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A voice in the deep woods

Posted December 11, 2014 at 9:35 am


I promise this will be the last column this year in which I mention deer hunting. I intend to go fishing soon and write about that. But before I go on to something else, I have to tell you about something that got me to thinking about the good old days and missing those times gosh-awful.

I was hunting deer on my little place off in the middle of nowhere, and I came back to my cabin about dark. The fire had burned down in the stove, and it was a trifle warm, so I stepped out on the back porch, looking down on the creek. The moon was fairly high and bright and it was so still you could have heard a coon cough. Down the creek I could hear an old hound on the trail of

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    Mike Dill’s big fish earns win

    With cool 40’s air temperatures and upper 40’s water temperatures, the bass proved to be plentiful for most of the 22 anglers who fished the ABA qualifying tournament on Stockton Lake Dec. 6. Mike Dill of Greenfield, won with four fish weighing 12.96 lbs, anchored by Big Fish of the day, a 5.65 lb largemouth. Dill earned $770 for the days efforts.

    Second place went to Matt Theil of Jasper with a 5-fish limit that weighed 12.07 lbs; 3rd place was

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    This year’s deer harvest ahead of 2013

    Deer checked during the antlerless portion of firearms hunting season put the total harvest above last year’s figure.

    Hunters checked 9,107 deer during the antlerless portion of Missouri’s firearms deer season, bringing this year’s tally to 194,997.

    Top harvest counties for the antlerless portion were Pike with 287 deer checked, Callaway with 283 and Macon with 257.

    In area counties, hunters in St. Clair County checked 205 deer – 2 antlered bucks, 38 button bucks and 165 does. In Vernon County, hunters checked 178

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    Conservation Corner

    Eagles have arrived

    In 1782 the bald eagle was formally adopted as our national emblem and there were as many as 20,000 nesting pairs in what is now the United States. But in the past 200+ years the number of bald eagles has drastically declined.

    As victims of human encroachment, habitat destruction, DDT poisoning and hunting, at one time, there were only 3,000 nesting pairs. In 1978 the federal government declared the bald eagle an endangered species in 43 states, including Missouri. Due to strict regulations, the bald eagle

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    See wild turkey videos

    For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner means turkey on the table. And for many Missourians, that includes a wild turkey.

    Learn more about this Missouri native and America’s largest game bird through our Turkey Trivia video at

    Happy Thanksgiving from the Missouri Department of Conservation!

    In spring, male turkeys (“toms”) begin gobbling to announce themselves

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    An odd duck and a weird deer

    Most of you who read this column on a regular basis know I don’t fiddle around much on a computer. If God only gives us a certain amount of hours on this earth, and we can still hunt and fish and cut firewood and fix a garden and raise a few chickens, isn’t it a real waste of those precious hours to be sitting in front of one of these little boxes that all of us know is evil and deranged and ruins lives? It is akin to sitting in traffic each day wasting

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    November deer harvest up from last year

    Building on a strong opening weekend harvest, Missouri hunters went on to check a total of 167,205 deer during firearms deer season Nov. 15 through 25. The number exceeds last year’s harvest of 157,273.

    The Missouri Department of Conservation reports the top harvest counties were Howell, with 3,418 deer checked; Franklin, with 3,338 and Texas, with 3,170.

    In area counties, hunters in St. Clair County took 1,048 antlered bucks, 344 button bucks and 1,050 does for a total of 2,442. In Vernon County, hunters harvested 847 antlered bucks,

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    Conservation Corner

    Owls begin courting

    Now is the time to listen for Great Horned and Barred Owls as this is the time of year they begin courting.

    The usual call for a Barred Owl is “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” while the more familiar Great Horned Owl call is a muffled, resonant, six-noted hoot.

    Both owls are common year-round residents. The Barred Owl occasionally flies during daylight, especially when disturbed. It’s habitat is the deep woods, especially big timber around rivers, lakes and swamps.

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    Thank You God…. For everything but persimmons…


    Hunting deer this week, I came across a persimmon tree loaded with persimmons. I ate several and left the rest for deer and raccoons and possums. Every time I eat a persimmon I get the feeling that God made them for wild creatures and meant for man to leave them alone. The seeds are large, and too many. The skin makes your mouth feel like you ought to drink a quart or so of water.

    You can eat them, and you can even eat white oak acorns.

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    Boaters need safe fuels


    Ensuring a safe fuel supply for America’s 12 million registered boat owners may have to wait, said Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Nov. 21 that the agency will further delay the final rule on how much ethanol refiners must blend into the nation’s gasoline supply under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). After almost a year of review, the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), which dictate ethanol levels, are now not set to be released until 2015.

    BoatUS testified before the EPA

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