Saturday, April 1, 2023



After years of working as it should, suddenly, out of the blue, no one is able to access our blogspot because of the notification saying this site is not secure.  I have done EVERYTHING we were told to do to remedy the situation... NOTHING WORKS!  Of course, you can't talk to a human!!!

First off, the site IS secure. I did everything I was told to do to secure it, however, the notification still shows that it is not.

If you will hit, continue to the site, everything will be OK, the site IS secure.      ...OR...

After trying everything I could think of...I finally realized that if you type in the complete address in google exactly like this... (you can copy and paste)  his page will come up without the notification.  THEN bookmark the page. From then on, when you click on the bookmark the page will open.

I'm sorry you have to go through this to see his column. We are to say the least, very angry! No one has any idea how or why this could happen.


Gloria Dablemont

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Beaver Trappers


Fred Dablemont with the giant beavers ( 96 and 92 pounds) from the Big Piney River in  the winter of  1952  Likely both are state records.  

       At the University of Missouri, the science classes had the best of instructors. My college advisor was a mammology instructor by the name of Dr Campbell. The man came to despise me because of several things. Mostly it is because at the age of 18 I was too obnoxious. Instead of keeping my mouth shut, I corrected him on something in class, and talked too much about my experiences back home on the Big Piney River. 

       He resented the fact that for my mammology project I trapped small mammals along the Big Piney and came up with two mice, male and female, that had never been seen in the state.  They were known as brush deer mice, (Perimiscus Boyli) which had never been found in Missouri before. I spent the whole two week Christmas break in 68 camped out in an old shack on the Piney and caught 13 species of ground mammals.  

       Dr. Campbell gave me a C on the project!  A lot of that low grade was due to the fact that I had made another 100 dollars trapping some fur along the river with my grandfather out of an old wooden johnboat and he found out about it. When I sold the two live mice for 50 dollars more to the St. Louis Zoo, the man who took them was Marlin Perkins.  In 1969 he wasn’t that famous. I didn’t know him from Adam Cartwright. Mr. Perkins was tickled with the two rare mice…  he said the zoo was constructing a small mammal section where they would go. Until that time the brush mouse species had been found no closer to the Big Piney than Oklahoma.  

       I never did win over Dr. Campbell even after I promised him a free float-trip on the Piney.  I was writing a weekly column on nature and the outdoors for the Columbia Missourian newspaper, and he didn’t like that. I bragged a little too much about it, I reckon. And I should have kept my mouth closed about what all I knew from my 18 years on the Big Piney listening and learning from the old rivermen there and my grandfather.


    The straw that was piled on Dr. Campbell's back, (get it, ‘straw that broke the camels back’) was when he was talking about river furbearers once and he said that beavers only grew to 60 or 70 pounds, and didn’t live much past 10 years.

       Of course I couldn’t let that pass because my grandfather and his trapping partner, Bill Stalder, had caught two that were 96 and 92 pounds, weighed on feed store scales in  Houston, Missouri, which came from the lower Big Piney River just past the mouth of Arthur’s Creek, along a long bottomland field on the southwestern side of the river. In that long, flat field there had been acres of corn planted by a farmer for years. He was losing so much corn to beavers and other varmints, he came to my grandfather and offered to pay him well to thin out the corn stalk stealers.  I was told years later that the two big ones were a male and female, stocked in the river about eight or nine years before by the Missouri Conservation Commission, (a different agency than today’s imitation, the Missouri Department of Conservation). And the two beavers had delighted in growing old and fat on the abundance of corn, likely raising enough young’ins to populate a good section of the Missouri river itself.


       Grandpa Fred and Bill Stalder set drown-set steel traps, which did not hold an animal alive for hours along the river, it drowned them quickly.  It is complicated to explain that, but it amounted to a weighted wire going out into the water, which the trap could slide down, but not back up.  Beaver traps had to be strong, because beavers have a tapered foot and if they are big and strong, more than 40 or 50 pounds, they can pull their foot right out of a trap.  Those two trappers back in 1952 found those two giant beavers all right but they couldn’t hold them.  Old Bill Stalder had the answer… some bear traps!  He found four and about three weeks and a half dozen smaller beavers later, they caught the two big ones.  My grandfather told me years later they could hardly lift them into the boat they were so big.  Anyways, they were not world records.  The world record beaver weighed 110 pounds: caught from the Iron River in Wisconsin in 1921 and thought to be 20 years old. Many captive beavers have reached that age. I am sure they were among the top ten, and surely the biggest ever caught in the lower Midwest.  But who knows? 

       Dr. Campbell gave me a C in mammology, and I knew why. In my obnoxiousnous, I brought that 1952 photo of Bill and Grandpa with those two giant beavers to class for all to see and sort of stuck out my chest and said I told you so. And this is hard to believe, but Dr. Campbell told the whole class that those photos were phony, and had been re-touched up somehow. He said no beaver had ever reached 75 pounds. Let alone 96! Photos from 52…  touched up and phony? You can see those pictures on my website,

       More about beaver in next week’s column.  My email is  Write to…PO Box 22, Bolivar, Mo.65613

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Doggone Barn Bear


Caption… This black bear swam across the lake just to visit a Canada bait site, a daily replenished pile of fish guts.  At such a site, it was easy to get bear  photos.  But easier still in the evenings at a local Indian reservation dump, which usually attracted up to 6 or 8 bears. 

            I got a call this morning from a dairy farmer who says there is a bear hanging around his barn that sends his dairy cows into a panic, and they won’t even go into the barn to be milked.  He says he believes it is a female with a cub because he has seen the cub in past years.  I didn’t realize that a black bear would cause such wild-eyed panic amongst dairy cows, but he has a real problem if that panic causes a drop in milk production.

             There is a lot I could write about black bears in Missouri after interviewing the “bear biologist” who says there are twice as many bears in the Ozarks than there actually are.  She has good reason to exaggerate that number.  Last year, the MDC made only 10 thousand dollars selling 400 bear permits for 25 dollars each.  But they made 73-thousand dollars raking in 10 dollars each from 7300 hunters who merely APPLIED for one of those tags.  None of those seven thousand-plus applicants got their 10 dollars back, but 400 got to pay 25 dollars more to receive a tag allowing them to actually hunt a bear.  Only 8 of those 400 were successful.  I will write more about all that in a later column.  

            What a story there is about a conservation agent (game warden) calling a “bear biologist” in the middle of the night with a trapped bear in a cage, and the fight that ensued over whether or not it should be shot.  The agent wanted to take it to a national forest.  He was fired because of his insistence!  The biologist shot the bear in the cage and apparently sold the hide.  The entire thing was related to me by a Joplin policeman, somewhat amused by witnessing the whole thing.

            I have long begged the MDC to allow me to rent a good-sized venue in Springfield where I could debate some of their ‘biologists’ in front of a couple hundred outdoorsmen and country folks about subjects like CWD, bear and elk seasons, and the alarming decline in wild turkey numbers.  

            So here is what I am proposing…  I want to meet with them, as many of them as want to come, in a debate before turkey season.  I’m saying that I know more about wild turkey than they do!  How can they pass up a challenge like that???  What an opportunity to discredit me and prove that they know more about wild turkey than I do.  What an entertaining event that would be, allowing questions from the audience!!!???  

            My letter goes out to the MDC Director, Sara Pauley this week proposing such a debate, and an opportunity for Missouri turkey hunters to learn why the MDC will not act to stop the decline.  What I wouldn’t give to have Mrs. Pauley join the group.  She and I met for 4 hours a few years back and she had no idea what I was talking about.  I kept bringing up new proposals for and past history of MDC operations.  All I got from her were blank looks.

            I have proposed such a debate for years and there has never been a response.  With the crisis coming in wild turkey populations the past ten years, what would it hurt to answer some questions and hear some ideas?   I want to propose some solid ideas for bringing wild turkey numbers back.   Arrange that, Mrs. Pauley, a discussion which I will be a part of anywhere, anytime, just me against the best of your wild turkey biologists. And we’ll abide by your rules.  Please?!

            As to the bear around the dairy barn, you can so easily bait that bear with big quantities of popcorn well away from the barn. If that is a female with a cub, as it almost certainly is, she has a hibernation den not far away.  In the Ozarks, bears won’t hibernate long, but cubs are born in the dead of winter as the female hibernates, though that period may only be two or three weeks or so.  I would, and could, find that den and destroy it, so that in the future winters the bear would have to move away. That needs to be done. The bear could easily be baited, trapped and moved into the National Forest miles away where it would never return.   Or the farmer could send in ten non-refundable dollars to be considered for one of those 25-dollar tags.  He would have a one-in 200 chance to get drawn for a tag, at which time he could bait the bear like all other bear-harvesters do, and kill it.  That would help the MDC increase its annual revenue, and he could sell the hide and eat some of the awfullest-tasting meat a hunter will ever put in the freezer.

Arkansas black bear baited with popcorn
           As someone who hunted black bear in Canada with a camera, I could pass on some valuable information to you who want to hunt bear.  And I have a friend who has killed eight black bears in the Arkansas Ozarks with a bow.  I think my readers would enjoy his story and adventure, which I will put in a future column this summer.  A female bear with a cub nearly ended his hunting adventures forever.  What a hair-raising story that is.
A friend's AR black bear


            Of the five thousand I printed, I have a thousand of the publications remaining entitled,  “The Truth About the Missouri Department of Conservation.”  It is free if you will pay the postage.  Call 417 777 5227 to order one. My address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo 65613 or email me at

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Swimmin’ Minnow Does the Tricks

Nancy smith Lynn with a fat bass.  The lure at the top is the old swimming minnow


      I hired Nancy Smith Lynn a year or so ago to work with advertisers for my magazines. She owns a farm near Mt. Grove, Missouri and is a nice lady who does a whiz-band job of what she does for me, but she had never cast a lure. She thought she  could do it, but all ladies think they can learn to fish good… I just smile at that.  I took Nancy fishing last week when it was too cool, and too cloudy and not at all like I like for it to be when I go up a lake tributary looking for white bass. 


      I spent a few minutes showing Nancy how to cast a spinning outfit, figuring I would see a lot of lures in tree limbs that day, and I will be darn if she didn’t learn how to use it within minutes.  But the fishing in one of my favorite spots was lousy.  Then it got fair and we caught a couple, including Nancy’s first white bass. The fish was okay, but not huge, maybe 12 inches.  Big enough to filet and eat!  

      So I made a big thing of it… her catching her very first fish ever on something besides a cane pole and night crawler back when she was 10!  We bet a thousand dollars that I would catch a bigger fish than she would that day. Sort of funny it was, Nancy thinking that on her first trip she would out-fish a grizzled old veteran angler like me! 

      Fishing sort of went from slow to okay that afternoon!  In an hour or so it was medium-good and Nancy caught a 13-inch largemouth.  I told her that fish wouldn’t win any bet against me and what I would catch when I got serious about it. Then the sun broke out and it got well-good. I caught a 12-inch smallmouth…fought like the dickens in that current.  It hadn’t exactly become the kind of holy-mackerel-outstanding, like it has often been in that river.  But it was getting there.

      Here is where I would like to say that there are a thousand fishing lures in my basement, maybe 2 thousand I don’t know.   Because I am an outdoor writer lure companies have sent me free lures hoping I would write about what they sent me and from time to time I did.  I have a story about a lure that I was sent, which I used on a wind-blown lake in Kansas at an outdoor writers meeting, that is a humdinger of a tale but I’ll tell  that story about that lure later.  

      Hundreds of my lure collection, adorning that wall, are lures I have found combing the water-line on dozens of lakes for years and years.  One day in Canada I found ten oversized foot-long Muskie lures, two of them antiques, in one day.  $300 worth of fishing lures from Lake of the Woods sandbars.  


     Well, last week I tied an old lure on Nancy’s line that had been on that ‘wall of lures’ of mine for at least thirty-five years without getting wet.  It is called a Swimmin’ Minnow lure, likely made in the fifties. 


      I figured that old lure would give me the opportunity to catch the biggest bass, when all it did was made Nancy a semi-pro.  That little wiggling lure began to call fish like a dying rabbit calls in coyotes.  A white bass here, a largemouth there, and she don’t even offer to let me have it back!   Then she starts hollerin’ that she is gonna need a net and her light-action spinning rod is bent over like one of those peach-tree limbs I use to cut for my mother years back.  What a fighter he was, a 15-incher that won Nancy the thousand dollars we bet on the biggest fish.  I haven’t paid her yet; there are deductions, like boat gas, and rental of fishing gear.  

      But when it was over, that Swimmin’ Minnow lure had racked up about two-dozen white bass and a half-dozen largemouth, her rod bent more often than it was unbent.  Nancy is chompin’ at the bit to go again with one of the Ozarks finest fishing guides.  Heck, I ought to be the best; I started guiding my Dad when I was only ten.        And I took Joe and Kate Richardson on paid float trips when I was twelve years old and Mrs. Richardson caught the only six-pound smallmouth I have ever seen come from the Ozarks.  If that sounds like bragging just a little bit, it is. But it isn’t the big-time bragging that I often get into! Back then as a kid I got 50 cents an hour for guiding fishermen, and Nancy didn’t have to pay me nothing!  Next time I take her, it is gonna be a paid trip… 50-cents-an-hour and a thousand dollars on the biggest fish!

      In some future column I will tell more stories about fishing lures I have used, especially the old ones.  But that will have to wait.  Next trip out I intend to use some lures made in the 40’s and before, like the Flatfish, Tadpoly, and Lazy Ike.  But for the first 3 or 4 hours I intend to use a Swimmin’ Minnow.

      I write some stuff that newspapers can’t use, and take dozens of color photos that readers might like to see on what is known as a BlogSpot.  To read all of what I write and see the color photos, just get on a computer and put in larrydablemontoutdoors

      You can write me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613 or email me at   I’m not in my office much when I am gone, but my secretary is. Just tell her to tell me to call you. That phone number is 417-777-5227. To see my 12 books and 90 magazine issues, the website is just

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Road Skunks


Skunks are predators, mostly carnivorous but not totally. They can be a problem in a garden.

       I learned something about skunks recently.  I drove from my home to Bull Shoals Lake in North Arkansas last week, then up to Texas County and eventually back home to Lightnin’ Ridge here about 40 miles to the north of Springfield.  In doing so, I learned that we have more skunks in the two states than we have ever had.  There were dozens I saw dead along the highways, dozens and dozens.         I gave some thought to getting out and checking a dozen or so to figure the ratio of dead males to dead females, but really I already know that. It is skunk mating season.  Among all living things, males are more interested in mating than females, so likely 90 percent of those fairly flattened road-killed skunks were males.  There could be some females, which, like all females, were running from the males. 


       But folks, I have never seen anything like the dead skunks everywhere, and what it tells me is, that right now we have a bunch more skunks thanI have seen since I got my first driver’s license.  That is bad, because too many skunks in February always means a rabies outbreak in the summer.  If you live in the country like me, get your dogs vaccinated.  And knowing that skunks are chiefly nocturnal, remember that those you see in the daytime are either tremendously hungry, or run out of their dens by flood water, or quite possibly, addled by rabies.

       Another thing about having too many skunks is the problems faced by ground nesting birds like quail, woodcock , wild turkey and whippoorwills.  Skunks eat lots of things, but any of them would rather come across eggs than anything else. 

       If you have a wildlife camera, try this… hide 3 or four chicken eggs under a scattering of grass or hay out in the woods, and set up your camera to see how long they last there.  You might be surprised at what all comes along to eat them.  Skunks likely will be first, with raccoons and possums a close second.

       Years back, my dad and his brothers set deadfalls to kill skunks, and when they got one in a deadfall, the skunk almost never sprayed their scent.  Skunks spray that scent when they are threatened, up to 10 feet away.  And you know how far you can smell it, a mile away if the wind is right. Once he unloads a charge of that vile stuff, he needs a few days to rebuild it, so if you get sprayed good, you can kick him around good for perhaps a week. 


      In the twenties and early 30’s a skunk pelt brought up to three dollars.  Which color do you think brought the most money, an all-black fur mostly or a white pelt mostly?  Answer at the end of this column.

       You may not know this but a skunk can be bitten by a ten-foot rattlesnake and it will have no affect on it.  They are immune to all snake venom. But woe to the snake what bit one, his eyes are going to burn for awhile! To keep them away from chicken coops, gardens or your barn, put out a good scattering of mothballs.  They run from that smell.

        Only one creature is oblivious to the scent of a skunk, and that is a great-horned owl, it’s greatest enemy. They nail one from  above quite often and find skunk flesh to be very tasty apparently. Even barred owls will eat young ones.  It is strange, that thing with the owls, because skunk scent is hell on mammalian predator’s eyes, and owls have the biggest eyes of anything.


       I had a grown pet owl once that came  to me from an old trapper and he smelled a great deal like a skunk but he didn’t seem to know it.  If you don’t believe me on that, when you see a dead hoot owl along the highway get out and smell it!  At least 25 percent of them will smell like skunk!  Someday I will write more about Al, my pet owl. 

       I never had a pet skunk, but I knew a taxidermist in Iowa who had one which had it’s scent gland removed.  It ran at a cousin of mine once and bit him on the boot.  He told its owner that the short teeth of the skunk and the thick leather of his boot was the only thing that prevented her from having a 12- gauge discharged inside her house. 

       I recommend against having a pet skunk!  In fact, if you value ground-nesting birds, I recommend you learn to set deadfalls and kill every skunk you see.  Go ahead and run over any that you come across on the highway.  Lots of people have been doing that.  If you take him by surprise, he won’t have time to spray your car.  If he does spray your car, just wash it with tomato juice.  I have heard that works.


Answer to above question.  The more white on a skunk, the less the fur was worth back then.  A completely black fur was rare, but worth a dollar more.  Trappers and fur buyers referred to all-black skunk-pelts as star-blacks because there was so often a small white star on the forehead.

Say, listen folks, my friend Steve Johnson would like to get some more vendors for the big outdoorsman’s swap meet at the Noble Hill church on Saturday, March 18.  If you are interested,  and have anything you want to sell, I will get you a table there beside mine.  Just holler and I will send you a flyer that gives all info.  My office phone is… 417 777 5227 and Steve’s is…417 414 3128.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Speckle Geese and Red Wolves


       I was out in the woods about a week ago and I heard a familiar sound high overhead, the call of wild geese.  There are not a lot of people who hear specklebelly geese and recognize the fact that they are not snow geese or Canada’s.  But specklebellies almost never stop over in the Ozarks.  They pass over way up high in V formations, headed for northern Canada prairies where they nest. 


       In October they will come back, sailing toward Louisiana on a north wind.  I have never hunted them except in Louisiana, but they come into decoys well, and they are as good to eat as mallards.  I am going back to hunt them again this fall if I can.  Greater numbers of those geese are found in the pacific flyway, where hunters kill a quarter million of them each fall.

       Specklebellies are also known as White-front geese, and few know how they got that name.  Look at the photo of them on my blogspot and see if you can figure it out.  Answer at the end of this column.  The photo and many others can be seen on the internet, click on www.larrydablemontoutdoors.  


    Rummaging through hundreds of old photos of my grandfather, I found a photo of him with an 80-pound red wolf he trapped in the 1930’s.  They were once plentiful in the Ozarks of Missouri, and Arkansas, but the last one I know of was killed in northwest Arkansas in 1973.  But wildlife authorities think there are about 20 of them in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Louisiana and Texas. But I suspect there are also a few in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma.


The Fish and Wildlife
service have red collars on ten of them and so they are not yet extinct.  Some red wolf males are over 100 pounds in weight, but few will go more than 85 pounds.  They do not interbreed with coyotes but females will cross with large dogs.  When my grandfather caught that stock killer along the Big Piney, there were perhaps a few thousand Red Wolves.   I heard them howl when I was young and their howl is very similar to the howl of the timber wolves I have heard in Canada.  It is nothing close to the howl of coyotes.

        I think Ozarkians might really like the story and photos of my grandfather that will be in my spring magazine. I wrote about predictions he made when we camped in Big Piney caves and put in some photos going back to 1910. I thought he was crazy back then, but now I am seeing them come to pass.  To get a copy of that new magazine, call Gloria at 417-777-5227.

       When I first started my magazines, the Lightning Ridge Outdoor Journal and eventually the Lightning Ridge Journal of the Ozarks, we had a huge number of subscribers.  Today, most of the folks who loved reading them are passed on, and it seems a new generation has little interest.  That is part of the reason our last issue will be coming out in the fall.  BUT—we have a hundred back issues and readers who will miss it can get some of those back issues and be able to read great stories for years to come.  Those back issues, all of them, can be seen on the internet at  If you would like anything on our web site, contact our office. We can provide cheaper prices. Some of those have been sold out, but not many.  We even have dozens of copies of the very first outdoor journal from about 25 years ago.  In keeping with the way my dad did things when selling an old car or johnboat, “We are asking ten dollars apiece for those old magazines,but would take half that!”


In the future I will just write newspaper columns that are free for any newspaper wanting to use them.  At present there are about 40 papers in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas which use these.  But if you want to see the wildlife and outdoor photos I take each week you will have to go to that website I gave above, larrydablemontoutdoors.  And frankly, if your newspaper doesn’t use all the columns, (some are too controversial) go to that site to read them.


Right now I am so excited about that Big Piney Museum we are building south of Houston Mo that I can hardly contain myself.  I just go out and do cartwheels on a regular basis.  More about it and the people helping make it a reality in a future column.  Lots of progress recently.

Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613 or email me at lightninridge47@


P.S. White front geese got that name from the white patches right behind the bill.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Otter Toilets Reveal So Much



            This should make you laugh… a letter I got from Butch Stone, a grizzled old veteran outdoorsman from the Ozarks who makes his own bows and arrows and hunts successfully with them.  He says… 

“I came across a bunch of young people, seining below a low water crossing. Four big Mo, conservation trucks. Of course I asked what was going on, and the spokesman told me, ‘we’re doing a study on why the crayfish and fresh water salamanders are disappearing from the Ozark streams?

So I told him…Why don’t you check the otter toilets on the sand bar behind you and see what they been eating? No one did, it was too simple an answer for them?”


            I wish they would send some employees to help landowners along the river to fence off river bottom land so that cattle can be kept be kept out of the river. Nothing would save salamanders and aquatic creatures like that work. There is an easy way to do that which costs ranchers nothing, all paid for by the government.  I have visited river bottoms where owners did that, but they have to do it first in order to get their money back.  Few can afford that, although I have a neighbor who did it and he is there to show what can be done and tell anyone who will listen what an advantage it has been to him.  Drilled wells now water his cattle, and his land along the river is fenced off,  planted in trees and native grasses  But again, he paid for it all and the Soil Conservation Center reimbursed him.  Come see it, he and I will show it to you. That could be done all along the best of our Ozark rivers but the Conservation department will not get involved. Money is the reason given, but so much money is wasted on things of little importance.  Those of us who live on and with the land know exactly why salamanders and crawdads are decreasing. Why in the heck does nothing get done about it?


Wild turkey are also decreasing, and the answers to that decline are so easy to see and address, but the MDC will not even face the problem because they feel it will cost them money.  I’ll address that solution when we get closer to the turkey season.  And we have the figures to show what a money-maker the elk and bear seasons are for the MDC.  You won’t believe it!!


            You don’t need to launch a study to learn about the eventual extinction of the night birds, whippoorwills and their relatives.  Some university had better set up some type of program to try to raise them in captivity or in 30 years we’ll be talking about them like we do the passenger pigeon today. Missourians who live in towns and cities don’t hear them at night anyway, so there is no concern amongst the suburbanites, but to the few of us who live in the woods, it is a great loss.  Thirty years ago there were always some of them in my woods to hear at night, but in recent years, none.  When I camp in the summer on various rivers, they are seldom heard.


            There is a lot to be said for research, but wondering why small streams are losing salamanders… come on man! Research needs to be done with some common sense!  I can give you five answers to the reason streams are losing creatures which once lived in those waters in good numbers.  But nothing can be done about it with biologists like that Butch encountered, who take pages of figures back to some city office cubicle, and they should know that. Why spend money where there is no way to change anything? I would like to see that money spent on working with landowners to actually better our streams.  In that act of making the water quality better along creeks and rivers, the creatures living in the water can be helped.

            Funny thing is, I could go out and contact landowners as nothing more than an average citizen and talk them into those bottomland projects that the U.S. government will pay for.  Why can’t the MDC, with the millions they have, do the same?  Heck, they can get me to do it for no pay.  This would be so simple to do.  MDC though has no interest, even if I volunteer to do it for them.


            I got a call from a lady in one of the MDC offices who told me she is disgusted because in March their office like many others, has to spend the last of budgeted money for fear of having their budget cut for the upcoming year.  She said they have to go out and spend it on things like an ATV which will never be used.  She said that it will likely be available a time or two for private use by one of the offices supervisors on their days off, then sold at auction in the MDC’s equipment auction the next year.  Her words were, “We waste so damn much money”!!


            I know there are folks who look forward to our Outdoorsman’s Swap Meet organized this year by my old friend Steve Johnson.  Steve says we need more vendors, so if you want a table to sell your old hunting and fishing gear, or anything else, call him at 417-414-3128.  The event will be in the Noble Hills Church gym on March 18.  Admission is free and I will be there with all my hunting and fishing gear which I am getting to old to use.  I will also be giving away magazine and selling my books for a big discount.  I hope to see many of the readers of this column. The church is located along highway 13 just a few miles to the north of Springfield.  Breakfast and lunch available and the money made from that will be used for sending youth to a summer Church Camp.


Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo 65613  or email me at  To see my websites on the Internet just type in my name.