Monday, June 25, 2018

More Regulations

         The Missouri Department of Conservation has recently handed out new regulations for the upcoming fall deer season which includes telling anyone who puts out mineral blocks, salt blocks or wildlife feed that they can no longer do so.  Good luck with that!
         Such a regulation shows just how far the MDC has moved away from common people and common sense.  In the winter, I buy corn for the wild turkeys on my land and will continue to do so.  Turkeys are hard pressed now and winter flocks can use that feed. So can quail, though I feed them differently! With quail feed should be scattered, with turkeys it can be put out in feeders.  I will however put a sign up beside the feeder telling deer to leave the corn alone.

         The MDC is afraid such a thing will help the spread of CWD, the ‘chronic wasting disease’ which amounts to the invasion of the brain by prions.  Prions are said to be an abnormal protein which affects various mammals, INCLUDING HUMANS. Doctors I have talked with can’t really describe them but they all know that prions have killed people.  How many cannot be known.

         On my place there are two natural mineral licks, and I am wondering if the MDC might want to come in and bulldoze them!  They might also want to come and cut away those branches right above the scrapes found here and there in the fall.  Deer sometimes urinate in those scrapes, lick the ground and lick and bite and rake the branches above the scrape.  Sometimes you wonder if they have the slightest idea what they are doing.  You can’t tell all of us who live in deer habitat that we can’t feed turkeys in the winter, or squirrels or quail or doves or rabbits.  I am going to do that, as I have for 20 years.  And those natural mineral licks will stay where they have always been.

         The deer disease, CWD, originated everywhere because we allowed greedy deer-pen operators to bring sick deer and elk into various states, and wild deer were therefore infected as well.  Some deer pen owners actually released sick deer into the wild just to get rid of them easily. Where were all the regulations then?  Too much money involved to stop that!

         So let me say something good about this bunch of ..uh.. expert biologists.  This fall, deer hunters will have various sites around the state where they can get their deer tested for chronic wasting, or the prion infestation which can and has killed humans.  That is a great step. Take advantage of this to be safe. I would never eat untested venison and I would warn all hunters to follow suit, because people WILL die this year from that disease.  In their news release the MDC states… “There have been no cases of CWD infecting people. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends having deer tested for CWD if harvested in an area known to have cases of the disease. The CDC also recommends not eating meat from animals that test positive for CWD.”

      That first sentence is just a lie.  If you take away the CWD and  insert ‘prion disease’ or spongiform disease, then they couldn’t say that.
         This is something you need to know…  If rabies was called ‘Rabies’ when it affects skunks and small mammals, and called ‘Mad-Dog’ disease in dogs, foxes and coyotes, then named ‘Horrible Water Aversion’ disease in humans, then you could say no humans have died from Rabies.  It is the same way with chronic wasting disease.  I have talked to many people who have lost loved ones who died with disease, so horrible that the Center For Disease Control would not allow them to be taken to a funeral home, and rather, had them cremated immediately.
         One research project, in Colorado shows that 78 people in that state have died of the disease in recent years, and they suspect 48 other people also died from it, whom   were not tested because of family objections.

         Another medical research project showed that the brain tissue from 31of 320 people who were said to have died from Alzheimer’s disease actually had those prions in their brain.  In humans, the prion disease is named Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

         You can read five pages of research on this disease in my spring Lightnin’ Ridge Magazine, simply by sending a self addressed envelope with two stamps on it. People everywhere need to eat no venison which has not been tested.  And if you feel in the dark on this disease, let me send you that info on what has been learned in recent months, information that the MDC will never tell you. I don’t know why they are taking the stance they are taking because of ignorance or in order to insure they do not lose money in deer tag sales.  But you can be sure of this… In 2019, as in 2018, people WILL die from prion infestation of the brain.

         Chances are good that these five pages I have assembled, written by top medical research people, can save a few lives… from a disease with affects too horrible for you to imagine.

         But if you are going to believe in the testing of deer you kill, you have to believe it is 100 percent reliable.  I have to wonder about that.  We are being asked to believe that out of thousands of deer tested, only 75 have been found to be diseased.  In the four counties tested along Missouri’s southern border, biologists say there were no cases of CWD found.  But Arkansas biologists say more than a hundred diseased deer have been found in a four county area on their side of the line.   That seems strange to me. Diseases in wildlife or people do not stop at an invisible border.

         Don’t stay uninformed about this… learn all you can from those who are not worried about losing money if the facts are known fully by all of us.

         My office phone, where you can order any of my ten books or my outdoor magazine, is 417-777-5227.
Write  to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo.65613  or email 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Unbelievable!! MDC At It Again!! AND A Sac River Surprise!

  a doe and tiny newborn fawn are seen along a steep bank next to the water... the doe climbs up the bank, the little fawn can't make it. we motor to the bank to make it flee the right direction where the doe is waiting,

but it sees us and comes racing up to the boat, wanting us to help... even jumps in the water and swims around the boat wanting to get in, crying like a little baby .
 christy gets out, picks it up while it is crying pitifully and carries it to a less steep spot, boosts it up to the waiting doe. 


      You get to thinking you have seen everything in the outdoors when you get to my age, but this past week my daughter Christy and I were on the river when we saw something way out of the realm of reality.  There was a doe and a newborn fawn along the shore, beneath a high bank and the doe bounded up over the top of it, leaving the tiny fawn desperately trying to follow.  He wore himself out, falling back to the shore again and again, with his tongue hanging out, crying pitifully.

      I figured if I paddled over to that bank he would run downstream and find a better place to join his mother, who was watching us from above.  When I reached the bank, instead of fleeing he came running up to me, looking me right in the eye, only a couple of feet away, as if begging for help.  Christy got out and he ran right up to her, crying much like a little child. She picked up the little guy and took him downstream aways, boosting him up a slighter bank to where his mother waited.  The photos I took tell the whole story, and you can see them on the website I have, larrydablemontoutdoors, or on facebook.   We didn’t catch many fish, but it was a day neither of us will ever forget.     

Thousands of dead and dying crappie, catfish, sunfish, perch, bass...all kinds of fish
Mike Matzke, who lives near the Schell-Osage Wildlife Area, called to tell me that here in the heat of the summer the Missouri Department of Conservation has decided to drain a five hundred acre lake on the publicly-owned property.  He says it was drawn down in a manner to keep all the fish from going into the Osage River.  Why?  Does the Osage, full of everything that swims, needs to be protected from what is in a lake right beside it?  What have they got in there, crocodiles?

      What gives you a good picture of what the MDC has become, is Mr. Matzke’s assertion that game wardens are giving tickets to anyone taking more than a limit of crappie, bass and catfish found dying along the shore!  And of course you have to have a fishing license to take anything out of that putrid water you might want to eat. So thousands of fish therefore are being wasted, and the stench is horrible. But hey, it is at least giving game wardens some work, and making a little money for the MDC out of this mess.

      Matzke points out that the lake has been a good fishing lake for lots of folks over the years. He says there is a news organization called Fox-4 Television, possibly out of Kansas City, there today photographing the mess and talking with MDC people.  When it is all over, the news media will likely show you how this is a good thing and we should be proud of the MDC for providing a valuable conservation service to us all.  After all, they are trained professionals.

      The meetings I had with MDC Director Sara Pauley in April were a dismal waste of time, as most figured it would be.  Mrs. Pauley said some things that had me hopeful, agreeing to meet with some people on a personal basis in her office.  She instead turned it over to their lawyer and that ended it all.  I found she knew almost nothing about what has been going on with her agency, and would not back up anything she had told me.  The MDC lawyer, Jennifer Frazier, will always do her best to cover up what is happening.  I had to laugh when she emailed me telling me she was going to do an ‘investigation’ involving a couple of matters.  If the public could just find out the truth… but they won’t, with Ms Frazier on the job.  See my summer and fall Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Magazines if you want to read the truth about what is going on with that corrupt agency. 

My address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo 65613 or email  To see the fawn photos, and the photo of that putrid scene at Schell Osage, look on my website,


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Problems Wild Gobblers Face

      This weeks newspaper column... answers some face book friends who have disagreed with the idea of reducing hunting pressure on wild turkey. 

       In my column last week I wrote that in view of what has been happening to wild turkey populations the last few years we need to ease off the hunting pressure somewhat by re-arranging the youth season--- by setting it after the regular season instead of before.  We should think about shortening the regular season somewhat, and, until we see an increase in the 2 and 3 year old gobblers, cutting back to one tom per spring instead of two.

       Of course that upset some readers, especially those who take young hunters that special weekend. One fellow pointed out that it is the one time he gets to take his son out into the woods and have special time with him.  In a way, that really irks me. When I was a boy seven or eight years old, and for many years to come, there was no turkey season. So I guess it follows to reason that Dad and I never spent any time together. But on that weekend that is now the “youth turkey season” we were on the river fishing for goggle-eye, bass and green sunfish. On weekends before and after, all year long, he taught me how to set trotlines for catfish, how to shoot by taking me out to hunt squirrels, rabbits, ducks and quail. Dad looked down on deer hunting because it was a time for the red-clad crowd to descend on the Big Piney country from the city. On such times, he and I might build a johnboat together. The point is, when someone says that having a ‘youth season’ makes it a time for fathers to spend time with their sons, I wonder what the heck is wrong with them. I will tell you a little about the youth season… it is a time in many situations each spring, for a man to take out a boy and shoot a turkey or deer illegally, while the kid watches, and in some cases doesn’t even go. The grown-up finds a field edge he can bait with corn all winter, set up a store-bought camo blind and just about insure that gobblers will be there.  Sure, I know it likely is a minority of men who shoot deer and gobblers during the youth season, but it is darn sure too many.

       If the special youth seasons for deer and turkey are the times you spend outdoors with your son then you are not much of an outdoor dad. My father worked at a shoe factory 15 miles from our home, but often he would get home in the evening and we would go down to the Piney and bait a trotline which I would run the next morning. Some evenings we would seine bait or dig nightcrawlers, or prepare some traps with my grandpa for an upcoming trapping season. We were together outdoors constantly, with no deer or turkey in mind. If the youth season for turkey in the spring is all you have for your son, you don’t have much.

       Those who do not want to see any turkey season restrictions often cite weather or predation as a problem, and they are right. My old friend Darrel Hamby sent me a note that said the biggest adverse effect is the fact that nesting turkeys ‘have no friends’ citing the crows as destroyers of so many nests. He is right. They are intelligent enough to watch hens and find nests. I think right now we have more raccoons, skunks, possums and weasels than ever before in my lifetime. Add armadillos to that and you see why the number of eggs per spring is declining. Then figure the growing numbers of feral hogs. It is surprising how few turkey hunters know what feral hogs do to turkey nests. But it isn’t only turkeys that all these critters affect. It surprises me when I talk to most of today’s outdoorsmen, that so many never even hear whippoorwills in the world where they live, but that bird, a woodland ground-nester, is ever decreasing in number because of egg-eaters, number one and two among them being the armadillo and feral hogs, which weren’t even found in the Ozarks when I hunted wild gobblers with such success 20 or 30 years ago.

       Hunter numbers rise every spring and big trees are being leveled everywhere. Yes the big problem is weather and nest predation…. But if you blame every thing else but hunting pressure, you aren’t looking past your own nose. ALL OF THESE have contributed to what I see annually as a problem for decreasing numbers of turkeys.  We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can indeed do something.  We can take a good look at hunting pressure, and accept the fact that it is indeed part of the problem and it needs to be addressed somehow. And we CAN do something about feral hogs…  I will talk about that in next week’s column.

       In the meantime if you are a father wanting to spend time with your son, instead of taking him out to set at the edge of a green field in a blind, take him to the Big Piney that week-end and fish for goggle-eye.  You won’t have to buy a special tag, and of course that will mean less money for the conservation department.  But with their 200 million dollar budget, they can absorb the loss.

       I am busy this month managing brown-headed cowbirds, the birds which destroy the eggs of songbirds which have open nests, then lay their own eggs for robins, cardinals, etc. to incubate and raise.

       They are more numerous here on Lightnin’ Ridge than ever before and my management tools consist of a very accurate 22. rifle.  But don’t get the idea that I am killing them. Heavens no, I am just frightening them away!  It is just as illegal to kill one as it is to kill a copperhead or a woodrat in your shed or a crow in your garden. Because as that MDC agent recently kept reminding us on a local radio station… “If we don’t say you can, YOU CAN’T!”

       I will relate in next weeks column what my get together with MDC director Sara Pauley amounted to, to this point. I urge you to find a copy of the summer Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Magazine, now on news-stands, where you can read about things concerning the MDC that I have discussed, which many newspapers are hesitant to print.  

      The summer issue of THE LIGHTNIN' RIDGE OUTDOOR JOURNAL is on the news stands. If you can’t find the magazine, call our office to obtain one.  The number is 417 777 5227.  Email me at  The post office address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613