signs that were all about from the deer and turkey.

My grandmother told me that she and grandpa took some deer to a rural Missouri town, about the time this picture was taken, where several people had gathered to watch the release. Apparently deer were so sparse that many had never seen one. As I have been the recipient of the Commission’s hard work and good management, I am proud of my grandfather’s contribution to the healthy deer and turkey populations here in Missouri.

Mark Doyle, via Internet

Trophy Deer Care

I disagree with reader Mike Billman [Careful dresser; December]. In the “Letters” section, he wrote that he opposed splitting the pelvis when field dressing a deer due to possible broken knife blades or possible personal injury. I split the pelvis of every deer I harvest.

I always have a hatchet and a hammer readily available for use after downing a deer. I lay the deer on its back and then create tension in the meat above the center of the pelvis by placing my knee on one leg and my right hand on the other, spreading the legs apart. Then, with the left hand, I barely have to touch the sharp edge of the knife to the meat and it easily splits all the way to the bone. Next, release the leg in the right hand. Keep the knee on the left leg, place the cutting edge of the hatchet onto the center of the exposed pelvic bone and use the hammer to drive the head of the hatchet through the bone.

By not chopping or slicing with the hatchet, merely using it as a cutting wedge, it will not puncture the intestines beneath the pelvic bone. It only takes a few mild licks with the hammer to break through the bone. Removal of the lower colon and anus is then very simple by cutting around the anus and then lifting the colon and rectum out through the split created in the pelvic bone.

Greg Rudroff, Farmington

Corrections

Some of our readers were concerned that the article Oh Christmas Tree! (December; Page 6) favored artificial trees. This was not our intention. Though real trees may not be appropriate for all families, they are a valuable economic and conservation resource for Missouri—especially when they are recycled.

In the December “Ask the Ombudsman” column, we wrote that a special permit is required to shoot nuisance crows out of season. However, due to a federal exception, a special permit is not required to control crows when causing damage, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. In those instances Missouri’s Wildlife Code allows property owners to control the problem without a permit by contacting a Department representative within 24 hours.

In the November issue, on Page 33, the Web site for Share the Harvest should have been listed as www.MissouriConservation.org/9032.

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