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Rogers Ramblings


Hi friends and neighbors of the Mail. Fall is upon us now and for many outdoor enthusiasts of our community that means the beginning of many of our hunting seasons that we are so very blessed with in our great state of Missouri. In my younger days on the farm we always planted about 28 acres of wheat. Doves by the hundreds would ascend upon our fields and dine on the freshly planted seed. Each year we would place square bales in the corners of the field to make a little fort to try and hide ourselves when shooting at the doves. We assembled a small army of shotgunners and secured a pickup load of shotgun shells. We scattered out and the fun began. In my opinion the doves already knew from last year we were horrible shots and they just loved to torment us. A couple of doves would fly around the field and we would shoot a dozen shells and miss every time. Then sometimes they would make us wait for two or three minutes and then they would have a conference and decide to send out a kamikaze charge. All of us once again would shoot and empty our weapons. Then before we could all reload they sent out another 20 or 30 of their friends to come flying out of the woods and this time flying directly over just to taunt us. They seemed to know when we could not shoot at them! By the end of our outing we all had sore shoulders and ringing ears and a pile of spent shells. Accidents do happen you know and we would usually harvest maybe one or two birds each. We proudly field dressed our game, soaked the birds in salt water overnight and would have a get together and wrap a piece of bacon around and grill them over charcoal and brag what great hunters we all were. If you are a hunter or just love to admire our abundant wildlife we all know the biggest season which generates the most excitement is deer. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year to locate and secure a big buck to hang on the wall with huge antlers. Friends: today our county has thousands of deer and in some counties we are overrun with an abundance of deer to the point that our conservation commission has an extra season for harvesting our abundant four footed creatures. Have you ever thought about how our Missouri Conservation Department learned how to restore our deer, otter, elk, black beer, duck, quail, and all of the fur bearing animals that are very abundant and they all need harvesting seasons to control excess numbers. When I was a kid during the 1950 and early 60’s deer were almost extinct. Now look where we are today. Oh let’s not forget bald eagles. Three winters ago I saw 30 sightings within 5 miles of where I live. Have you ever wondered how the term conservation came about? Let’s find out! There’s an Ozarks urban legend about an individual 250 years ago that is the daddy of modern conservation of today. O K folks: you know the drill. Sit back, close your eyes for amoment and let me tell you this story from the past. Once there was a man who had a large farm deep in our Ozark mountains. He had a large family and it took an abundance of food each day to keep everyone fed. Our man’s name was Conci Vashion. Now Conci was not the normal everyday farmer of his time. He had a vision to save his land for future generations and practiced and developed many of the modern farm practices we have today such as rotational grazing and growing crops. In addition to his farming practices he also realized that the wildlife on his land were also important to maintain healthy numbers. He fenced his land into a big V. Each fall he would get all his neighbors and family members together and have a deer drive.

Conci set posts in the ground just the right distance apart at the end of the trap to snag and harvest the big bucks with the large antlers. All of the small bucks, does and fawns ran on through to maintain a healthy herd for next year. Word spread quickly about Conci Vashion’s technique of only harvesting the large bucks. Soon the term conversationalists became a person who tries to maintain and manage wildlife for the future. Today every state in our nation uses the term (Conservationists) thanks to one of our very own early urban legend heroes of long ago. When I was a kid during the 50 and 60’s deer were almost extinct. Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, you now know why we are so blessed with abundant wildlife in our county. Until next week my rambling friends. Tell your friends and neighbors to join us each week as we have so much fun diving into the past with stories, legends and history.


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