Outdoor Guide Magazine

From the Editor

A Book as Special as Its Topic

Writing about the outdoors, animals and places to visit has been a dream of mine for a long time. I have never really aspired to write a book, but I really love reading them. So to perfect the plan, I’d like to be the guy who writes reviews on tomes about outdoor topics.
A book I read earlier this year delivered on all I could have hoped as a guide to places I’d like to see, and it included a couple that I have already seen. Mark Woods is a newspaper columnist who received a fellowship to write about national parks across the country.
If you know someone who likes books and outdoor places, Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks could be great gift item. My kids bought it for me, and it was a great choice.
It is much more than just a guidebook that starts with sunrise on New Year’s Day on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine and concludes at the end of the year at Haleakala in Hawaii. The stories of family and people in between make for compelling reading.
We went to Acadia and Bar Harbor, Maine, in early September a couple of years ago. We watched a sunset there, and it was incredibly cold. I can’t imagine the environment for a sunrise in January, but Woods was not alone. Being in the first place where the sun reaches the American mainland on the first day of the year is apparently a thing. It is also requires extreme weather gear.
The main theme of the book is its celebration of 100 years of national parks in America, and it asks what those places might be like a century from now.
The one park Woods featured that seems to be most in peril is called Dry Tortugas, a series of shallow islands about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Almost any sea level rise will swamp Fort Jefferson, which was built in the 1800s to defend and protect the shipping lanes between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
Another place featured in the book that we have visited is Olympic National Park in Washington on the Pacific Ocean. The book highlights a place called the Hoh Rainforest. We hiked at a section called Quinault, which also features a temperate rainforest.
As opposed to the tropical rainforests of Amazon acclaim, these Pacific Northwest areas are fed by the moisture that comes off the ocean but can’t make it over the coastal mountain range, resulting in more than 140 inches of rain each year.

The temperate rainforests of Olympic National Park in Washington make it one of our most inspiring national parks.


In his big year, Woods visited some of the best-known national parks including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite, acknowledging the amazing features that make them popular with millions of visitors each year. The descriptions made me anxious to see these national treasures.
The author also visited a place called Gateway in New York, which depicted the system’s need for some tender loving care. Mostly an overgrown and abandoned airstrip on the harbor with its own island of garbage, it also includes a large grassland that may resemble what New York City looked like before the first Europeans arrived.
Recognizing more recent history, Woods spent a few days at the Flight 93 National Memorial at a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The place is a powerful and poignant look at America’s reaction and remembrance of a terrible September day.
Woods made a quick stop at one national park I really hope to see some day. There is actually nothing quick about a visit to Big Bend National Park in the middle of nowhere in Texas. No matter where you happen to be, it is still a long drive to Big Bend. Its location away from everything, of course, is the place’s charm. It is best known for star-filled skies above mountains, deserts and Rio Grande valleys with no interference from the man-made world.
If you have national pride about outdoor places across our country, Lassoing the Sun can take you to many of them while you wait for your chance to visit in person. Getting to know Mark Woods, a University of Missouri graduate, and his family along the way is a delightful side trip.

John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

Wise Women of the Great Outdoors

In a recent issue, we read words of wisdom from a few of our senior outdoor writers. This issue, we are blessed to have words of wisdom from our wise women of the great outdoors.
Enjoy their thoughts and savor the nuggets of wisdom from these authors you read regularly, right here in Outdoor Guide Magazine.
Wisdom is where knowledge and skill meet practice, experience and judgment, where you choose what to do or not do to skew the odds in your favor.
Wisdom enables an outdoor person to choose between diverging roads in a wood – to read the subtle differences in the track forward, the surface disturbance, the height of the weeds, the gooeyness of the mud, the depth of brown water in a pothole before driving forward.
Wisdom tells you when to set the hook and when to fire the gun for the best shot. It rises from the muscles and the bones, an action on the other side of thought. It is the key ingredient in turning hair silver or telling it when to fall out. Rarely does anyone with a full head of hair attain wisdom. A person can plant wisdom’s seeds, but it only grows silently in the dark soil of the soul.
Wisdom is what keeps you pounding on the non-descript rind of a geode, hoping it will collapse into a fistful of crystals. And then, when you sense the rock may be solid, to cut your losses and stop.
Jo Schaper is a caver, geologist and longtime Outdoor Guide contributor.
I am blessed for my femininity and my family, and the many lessons they gave me as life guidelines.
My parents raised me with good moral values and taught me strong Christian beliefs. My mother taught me about being a lady and reminded me often that beauty is on the inside. My father’s good advice taught that money doesn’t grow on trees, hard work always pays off, and there’s no hill for a climber.
I am blessed for my brother and three lovely sisters by their ongoing love and support, for the gift of giving birth to my three children, now all adults, and for two wonderful granddaughters who are lovely young women.
Most of all, I am blessed for the loving man in my life, and the beauty and gift of my femininity.
Jeannie Farmer writes the Jeannie’s Journey column in each Outdoor Guide.
My early years were spent on a cotton farm near the Texas-Oklahoma border. I was also a tomboy who preferred being with my three brothers rather than with my six sisters.
With this many kids in the family, we played outdoors and tended to our chores outside. I came to love the smell of freshly plowed dirt when Daddy got the fields ready to plant. I loved the air when the first cold wind blew in just before Christmas. I loved the feel of being in the woods when I tagged along with the boys, hunting squirrels. I loved shedding my shoes and jumping in a bar ditch after a big rain to make loblollies.
What did I learn from the freshly plowed field, from the north wind blowing in the Christmas season, from the anticipation of getting a couple of fat squirrels for supper or from my mud-coated legs each spring?
I learned that I was an important part of nature. Whether I was fishing in the irrigation ditch, hunting in the squirrel woods, marveling at the mature cotton stalks that looked like a white blanket of snow spread over the fields or just playing hide and seek with my brothers, I had no doubt there was a place in nature for me.
Growing older and looking back, I thank my lucky stars for being raised in the outdoors. If I could advise parents, I would say you owe your children the blessing of being a nature child – those who are ready for any adventure that comes along, prepared to handle emergencies of all kinds, trained to take care of themselves and be aware of all things, from a tiny ant to a flower blossom or to a magnificent buck deer.
Early on, put your children in nature and tell them, as the song goes, “The best things in life are free.”
Kay Hively writes features of all kinds for the Outdoor Guide.
“Don’t use yellow snow for making snow ice cream.” This old saw sprang to mind when I was asked for “words of wisdom” about the outdoors. But sensing that the editor had something more serious in mind, I gave the question some thought.
My conclusion was that my goal for good health coincides with my goal for the outdoors: Keep moving!
As someone looking at the Big 7-0 in a few short months, I value the time spent in the great outdoors more and more. In order to be able to keep enjoying the outdoors, I have to keep this old body in decent working order. The best way to do that is to keep moving!
It also is a good idea to teach this old dog some new tricks along the way. At the tender age of 67, I endured a brutal, three-day American Canoe Association training session, filled mostly with 30-somethings, to become a Certified Kayak Instructor.
Now I proudly volunteer as often as I can for kayak skills clinics with the National Park Service in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR). My secret goal in life is to become a seasonal Park Ranger at the ONSR. I’m working on that, too.
My most useful attribute at these clinics, and in other activities, is to show folks that age is only a state of mind. I’ve had both knees replaced, plus one hip and one shoulder. Thanks to these wonders of modern medicine, I was able to get my life back after each surgery and continue with my favorite activities – swimming, paddling a canoe or kayak, hiking, fishing, camping. Anything outdoors.
The secret is to have a goal to encourage you to get moving and keep moving. For example, after my hip replacement, my goal was to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain – and I did it! To celebrate my upcoming 70th, I’m shooting for a hiking tour of Mont Blanc in southern France. Somewhere along the way, while I am still able and coherent, I want to do as Jimmy Carter’s mother, Miss Lillian, did – to serve in the Peace Corps in India or Africa.
My other words of wisdom would be to follow the Girl Scout motto and “Be Prepared.” Whether it is a day float on the Current River or a hike in the Swiss Alps, my pack will contain a first-aid kit, food, extra water and clothing for a change in the weather. You can’t imagine how many times my extra items have helped out fellow hikers or paddlers.
Keep moving. Learn some new tricks. Be prepared. And have fun in the great outdoors!
Barbara Gibbs Ostmann is an internationally known travel writer and social media expert.
Never take anything or anyone for granted. Life changes in a split-second; “secure” jobs end when entire facilities are shut down. Loved ones’ lives are robbed by disease. Make every hug and kiss good-bye like it’s the last one.
In the 6th chapter of Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
Your shotgun may be valuable, but the relationship you built with your child, sitting in a blind helping him or her try to bag a turkey is priceless. The shotgun may get stolen, but what you wove into the fiber of that child’s being will last forever.
Never spend more than you make. That goes right along with knowing the difference between your needs and your wants.
To complete the trio, we should mention self-discipline. Once you’ve decided that it’s a want and not a need or you’ve decided that it will require more than you have to attain it, will you have the self-discipline to tell yourself no?
Teach your children these same things. Teach them the benefits of delayed gratification. Offer them their favorite cookie – just one – now. Or, they can wait an hour (or more depending on age) and have three. The lessons they learn can ripple enough to impact our country.
Claudette Roper is the author of Claudette’s Kitchen in each Outdoor Guide.

A Change of Tactics Pays Off

Seckman High School juniors Zak Hobbs and Tristen Konecnik took their state championship credentials to Pickwick Lake in Alabama June 26-30 for the High School Fishing World Finals and 2018 National Championships.
It didn’t take long for them to learn that techniques from Missouri were not the right strategy for the Tennessee River reservoir.
With the Lake of the Ozarks as their home lake, they know that shooting docks and scouring the shorelines are a recipe for success, but on the first day of the national tournament, they caught zero keeper fish doing what they know best.
“We weren’t catching any fish up there, and we found out the teams catching fish were fishing deep ledges,” Zak said. “You definitely have to do research about fishing in current and off the ledges to find schools of actively feeding fish.”
With some lessons learned before the second day of the tournament began, the pair caught a limit of fish good enough for a third-place finish for the day including one largemouth bass over five pounds and a spotted bass over four pounds, said Brian Hobbs, Zak’s dad and the team’s boat captain. The Missouri team’s great second day earned them 88th place out of about 360 teams
“I wish we would have went deep on the first day,” Zak said. “I can’t wait to get back there next year.”

The 2018 state championship team of Zak Hobbs, left, and Tristen Konecnik are pictured with their boat captain and Zak’s dad, Brian Hobbs.

To fulfill that dream they will have to qualify again as one of the top teams in Missouri, but they will enter that competition next season as defending state champions. The team finished first out of 272 teams in the Missouri High School State Championships on April 14 at Truman Lake. Zak and Tristen took top honors with a five-fish limit that weighed 16.62 pounds.
The weather for the tournament was nearly as memorable as the win. After a week of pleasant spring conditions prior to the event, that Saturday morning it was 40 degrees and dropping with winds of 15 to 20 mph.
“Truman can be a tough lake that time of year, and then it got windy and cold,” Zak said. “The water was really muddy and cold. Everything looks the same there. Finding unique structure is tough.”
Zak said the high school tournament season will begin again next spring, but based on this year’s success, he and Tristen will get to participate in the Midwest Shootout on Table Rock Lake in October.
Participating in the sport of high school tournament bass fishing means a lot more than just catching fish. Zak said that during his Missouri tournaments and the trip to Alabama, he enjoyed getting to know other young anglers from all over the country.
“You get to meet new people and make a lot of new friendships,” Zak said. “High school fishing has come super far in the past few years. It’s definitely a good thing for people to get into. Anybody can do it. It almost seems there are more girls than boys fishing some times.”
Fishing acumen is not the only requirement. Zak said grade requirements make certain anglers focus on their studies. He said he knows that if he wants to fish on the weekend, he has to get his schoolwork done during the week.
“It’s required for the tournaments that you have to have a certain GPA,” he said. “You have to bring a report card with yo

Zak Hobbs shows the 5-pound, 8-ounce largemouth bass he caught on Lake of the Ozarks.

u to prove it.”
Brian Hobbs said he appreciates the scholarship opportunities. The top finishers in the national and world tournaments split about $300,000 in scholarships. Zak has earned about $2,000 in certificates so far that can be used for tuition, books or other college expenses.
Brian Hobbs said he also enjoys his role as boat captain.
“Zak and Tristen do it all. I just sit in the boat and take pictures,” he said. He hopes other parents and young anglers will want to give the sport a try in the future.
John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

Surplus Auction Becomes Online Sale

(Editor’s note: Outdoor Guide Editor Bobby Whitehead’s Dogwood Journal column is taking this issue off, but will return in the September-October issue.)

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For years, I have seen the notices from the Missouri Department of Conservation announcing its semi-annual surplus auction. I always thought I would like to attend the event at the maintenance warehouse in Salem, MO, hoping to find a bargain or something I couldn’t live without.
Probably what I liked best about the concept was how it reminded me of going to farm auctions with Grandpa Joe when I was a kid.
Those on-site sales were usually bittersweet, because it often meant someone was getting out of the farming business for good. On the other hand, someone looking to add to their collection of equipment could land something “new” to park in the barn.
In northern Jefferson County in the 1970s, it was not uncommon for a family to have decided to abandon the plows and planters and allow developers to turn their fields and pastures into subdivisions.
The most memorable – if not the best – bargain that Grandpa ever got was at an auction just a few miles from home. He was all smiles as we rumbled toward the farm with his old Chevy truck towing his new, old manure spreader.
With its chain-driven cross beams and spinning blades, the contraption was capable of recycling barnyard waste as fertilizer with great efficiency.
“If anyone gives us any (s—) now boys, we got just the place for it,” Grandpa said in the comedic way that endeared him to me and all my cousins. It was the kind of thing we knew not to repeat around Grandma, but I heard him use the line quite a few times in retelling the story in appropriate places like the feed store or farmer’s market.
The state conservation department auctions seemed like the kind of place I could find a real steal of a deal. The agency tasked with managing fish and wildlife selling its old and surplus property might be a great place to find a boat or motor, canoe or car, truck or trailer, or any number of tools for working the water and woods.

A 2010 Kubota M7040 tractor is on the auction site, bid up to $10,500.

But those sales are no more. The state announced that rather than hold the live auctions in June and October, items would be added to the govdeals.com website as they came available and could be purchased year-round.
“Our move to all-online auctions with offerings posted throughout the year makes it easier and more convenient for many people to see, bid on, and buy items offered by the Department,” said general services supervisor Jeff Arnold, who coordinates the department’s auction activities. “It also provides significant time and cost savings by eliminating the need to transport and store auction items from throughout the state to the Salem Maintenance Center, prepare each item, advertise, and staff the live auctions.”
Each auction item listed includes pictures and detailed information on what is being offered, where it is located, inspection information and options. The items include bid dates and other details, payment methods, removal/collection of the items by the buyers, special instructions, and a way to submit questions about the item.
Another advantage for the buyer in the online sale is that purchasers are not only limited to items sold by local entities. Surplus items from government agencies all over the U.S. and Canada are available at the site.
Users can search for Missouri Department of Conservation and see only the items listed there. Two 16-foot Pelican canoes were available last week. One was going for a bid of $150 and the other “new listing” was only $30 with a few more days to go until the sale closed.
Users may also search the website by their home location and find items being sold by entities closer to home than Salem.
The global list of products brings up many other interesting items to browse including fire trucks, at least one Zamboni machine, all-terrain vehicles, gambling equipment, tractors and other farm machinery. Just no manure spreaders.
John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

Daylight Savings Is a Good Deal

(Editor’s note: Outdoor Guide Editor Bobby Whitehead’s Dogwood Journal column is taking this issue off but will return in the July-August issue.)

For reasons I cannot comprehend, each spring and fall a debate rises to eliminate the practice of Daylight Saving Time. Some of that discourse even rises to the level of near outrage. (Just like about everything else these days.)
Fortunately, I believe the haters are the minority, and after about a week, most of them move on to something else. There are usually a few calls for legislative action to tackle what is obviously not the biggest problem of our time, and usually that fades nearly as fast.
There are a few inconveniences with our semi-annual clock adjustments, but in total, it is a plan with a lot of merit. I actually like it so much that rather than eliminating Daylight Saving Time, I think a better plan would be to make forward and backward adjustments twice a year.
Instead of proposing to abolish Daylight Saving Time, I think we should spring forward an hour on the second Sunday in March and another hour again on Memorial Day weekend. We should start our fall back on Labor Day weekend, and then finish it off on the Sunday after Halloween as currently scheduled.

Alternative fishing methods, such as bow fishing seen here, are becoming more popular in Missouri.
– Missouri Department of Conservation photo

In the United States since 2005, we have had about four months of standard time and eight months of adjusted clocks, which has also been called Fast Time, War Time, and Peace Time, according to a pretty cool website called timeanddate.com.
When it was first officially established by Congress in 1966 through the Uniform Time Act, the two time periods were each about six months long. Energy saving has been the goal and reward of every incarnation of Daylight Saving Time since it was first utilized here during World War I and World War II.
The plan for utilizing sunlight more efficiently actually dates back to Roman civilizations, and in the United States is also often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who published an essay in the Journal Of Paris in 1784 suggesting that candles would last longer if people would get out of bed earlier.
I have friends and family in both Indiana and Arizona, two states that do not adjust their clocks each year. The Uniform Time Act allows states to opt out. But both of those places are on the western edges of their time zones, so they have a built in extra hour of sunlight as opposed to the states on the eastern side.
The first laws establishing Daylight Saving Time were implemented in Canada in 1908, and Germany was the first country to make it a national standard in 1916, followed by the United Kingdom, France and other European countries to minimize fuel use for artificial lighting. Daylight Saving Time is now in use in more than 70 countries around the world and affects over a billion people each year, according to the website.

Nothing beats a good old family fishing trip. An extra hour just extends the fun. – Missouri Department of Conservation photo

Now, let’s get back to that idea about a bonus round of time saving. By implementing the changes on a three-day weekend, our biological clocks (called circadian rhythm by the scientists) have an extra day to make the adjustment.
By the end of May, the sunrise in Missouri happens about 5:30 a.m. Allowing it to be dark again until about 6:30 and even earlier through June would keep the sun out until almost 9:30 at night and closer to 10 p.m. by the time of the summer equinox. That is a lot of extra light for fishing after work.
More hours to play daylight baseball or golf is another bonus, but admittedly the 7:30 a.m. sunrise in early September might be pushing the envelope a little far. Still the trade off of 8:30 p.m. sunsets until the end of August seems like a fair swap.
Even as it is currently implemented, I have always felt Daylight Saving Time was a good deal. I am happy to trade an hour of sleep time for an extra hour of daylight in the spring afternoons, and by the time late autumn arrives, that extra hour before the alarm clock beckons seems like a real bonus.
John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

Words of Wisdom

Some of my friends have become grumpy old men. As I have aged, and they with me, I think I understand it.
When we’re older and wiser, it becomes harder and harder to suffer foolishness and immaturity. Hours and minutes become more precious.
It occurred to me, we are lucky and blessed to know men with such wisdom.
So I polled some of our senior writers. I asked them:
“In three short paragraphs, tell me your words of wisdom to the world. What have you learned about life, and what has made you so wise?”
Following, slightly edited, are the responses from these learned men. Each has made a significant contribution to conservation and the great outdoors.
I met Bill back in the early ‘80s. He was the outdoor editor of the St. Louis Globe Democrat, and I have learned much from him over the years.
Whether you live in the country or the suburbs or the heart of the city, find a quiet place for a few minutes. Feel the breeze on your cheek, listen to the patter of rain on the summer leaves, see and feel the change in the air of spring or fall, experience the total silence of a winter snowfall.
Then, simply say “THANKS!”
I met John only months ago at a writers conference at Kentucky Lake. He became an immediate contributor to the magazine.
I don’t think I have gotten particularly wise, but I can say I have learned something. And I can be quite succinct. A few years ago, I learned that I was not in charge, God was. I learned I was not running the show making the decisions, He was. And, perhaps of most benefit, was understanding if there is nothing I can do about a problem, I could just turn it over to Him and move on.
Joel was one of my original mentors. He helped form the Missouri Outdoor Communicators decades ago and has been a writer for Outdoor Guide since its beginning.
I have been accused of being a wise guy, but that’s light years away from being wise. If I’ve learned anything at all in 83 years, it is that even another 83 years would not begin to let me experience all the things I would want to know and that I should know.
Anyone who loses the desire to do better at whatever he or she tries has lost the one essential trait for success – and success does not equate with great wealth or anything insubstantial. Success is never accepting “good enough” as good enough.
Above all, avoid hypocrisy. You’re not nearly as good as you think you are. What you want inscribed on your gravestone is, “He did the best he could,” not “He wasn’t nearly as good as he thought he was.”
Outdoor Editor for the Kansas City Star for 36 years, Brent started writing for us a couple years ago and currently is president of the Missouri Outdoor Communicators.
Man often boasts of his conquest of the wild world, but it is false bravado.
Nature is in charge, and I have come to accept that. A man may catch a 10-pound bass one day and proclaim that he has it all figured out, but the fish will surely humble him the next day.
That’s the way it works in nature. She is a fickle character, full of mystery and intrigue. But that’s what I love about her.
As I advance to my golden years, my body is showing wear and tear, but my spirit remains young. I always come back to see what the wild will present me the next time out.
Darrell has written for Outdoor Guide since its start in the early ‘90s. A past president of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), he has done much to help young outdoor journalists over the years.
We are a product of the people, places and events that surround us from the day we are born. I was fortunate to grow up in northeastern Missouri on small farms where hard work and low incomes were a way of life.
Because of that, we made good use of the land and what it produced for food. At a very early age, I learned chores came first, then hunting and fishing.
I’ve often said, “I wouldn’t trade the way I grew up for anything, but I would never want to live that way again.”
Jim just started writing for Outdoor Guide. Nationally known, Jim exudes wisdom, and he is not bashful in telling you what he knows.
I’m not at all sure I have any words of wisdom (some who know me might well suggest that wisdom and yours truly are rank strangers), but here are some thoughts.
Time has taught me to savor the moment, revere the past, and be ever mindful of the fact that in the school of the outdoors, there is no graduation day.
Any wisdom I may have learned is the product of having had enough sense to listen to my “mountain smart” paternal grandfather as a boy, having been blessed with a stern but loving father who was an avid outdoorsman and a fine amateur naturalist, and growing up with a veritable host of honorary aunts and uncles, black and white, who took me in to raise.
I’m sufficiently long in the tooth and sparse in the hackle to realize that mine has been a marvelous life, and much of that derives directly from the fact that it has been lived close to the good Earth – hunting and fishing, walking and wandering, gardening to grow much of what graced the family table, and generally trying to achieve something approaching oneness with the natural world.
Thayne is my original mentor in the outdoors industry. We met at a SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades) show almost 30 years ago. Papa Thayne is always eager to share what he has learned about life.
Lessons in life were a part of everyday living when I was a youngster, and I think I learned them well. The youngest of nine children (now the only survivor), I had loving but stern parents and seven brothers to lead and guide me through most of my years. They taught me respect and obedience of parents, family, friends and elders.
Others helped set the stage for my chosen career as a journalist. It started with a first-grade teacher (no kindergarten in those days) who encouraged my love of the three Rs (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic). Many others helped when I struggled through tough courses in schools and college. Another was my Boy Scout leader who served as the minister that baptized me.
Studying and admiring the works of masters, including many among my peers, may be the crown jewel of my longevity.
Larry’s contribution to youth and conservation is legendary. A friend and partner to Johnny Morris, his words are highly sought. I consider him a true blood brother.
Webster’s definition of wisdom is knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life, and at my age I have certainly had that. Wisdom also comes from learning from your mistakes.
Webster also says wisdom comes from the teachings of the ancient wise men. I have learned much from writings of men like Aldo Leopold, John Muir and others. I love to use their quotes and the quotes of our “first conservationists,” the native American Indians, in my writings and radio broadcasts.
Randall’s ramblings are sometimes outrageously funny. Makes me think he gained his wisdom over the years, the hard way.
This is what I’ve learned and thus has transformed me into an Outdoor Sage … third class.
Always set exciting goals, be positive and aim high. If you fall short, you’ll likely still hit the target. I do this all the time when trap-shooting.
Keep in mind, dispensing sage advice is like making turkey stuffing – a little sage goes a long way. Use it sparingly for maximum effect. You’ll want to be remembered as an old bird that didn’t leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
Finally, carry a Meerschaum corncob pipe. One doesn’t necessarily have to smoke it, but when clinched in the teeth, anything spoken is regarded as deep wisdom steeped in vast experience – especially when it comes to catfishing, coonhounds, and wild turkeys.
I am sure you, too, have thoughts to share with the world. Send us an email at ogmbobw@aol.com and we will publish them in upcoming issues of Outdoor Guide Magazine. Next issue, we will hear from the wise women of the outdoors.

Naturalists Teach, Learn in Great Outdoors

As she was cleaning up flood damage at her northern Jefferson County home, Sue Haskins spotted and picked up a small garter snake. She showed it to others who were helping her as the Meramec River receded, then she let the snake go on higher ground.
Because of her training, she knew the snake was not harmful and used the moment to teach others about the nature around them. That’s just something Haskins does. As a master naturalist certified by the state Department of Conservation and the Missouri University Extension Service, Haskins was living the mission of mixing science and service.
“It’s a great program if someone wants to get involved in their community and conservation,” Haskins said. “You get a real understanding of how things work in the natural world.”

The Miraguoa Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalists prepare for a Courtois Creek float trip.

The mission of Missouri Master Naturalists is to engage Missourians in the stewardship of natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service.
Once you have received your training and completed your service, you’ll become a certified Master Naturalist. Each year following, you will complete eight hours of additional advanced training and contribute 40 hours of service to maintain your certification.
Potential naturalists shouldn’t worry that the study will be rigorous or require a scientific mind.
“I’m a day-care provider. I just love learning and teaching,” Haskins said. “The training course is really simple. There is some paperwork, but it’s mostly hands-on activities and group work.”
After completing the course work, new naturalists join one of 11 local chapters around the state. Haskins is a member of the Franklin County group called Miraguoa that meets at the Shaw Nature Reserve near Pacific and at the Jay Henges Education Center near High Ridge.
Membership also requires a commitment to community service in conservation and continuing education throughout the year. Those opportunities come a lot easier than people think, Haskins said.
“Forty hours a year to give back to your community is nothing, and the eight hours of training you can get through the monthly chapter meetings,” she said.
Leading nature programs and visiting classrooms seem much more of a reward than a requirement.
“We go into schools and talk to the classes. What a great opportunity that is for those students, to have so many teachers there for them,” Haskins said.

Being a master naturalist allowed Sue Haskins of Fenton the opportunity to go on a spelunking adventure.

The other reward for master naturalists is the camaraderie developed through dedication to conservation and the environment.
“Some of my best friends over the past few years are the members of our chapter,” Haskins said. “It is a chance to get together with people of like minds wanting to encourage others, especially children to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”
But don’t get the idea that all master naturalists are identical.
“Anybody can get involved. We have young couples and seniors. It’s a real good mix of people,” she said.
Haskins has been in the program for 10 years and but looks forward to the upcoming classes for new members because she will get to participate by sharing her experiences with the students.
Class openings are limited and registration fills quickly, so anyone interested in the course should contact the St. Louis County MU Extension Office soon at 314-400-2115. For more information, search for Missouri master naturalist at extension.missouri.edu.
John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

Pere Marquette a Beautiful History Lesson

You do not have to drive great distances to travel far. A trip to Pere Marquette State Park just north of St. Louis near Grafton, IL, is more than just an escape from the hustle and hard surfaces of the metropolitan area. It’s a journey to the past on many levels.
The longest part of the expedition is to the spot where you can accompany Jesuit missionary priest Pere (Father) Jacques Marquette and explorer Louis Joliet ashore along the Illinois River. A large stone cross just south of the park designates the spot of their landing.
You cannot begin to imagine how different that world was in 1673 or how hardy those adventurers must have been. Even the hiking trails at the park, which in spots and in total can be considered challenging, would have been difficult, unmarked excursions into the wilderness.

The Pere Marquette Lodge was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The inhabitants at the time would have been descendants of people who had lived there for centuries when it was discovered. Archaeologists acknowledge six native American cultures common to the region. Artifacts including pottery, spear points, and planting tools have been discovered along with burial mounds.
Fast-forward a couple centuries to 1931, when area residents wanted to preserve the land as a state park. Working together, civic groups raised the money and persuaded the state to match the amount to create the 8,050-acre oasis.
With the strength and skill of the Civilian Conservation Corps construction crews, the Pere Marquette Lodge was built, putting Americans to work during the Great Depression. It features large limestone blocks and huge timbers with a 50-foot high grand hall at its center. Recently renovated, the Lodge and adjoining conference center include 50 comfortable guest rooms and 22 stone-built cabins, along with playgrounds, swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, a scenic drive and a tremendous visitor center with terrific history and impressive taxidermy mounts.
Ten interconnected trails cover nearly 12 miles of park woodland, offering outstanding views of the Illinois River valley and far off into Missouri to the east. Scenic overlook sites dot the trails, offering a reward for the climb. The McAdams Peak shelter shows off more of the CCC skills.
Other available activities include a campground with 80 electrical hook-up sites plus a large tent camping area. Boating and fishing are available on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers with wide launch ramps and ample parking.
Twenty miles of equestrian trails in the park include a section available year-round. The Pere Marquette Riding Stables are open every day except Tuesdays from May through October, offering spectacular rides to park visitors. A paved bike trail runs from the park to Alton, IL, 20 miles to the west along a rare east-west section of the Mississippi River.
We visited Pere Marquette during the fall for a sensational show of Mother Nature’s changing of the season’s colors. As great as the tree display was, it plays second fiddle to the winter’s grand finale, when bald eagles congregate along the shores of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers in search of open water for fishing.
Special Eagle Days activities are scheduled through January and February and require reservations for the programs that begin 8:30 a.m. at the park’s visitor center. The program includes a video presentation followed by an observational drive to view the wintering bald eagles.
Another important note about Pere Marquette Lodge also involves a bird. The fried chicken in the lodge restaurant is reason enough to visit, and many people do just for the meal, which is served family-style with mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, and vegetable of the day. The Sunday brunch buffet also draws a crowd each week.

John J. Winkelman is community relations manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, e-mail ogmjohnw@aol.com, and you can follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

25 Years – and Counting

More than 25 years ago, we started Outdoor Guide Magazine. I have been lucky and fortunate enough to watch it grow into what it is today, and as I reflect, a few things come to mind.
Our first magazine was a 32-page publication, with mostly black and white photos and graphics. In recent years, we have averaged more than 50 pages per issue, with color on every page.
We started with a couple of writers, one editor and a small sales staff. Today, we can boast of more than 100 content contributors, and our loyal list of advertisers continues to grow.
Now we deal every two months with public issues such as chronic wasting disease, outdoors education and conservation. We provide great advice in columns such as Claudette’s Kitchen, ferocious humor in Randall Davis’ tales of removing animal pests, and detailed techniques for outdoor sports such as those provided by fishing expert John Naporadny. Five of our writers have been inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (see Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame story).
It’s a magazine with a lot of news and features, but it’s also got a soul.

Ron Kruger, the first editor of Outdoor Guide Magazine, takes a walk on a snowy day.

Some of you may have noticed we have a section in the staff box on page 8 called “In Memoriam.” We established that years ago to honor our passed writers and editors.
Jared Billings, a classmate of mine at Crystal City High School, was the first to be recognized in that manner and, inevitably, others have joined the list.
I spent many hours floating Ozarks rivers and camping on gravel bars with Jared. Without his early guidance, the magazine would not be what it is today. He was our first Outdoor Gallery editor, and he took pride in gathering photos and supplying rich and informative captions.
Most recently, Ron Kruger passed, and the number in our Memoriam box grew again. Ron was the first editor of Outdoor Guide Magazine and had a regular column with us for many years. He had perhaps the most influence on my writing, and when it came to photography, many say he was the best. A more talented outdoors journalist, I may never meet.
While Billings and Kruger were my early outdoor mentors, legendary fly fisherman and our original Gravel Bar Gourmet, Henry Reifeiss, was a huge influence on the magazine in its middle years, and a real throwback to Jack Kerouac. I miss Henry’s prose as well as his great friendship.
We’re sad to report two additions to the Memoriam box just this year – Barbara Perry Lawton, the writer of wonderful nature columns, and Spence Turner, who knew so much about the outdoors that he couldn’t help being a teacher. I miss the others, too – Mark Hubbard, Bill Harmon, cartoonist Richard Engelke and good friend Danny Hicks – miss them all greatly. But each year, our staff grows, including such recent additions as Brent Frazee and John L. Sloan.
With the new writers and our many favorite regulars, we continue to be informative and entertaining.
As a small and somewhat inexperienced staff in the beginning, we made many mistakes. Once, I wrote this lead to a story: “The pallbearers carried the caskets one by one from the alter.”
Just days later, I got an unsigned post card saying, “What kind of an editor are you? You can’t even spell altar.”
I had much to learn.
Typos plagued us most in those early years. One time, we got the year wrong on the cover. How could that happen? I laugh now at those missteps, but there were many along the way. In 25 years, never has there been a perfect issue, and we know there never will.
For more than 20 years, we participated in outdoor consumer shows such as the St. Louis Boat Show and the Let’s Go Fishing Show in Collinsville. We hired models to sell subscriptions. We were on a roll.
Many of you may remember signing up for the magazine and getting a free gift. Each year, we added thousands of new readers that way.
We no longer do that, as we cannot print enough magazines to meet the demand.
Today, the question is, “What do the next few years hold?”
But for now, enjoy your Outdoor Guide, and be safe while enjoying the great outdoors.
(Editor’s Note: We’ve made a change to our publication dates for next year, so you will want to look for your first magazine of 2018, the January/February issue, to be delivered the first week in January. The March/April issue will arrive the first week of March. If you would like to subscribe and make sure you don’t miss any issues, go online to outdoorguidemagazine.com)

Conservation Effort Rises Above Politics

As a token gift for my appearance at the Missouri Department of Conservation 80th Anniversary Celebration, I received a copy of a hard-cover book the department printed recognizing its 75th year.
Titled “The Promise Continues,” it is an account of history and a documentary of art and stories that focuses on the partnerships between the department and residents of the state who work together to make efforts to restore wildlife and wild lands in our state successful.
I haven’t finished the book yet, but I was struck by something in the Foreword by former director Robert Ziehmer that highlighted the insight of those who founded the department 80 years ago and presented a challenge for its future.
In 1936 an amendment to the state constitution was proposed that created the department, and the first objective as documented in early reporting rings much louder today:
“To protect, as far as legally possible, the administration of the state’s wildlife resources from the influence of partisan politics.”
Nothing seems to happen in government these days that doesn’t seem to find a base in partisanship. Ideas are debated, decided and deleted based almost completely on who gets credit for it or who scores political points.
For all the successes the department has accomplished restoring deer, turkey and other wildlife species in the state, the biggest triumph may be its ability to rise above the fray and gain the support of both sides of a polarized populace.

The book shows the foresight of the Department of Conservation founders.

Around campfires, in fishing boats, on hiking trails, recreational users of our state’s resources may not always see eye-to-eye on the politics of the day, but they seem to agree with Theodore Roosevelt’s perspective from the 1912 Progressive National Convention:
“There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in our country. The nation behaves well if it treats natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.”
The other stated objectives of the proposal that created the department are equally important to the achievements of the past eight decades. They also carry a tone that rings around the workings of a political system:
“To provide for employment of staff members based on training and experience, and provide security of tenure so the state benefits from the training and experience of its employees.”
In other words, hiring the best qualified people rather than making patronage appointments, and keeping those good folks rather than dismissing someone just because the previous administration hired him or her.
The bulk of the book focuses on the department successfully putting plans in action on principals like science-based conservation, partnerships with landowners, making public lands available, educating residents, the economics of conservation, and preserving waters and wetlands.
The Profiles of Conservation Leaders section includes biographical information and line art drawings of the department directors, master conservationists, hall of famers and commissioners.
The book is available at Department of Conservation gift stores and the online natureshop.com for $15. Once I finish reading my copy, I’ll be happy to loan it out to someone looking for a good history lesson.

John J. Winkleman is marketing and communications regional manager at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. If you have comments or news for Outdoor Guide Magazine, send email to ogmjohnw@aol.com or follow John on Twitter at @johnjwink99.

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