Note To Our Readers

Savor the Season

Missourians’ outdoor heritage makes our state a great place to live and enhances our quality of life. The next few months are an ideal time to build on that legacy. October and November are the “golden months of fall,” and there’s not a finer time to be afield with family and friends. Watching mallards swing into your decoys, following a hunting dog for quail, pheasant, or rabbit, sharing a waterfowl blind with your favorite retriever, backpacking some of the Ozark Trail, or just enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of a golden fall day will all make great memories.

I have the privilege of observing many citizens express, share, and build on their outdoor heritage. Recently a grandfather shared a photograph of his two grandsons fishing. Teaching youngsters about the outdoors and passing on that heritage is a hallmark of Missouri culture. At a deer meeting Macon, I listened to a deer hunter eloquently speak about love and passion for deer hunting and what those experiences meant to him and his family. At a recent celebration Flora of Missouri book with the Missouri Botanical Garden, met a group of people who shared their love and passion plants and the outdoors. At the Audubon Riverland’s I watched waterfowl enthusiasts plan and commit to improving Missouri’s wetlands for the future. This shared for natural resources and the outdoors is what conserves protects Missouri’s resources and enhances our overall quality of life around the state, including the bottom line state’s economy.

Spend time with each other in Missouri’s outdoors fall. Hunt, fish, hike, camp, photograph, and observe your into wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Savor Missouri’s spectacular fall foliage, spend some time watching native bluestem grasses sway in a fall breeze, enjoy migrating wildlife, feel and smell the brisk morning air as fall wanes winter, or marvel at the annual agriculture harvest in Missouri that helps feed the world.

Often you can have a lake to yourself by fishing for bass, crappie, and catfish into late fall. Some of the best river and stream floating occurs as river traffic all but disappears and fall colors explode along our rivers and streams.

In our monthly Letters section, Bonnie Welker talks about family tradition and the annual family raccoon hunt. The Welker family has carried on this annual fall hunt for 25 years and four generations of their family! Conservation Agent Mark Reed’s Agent Notes section highlights mentoring. Mentoring family or friends is an outstanding way to spend time enjoying the outdoors and pass along your passion for conservation to future generations.

Brett Dufur’s article The Legendary Longbow provides a glimpse of Missouri’s rich archery history. Missouri’s National Archery in the Schools program builds upon that legacy as 302 schools and more than 56,000 youth participated this past year.

The article First Steps Afield — Welcoming friends and family to our hunting traditions begins with “My dad.” Almost all of us who enjoy the outdoors have a special person who introduced us, taught us, mentored us, encouraged us, and took us afield. Commit yourself to being that special person who helps others go outdoors and learn about nature, and who instills that conservation passion that makes Missourians unique. You need look no further than the cover of this magazine to see the beauty that awaits in Missouri’s outdoors!

Tim Ripperger, deputy director