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I saw Santa

Posted December 18, 2014 at 10:34 am


In the winter I feed everything up here on this wooded ridgetop I call Lightnin’ Ridge. I feed squirrels and birds, deer and turkey, even a fox and bobcat and on occasion… and an eagle that comes up from the river. Only a hundred yards from my office window, there is a little pond and a corn feeder. In the winter, there must be a hundred doves that come to it, and down past the pond this year, the covey of quail that have numbered from nine to 16 over the past 10 years, is a whopping 25 or so this winter.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy…that covey of quail just plumb tickles me to pieces. The corn this year is under $5 per 50-pound bag, and that is another thing that makes me happy.

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    Conservation sets deer, turkey seasons

    The Conservation Commission met Dec. 11 and 12 at Conservation Department Headquarters, 2901 W. Truman Blvd., Jefferson City.


    The Commission:

    Received a presentation from Resource Scientist Jason Isabelle regarding wild turkey season recommendations and set the following 2015 turkey hunting seasons:

    Spring youth season – April 11 and 12

    Regular spring season – April 20 through May 10

    Fall firearms season – Oct. 1 through 31


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    Conservation Corner

    Cooking Wild in Missouri

    Each month we have a discounted item and our “Special” for the month of December is Cooking Wild in Missouri, savoring the Show-Me State’s game, fish, nuts, fruits and mushrooms. Topics include: Why seasonal and local foods make sense, Freshly ground spices make a difference, The importance of an herb garden, Stocking your kitchen and Long doesn’t mean difficult.

    The deer seasons are halfway over but for lots of folks there is venison in the freezers and this book offers 23 pages of mouth-watering photos

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    The last bass

    It was early October of 2010, and the first falling leaves were floating along the river beside us. Uncle Norten and I had enjoyed a great day of fishing. The bass had been hitting, and I marveled at how well he could cast and fish at his age of 87.

    He had begun to have trouble remembering how to get to the river, but he had no trouble remembering how to fish a spinner-bait, or bounce a jig

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    Deer hunting, then and now

    I remember what deer hunting was like back when I was a boy. I am utterly amazed at how it has changed. Some very good hunters regularly visited Dad’s pool hall where I worked as a kid. Most of them were rural people who knew all about deer and how they moved. At that time in the mid-60′s I would estimate the Ozarks of southern Missouri had about 10 to 20 percent as many deer as we have today. In those times, if I remember right, the season was only a few days and

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    Fish biting at night

    Lake Stockton Report

    by Michael Weis

    Stockton State Park Marina

    A couple of guys brought in a lot of crappie the last couple of nights. They said they were using lights.

    The crappie were keepers, but not much bigger than keepers.

    We have a few crappie beds throughout this area.

    People have been bringing in a steady amount of catfish. They are using perch on trotlines and jugs. The cats run up to 10 lbs. a couple of blues but mainly flatheads.


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    Walleye bite in August in Canada

    It was hot last year, too, the first week of August.

    We wondered what the weather was like in Canada. Sondra Gray, who is the editor of the Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal which I publish, loves to fish, and her husband, David, had a vacation coming up. Gas was high, about 2.59 a gallon, if I remember right, but a display company in Minneapolis had asked me to build an old time wooden johnboat about 10 feet long and they would pay my expenses for delivery. So

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    Regular spring turkey harvest totals 40,447

    Hunters checked 40,447 turkeys during Missouri’s regular spring turkey season, up by 2,120 from 38,327 last spring, or about one percent. The harvest of 4,319 turkeys during this year’s spring youth weekend, March 31 and April 1, brought the 2012 spring turkey harvest to 44,766, up about one percent from 2011. Youth hunters harvested 3,893 turkeys during the 2011 spring youth weekend for a 2011 spring total of 42,220.

    Top harvest counties during the regular 2012 spring turkey season, April 16 through May 6, were Franklin with 852, Texas with 803 and

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