Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.
Shed the winter blues
My name is Jon Overmann and I live in south St. Louis. I’m an avid hunter, fisherman, and reader of the Conservationist. I wanted to drop you an email to let you know how much I appreciated your article On the Hunt for Antler Sheds. For me, as for most people in the Midwest, January is a slow time for outdoor recreation (with the exception of an occasional trout trip).
I was working last weekend at my in-laws’ farm, near Hermann, where we hunt in the fall. After the morning of work I decided to take a hike for sheds and to look at some of the areas of the farm I haven’t been on before. I’ve been on numerous hikes and drives around the farm, but until reading the article I hadn’t been out in January, at least not looking for sheds.
Much of my family looked at me like I was crazy to go on a hike specifically for sheds, and no one else wanted to go. They were shocked when I actually found a shed. My sister told me she now wants to go out on a “shed hike.” So now, instead of the dreaded January drought of outdoor activity, shed hikes will give us something to look forward to in January. I’m thinking about making a drive out to the farm and taking another hike this weekend to see if I can find the second antler.
Jon Overmann, via Internet
On silent wings
I opened my February Conservationist today and experienced quite a pleasant surprise! Noppadol Paothong’s article about observing short-eared owls in Missouri was accompanied by beautiful photographs; however, my delight came from a small addition: the photo information (which included lens length, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO).
As an avid birdwatcher and amateur photographer, this information is very helpful to improve my photography skills, and also to remind wildlife viewers that full-frame photos don’t always come from approaching wildlife as close as you can get. We all wonder “how did he get that shot?” and having this information helps readers improve their photography and inspire us to continue learning.
Christian Hagenlocher, St. Louis
I never cease to be amazed at the high caliber of your images by photographer Noppadol Paothong. They are intensely clear imagery, very creatively composed, just stellar. I would be happy to hang many on the walls of my home! The cover of the January issue is just amazing.Valerie Bashaw, via Internet
I was reading through the February issue and noticed a picture of my dad, Doug Keating, and me. I was 12 years old in that picture, and I also harvested my first deer (a doe) that day at Caney Mountain Conservation Area in Ozark County. In fact, dad and I both harvested a deer that same day.
I think it is really neat to see this picture for the second time, the first being in the January 1999 issue. My dad and I still hunt together. I will turn 30 in August, I am now a special education teacher who shares my passion of hunting and the outdoors with my students.
Matt Keating, via Internet
I’m sure my brother-in-law Greg Hoss did not mean to imply that the Hoss family has owned 30 acres along Missouri’s Black River in Iron County [Mission Impossible?; January], when his father-in-law, Albert Fuchs, my father, has actually owned that property for that length of time. It would be nice to have Albert Fuchs recognized as the correct land owner.
Jean Fuchs, via Internet
Editors’ note: The article reads that “Hoss’s family has owned land along Missouri’s Black River in Iron County since the 1970s.” We are happy to provide this clarification as we understand how there might be some confusion.
David Steele, of Troy, photographed this American dog tick, one of several, during an early March hike. “I was being actively hunted by each of these ticks while I was trying to photograph them,” said Steele. Steele said he and his girlfriend are avid nature photographers and his favorite method of photography is close-up, macro photography like this tick image. “One of our goals is to photograph all of the conservation areas and state parks in Missouri.”