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November 1, 2012

Traveler Close call

Ad Index................... 20 Calendar................... 19 Editorial...................... 4 Fishing..................... 17 Hunting......5-8, 10, 14, 15, 19, 20 Indians...................... 20 Nature....................... 16 Outdoor News.. .3, 5, 9,

11, 15, 19 Photography........12-13 Real Estate............... 23 Recipes................. 7, 21 Seasons..................... 17 State Parks................ 18 Sun/Moon................. 17 Trading Post........22-23 Thru the Years.......... 22

River Hills

Volume 40, No. 5




ISSN 87501899

Nearly tragic stabbing changes one family’s hunting safety habits


By Doug Smith bout 3:30 p.m. I was sitting in my ground blind, some 100 yards from the farm house we use as a hunting cabin these days. As I watched a doe feed across the hillside in front of me my phone rang. I had heard a shot a minute earlier from the direction of my

Ethan’s name appeared on the phone’s screen in big letters. I hit the answer button. “Dad, I’ve accidentally stabbed myself. I think I severed an artery. I’m afraid I’m bleeding to death.”

LUCKY TO BE HERE — Ethan Smith accidentally stabbed himself deep in the thigh while field dressing a deer. He recovered in the weeks afterward and returned to hunting the following year. Doug Smith photo. son’s tree stand on the other side of the property. help you take care of it,” I asked. Even though he’d hunted by himself since age 15, I “No,” he said, “I’ll take care of it. Go ahead and still asked that he call me when he killed a deer so I hunt.” could share in his good fortune. A few minutes later I heard a 4-wheeler start and “I just shot a small buck and it’s laying within fade off into the distance. A short time later I heard sight of my stand and it isn’t moving,” he reported. it return and then go silent. While I couldn’t tell the I replied by telling him I was watching two small direction, I recognized the sound of the ATV I’ve bucks trail a doe across the hillside through a tangle owned for nearly 10 years. of some downed trees. “Do you need me to come Continued on Page 6

First time in

Staying away from hunting stand until perfect time to hunt improves chance of harvesting mature buck

E EIGHT-POINTER — Heath Wood got his buck last year by staying away from his stand from late summer until firearms deer season. Heath Wood photo.

By Heath Wood me determine where to hang a stand. very year around July and I try to hang multiple stands in difAugust, I began ferent areas. Multiple looking for new stands allow me not to Charlie Slovensky overhunt an area. This places to hunt, trying to find those parcreates to much pressure prefers to stalk ticular spots that will proon bucks, and will make deer from the duce a mature buck. I look them leave a particular ground and take area. for good travel routes, food sources,water, bedadvantage of sec- The one thing I truly ding areas, old rubs and believe in, is hunting a ond chances. pinch points — any kind stand for the first time. Story on Page 5. Every year I choose the of sign that will help determine the best location one stand that I think for seeing deer. All of this along with game camera pictures helps Continued on Page 8

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Battson named MDC Wildlife Division chief “I don’t remember ever not wanting


MINGO CONTEST WINNERS Images were judged in August for the 2012 Mingo Swamp Photo Contest. Peter Rea (far left), Mingo National Wildlife Refuge staff liaison to the photo contest, and Aaron Horrell (second from left) contest chairman, gathered at the Mingo Refuge with some of the winners.

to be outdoors,” says Jennifer Battson, the new Wildlife Division chief for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Battson, 40, assumed her new responsibilities Sept. 1. She had been interim Wildlife Division chief since Aug. 1. Fascinated with trees from an early age, Battson earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of MissouriColumbia. Between college and being Jennifer Batson hired by MDC, she worked as a forest technician for the USDA Forest Service on the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania and as a geographic information systems (GIS) technician for the Missouri Department of Transportation. Her 16-year MDC career has included jobs as assistant resource forester, management forester, GIS specialist, information technology trainee, private land conservationist, forestry programs specialist, wildlife regional supervisor and wildlife management chief. Battson succeeded DeeCee Darrow, who led the Wildlife Division from December 2007 until her retirement Aug. 1.

Privileges suspended

At its meeting in Springfield Oct. 19, the Missouri Conservation Commission uspended hunting, fishing and/or trapping privileges of 27 Missouri residents and one Iowa resident for Wildlife Code violations. Those whose privileges were suspended are:

• Edward J. Atchison, Silex, hunting and trapping, six months • Kolt W. Barker, Lebanon, all sport privileges, 1.5 additional years • Tharel D. Beckwith, Doniphan, hunting, 1 year • Justin D. Boothe, Greenfield, hunting, 1 year • Doyle D. Burgess, Bloomfield, hunting, 6 years • Erik E. Casas, Wheaton, hunting and trapping, 1 year • Robert K. Cassinger, Ellington, hunting, 3 years • Clark A. Chrisman, Doniphan, hunting, 1 additional year • Paul Edwards, Marion Woods, fishing, 1 year • Mark W. Glover, Brighton, fishing 6 months and hunting 1 year • Travis Hudson, Billings, hunting, 1 year • Scott M. Jenkins, Rolla, hunting 6 years • Brandon A. Lanier, Steele, hunting, 1 year • David L. Lentz, Sumner, commercial fishing, 1 year • David L. Little, Muscatine, Iowa, hunting, 3 years • Betuel V. Mailat, Nixa, fishing, 1 year • Dalton K. Maynard, Sarcoxie, hunting and fishing, 1 year • Frankie S. Moman, Gatewood, hunting, 1 year • Jimmy L. Oneal, Doniphan, hunting, 1 year • Ronald F. Poole, Richland, hunting 6 years • Shawn W. Reeves, Doniphan, hunting, 1 year • Marshall H. Russom, Sikeston, hunting, 1 year • Roy L. Schwartz, Argyle, hunting and trapping, 1 year • David E. Sipes, Doniphan, hunting 1 year • Vance A. Tate, Callao, hunting 1 year • Levi L. Taylor, Doniphan, hunting, 1 year • Kaleb W. Triplett, Deerfield, hunting, 8 years • Tyler D. Watkins, Doniphan, hunting 1 year.


Sharon Tuschhoff (center), Oak Ridge, won four first places in the Adult Division. Douglas Adams (second from right), Cape Giradeau, won first place in the professional division; and Jacki Glastetter (far right), Puxico, won a first place in the Adult Division. Winning photos are displayed on pages 12 and 13 of this issue of Traveler and can be viewed online at

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River Hills Traveler P.O. Box 245, St. Clair, MO 63077




Traveler’s writers: ordinary folks with passion do extraordinary work


heard a judge speak recently about the amazing wisdom and common sense that 12 ordinary citizens selected for jury duty exhibit when tasked to hear evidence and decide a defendant’s guilt or innocence. That is the same sort of admiration I have for Traveler’s freelance writers and photographers. Bring together this a group of ordinary people with different backgrounds and a common love for the Missouri outdoors and you often get an extraordinary result. Traveler’s contributors are a diverse bunch in age, location, interests and education, but the trait they all share is that they get outdoors and write about their experiences. They aren’t reading about a place or activity on a website or in a brochure then regurgitating that information. They are reporting on what they’ve seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt and experienced. My hat is off to them for sharing their talent and experiences with our readers. They make Traveler what it is. ••••• Deer hunting stories naturally dominate the November issue of Traveler. November 2012 will be no exception. Doug Smith leads the issue with a gripping story about a real life emergency he and his son, Ethan, experienced while deer hunting three years ago. We publish it not to dampen anyone’s fun, but to emphasize the need for safety precautions before and during your hunt.

Al Agnew has supplied us with winter. Whatever the reasons, we have another great cover illustration. If an unusual number of deer stories that there is a better wildlife artist center around food. anywhere than Al, we haven’t Bill Cooper is as passioncome across him or her. ate about hunting as anyone Some people like to hunt we’ve ever met, but this time from treestands. Others prefer he turned in a story about eatto stalk from the ground. Both ing instead of taking a buck or schools are represented in this doe. Evidently, the food is that issue. good at Ray Eye’s deer camp. Heath Wood has been suc Howard Helgenberg caught cessful with his method of up with House Springs butcher MAKIN’ hanging multiple treestands Dave Martin at a deer proTRACKS cessing demonstration at the in late summer, then staying By Emery Styron away until the season opener Jay Henges Shooting Range from the one most likely to produce a in St. Louis County. Howard’s story mature buck. indicates he came away with a new Charlie Slovensky, on the other appreciation for the skill of a knowlhand, gets his share of deer by stilledgeable butcher. hunting, a misleading term that means Kathleen Brotherton draws on her creeping through the woods. To each own experience as a farm wife and his own. mother of hunters and her research on Don Rathert’s stories usually Native American lifestyles for her arreflect the highs and lows of any ticle this month. To Kathleen, deer are outdoor adventure. There is always creatures to be enjoyed for their grace something that goes wrong, but there and beauty. To Native Americans and is usually some redeeming aspect to to her deer-hunting husband, they every outing. Maybe not this time. represent food on the table. Read Don’s story to find out. I got a kick out of Rudi Rudroff’s Bob Todd is still on his project of deer story. It seems the worm has digitizing thousands of negatives shot turned in his household. His wife for Traveler over the years. He uses may have once resented his weeklong some old images to recall the social absence for deer season, but nowadays aspects of deer camp from times past. she counts on Rudi and other family Bob also gives dates and details for members to fill the freezer. She even deer hunting in his Seasons column. gives instructions on the size of deer Maybe it’s a sign of the tough they should shoot to get the cuts of economic times we’ve been through meat she wants. or maybe folks are subconsciously Rounding out our deer coverage, thinking about storing up fat for a hard Pat Todd gives recipes for venison

stir fry and venison stuffed bread in her Iron Kettle column. I need to finish this column. For some reason, writing it is making me hungry. ••••• If deer hunting isn’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty else to enjoy in this month’s Traveler. We are especially pleased to bring you winning images from the 7th Annual Mingo Swamp Photography Contest on Pages 12 and 13. We are grateful to contest chairman Aaron Horrell for getting the images to us and to West Side Camera in Cape Girardeau for sponsoring their publication. Aaron, as you may know, is an accomplished photographer and artist himself. Check out his cute photo of a baby opossum. We are also pleased to kick off an every-other-month series on state parks written by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann. Traveler Country is rich with excellent state parks, so watch for this series to get to know them better. ••••• We have had trouble in the past getting prompt mail delivery in November during a major election year. We are hoping the flood of political mail will be out of the way shortly after this issue enters the mail stream. If someone you know has not received their Traveler by, say, Nov. 9, please give us a call and we’ll send out another. We wish you a safe, successful deer hunt and a happy Thanksgiving.

Emery, Got the Traveler today and had to pause a sec to read every word-- and savor the photos. Always a pleasure and very worthwhile reading. Particularly impressed this time with your high road, upbeat remarks on government. Great work! Keep it up! Make ours a voice for hope, improvement, and all we expect and deserve. Dave Murphy Conservation Federation of Missouri

Balance needed to ‘politics-as-sport’

Another subscriber since year one

‘High road, upbeat remarks on government’ appreciated Emery, Nice job on the editorial this issue (p.4). Well said and, I think, very important to start the kind of conversation that makes people rethink their assumptions and maybe restore some common sense and balance to the politics-as-sport-world we live in today. Terry Winkelmann St. Louis

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Traveler ‘window of opportunity’ for family

Traveler editor, River Hills Traveler has been a window of opportunity for my family and I to get out and enjoy the simple things that Missouri has to offer. And for that, I thank you! Keep up the good work. Jason Lee Henager Potosi

92-year-old has read Traveler 40 years

Traveler editor, Well, another year gone. I am 92 years old. I think this is about 40 years that I have been doing this. I sure do enjoy it. The first one I read was in Koshkonong, Mo., a lot of years back. Thank you and have a good day. R. Weiler Ste. Genevieve

Traveler editor, Although I don't have the copy of the original check, I have been a subscriber since the first year. I saw a copy on sale in a store, bought it, enjoyed it and subscribed. Keep up the good work. Jim Hall Dexter Editor’s Note: We appreciate all the kind comments and we also like to hear from those who don’t agree with us or have suggestions for what we might do better. No matter how fancy technology gets, nothing beats a hand-written card or letter or a short note enclosed with a subscription renewal. Email is good, too. Feel free to send questions or comments to You can also send public or private messages to Traveler via our Facebook page. If you haven’t connected with Traveler on Facebook, you really should. Jo Schaper does a great job of keeping Traveler’s Facebook page and blog loaded with interesting and entertaining tidbits. —E.S.

Trav loves letters Send to P.O. Box 245, St. Clair, MO 63077 or email

On the cover...

A detail of “Southern Exposure,”Al Agnew’s portrait of a magnificent buck at rest in the fall sun, makes a perfect cover for Traveler’s annual Deer Hunting Issue. Ten pages of deer stories start on Page 1.

November Traveler Sample  

First 4 pages of November Traveler

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