Friday, November 27, 2020

MDC Telecheck Letter


A letter all deer hunters should read:



They Don’t Do That in Winter



       As the seasons roll on in the outdoors, year after year, I see the strangest things… things I haven’t seen before. That happened again.  Last week on one of those 70 degree days, with clouds moving in before the rain, I went to visit one of my favorite places on the river about five miles above an Ozark lake. 

       I go there because it is a place where I get to fish all by myself; the boats stay down in the lake trying to find crappie this time of year.  I was actually figuring I might be able to catch a walleye out in the long, deep eddy below a flowing shoal.  In the fall, they are often found there in the middle, in water that is 8 to 10 feet deep. 


       Occasionally, there is a nice black bass or two along the banks, under a log perhaps.  There were bunches of those small white bass and a deep running bait that walleye often like on cloudy dark days was ineffective because the small whites wouldn’t leave it alone.  One of them got a treble hook into his gills and started flipping around on the surface in his death throes.  About that time a mature eagle came flying up the river about treetop level and he spotted that dying fish.  He made a spectacular in- flight maneuver nearly turning upside down in mid-air and seized the small fish in his talons only about 20 yards away from my boat. 


       When I fish in Canada I see that often, and have fed a number of eagles with small yellow perch I catch.  They really get tame there, and will swoop down within a few feet of your boat to get a perch.


        But that isn’t the story of that afternoon.  I wasn’t finding any walleye, so I switched over to a small black jig with a rubber duplicate of a crawdad hooked on the jig as a tail.  In still water I fished it to no avail, and then I worked up toward the shoal.  In the very end of it, where flowing water swept over a shallow lip of gravel only a couple of feet deep, my jig and crawdad got some attention. 


       I saw the line tighten and I set the hook into my first good fish in the past hour, and brought a 13-inch smallmouth through the current and to my boat.  You might expect that in the spring, but not in mid-November.  He should have been out in that deep water, resting and dreaming of spring. But he wasn’t! And neither was the 15-inch largemouth I caught minutes later, only a few feet below the drop off from gravel towards deeper water. 


       I sat there for an hour and caught four more bass casting almost into the exact spot, no bigger than a washtub and no deeper that 2 feet.  I stayed there so long because my third bass was a doozy and he, or she, gave me a battle, picking up my fake crawdaddy right where the gravel ended, and I would bet the water wasn’t more than 18 or 20 inches deep there.


       It was a big-bellied smallmouth about 18 or 19 inches long and I will bet it weighed on one side or the other of three pounds only by an ounce or so.  With that light rod I was using, I had some fun with the fish, wanting to see it to be sure what it was. I got it alongside my boat and it was indeed a smallmouth, and he slipped the hook when I reached down to pull him up.  Of course I intended to release the brownie but I guess it didn’t trust me so it did so itself.  I don’t know why the fish were there as late in the year as it is.  But one thing I have noticed is there are no hard fast rules in the outdoors.  Sometimes fish don’t do what they did last time.  So I have learned to keep trying different ideas when I hunt or fish.  When that works it is great, but when it doesn’t you had better be happy with the trying… and things like that eagle.


If you are still deer hunting, be sure and read that letter on my blogspot (larrydablemontoutdoors) telling you the facts about the telecheck system and how it is used to create victims. On my website, ( you can see all ten of my outdoor books, and my magazines.  I have a Christmas issue of my Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal I will send you free if you will send the postage.  To get that, call my office, 417 777 5227


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Time to Stay Home






         For some reason, I can never relax during deer season.  Some of it has to do with those long-range rifles capable of killing a water buffalo or penetrating a home a half-mile away. And I live deep in the woods. 

          There are many capable hunters and outdoorsmen who will hunt deer this weekend, but a large number of the rifles in the woods will be manned by those who know little about the outdoors.  Few of those experienced outdoorsmen really think that deer shooting is hunting. I have already done some deer shooting… with my camera. But half or more of those in the woods this week will be there only once a year.  Hunters?…Well maybe.  But that is questionable with some of these people who flee the suburbs for a deer camp.  Calling them hunters is sort of like referring to someone as a farmer because he sets out some tomato plants in the spring.

          There isn’t much to killing a deer.  If you can hit a basketball at 50 yards with a rifle, and if you can walk back in the woods a few hundred yards and sit in one place for a few hours, you've got a very good chance of getting one. In most forests, you don't have to WALK back into the woods anymore.  Modern deer hunters have ATV's.

          I dread most, the time about 11 a.m. when so many of the deer hunters who haven't killed a deer start shooting cans or signs or stumps.  I always hunted from a tree stand for many reasons, one of them being, I don't want a rifle bullet I fire to go anywhere other than into the ground should I miss. Seldom did I ever fire more than 2 bullets in a season. 

          When I was a kid my dad and I were floating the Big Piney hunting ducks. On Saturday at mid-day we had high-powered bullets whine past about six feet over our johnboat.  Downstream a few hundred yards were three guys from the city, shooting at a whiskey bottle in the river. The alcohol they had consumed had perhaps dulled their thinking, but I doubt they knew that a bullet would ricochet from water.

         Today big antlers are worth money, and there are lots of deer hunters who have that as their goal.  But there are also all those who will do it right, who will be safe and sober and intent on hunting.... those who intend to keep their deer, take care of the meat and give little thought to trophies. I know such men and most of them, when they reach my age, aren’t so intent on the killing.  We have enough antlers.

          I am fortunate in that I will see the woods soon completely devoid of anyone. The invasion is only a week or so. Just the other evening, I sat watching the sunset through a canopy of quickly changing leaves, gold and yellow and orange and green.  It was a spectacular thing to see, miles and miles from civilization where there were no manmade sounds at all. I like that better than I want to kill a deer, I no longer want to spend a day cleaning, skinning, and butchering a deer that has been feasting on acorns.  I take this spongiform encephalopathy seriously too.  I know of men who died from that, what they refer to as CWD.

         There are always deer behind my house, but I have never hunted there.  If I did hunt this week, I would do so from a stand miles away that is right for the wind conditions, and I would stay there.  The fact that so many hunters begin to move around after the first hour or so makes it easier for a still hunter in a tree stand to see deer which are being pushed from one area to another by the walkers. 

          Today's agents don't get far from a vehicle during the deer season. They don’t have to.  But I urge you, if you hunt, please read the letter from a conservation department’s retired agent that tells how most arrests are made, via the telecheck system and computers. Most involve technical violations of some sort. It always allows the confiscation of large buck antlers it seems.  Wonder why! That letter is on my BlogSpot, larrydablemontoutdoors. If you read it you won’t believe what is being done to innocent people and it could save you a citation. In some areas of the southern Missouri Ozarks, there will be a real slaughter.  That is because the Missouri Department of Conservation is so desperate to get landowners to register their land with them they have promised ten free deer tags to anyone who will do that.  And ANYONE hunting on that registered land with permission of the landowner, can kill most or all of those ten deer without a deer tag.  Yet some will pay large fines because they kill one deer that violates a technical point of some kind.

          "You put a tag on that deer, you paid for it," a friend of mine insists, “and you can hit him with a car, electrocute him, or kill him with a hand grenade, and the agents shouldn’t care...they got the money, you got the deer."

 Check out my website,  Email me at or write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, MO 65613.

MDC Telecheck Letter


All Missouri hunters should read this letter 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Know the Truth, Know Your Rights


       I have a letter from an ex-employee of the Missouri Department of Conservation that outlines the Telecheck system and how it is used in rather nefarious ways by agents. These systems are now fairly uniform in several states of the Midwest, and with deer season ahead, every deer hunter needs to read this letter. It could save you a lot of money paying fines you should not have to pay.  Newspapers cannot print this letter because the sender does not want his name used.  Therefore I put it, as I received it, on a website where you CAN read it.  That letter may be seen on your computer at  You are going to be very surprised what the Telecheck system may do to you even when you are completely innocent.  In many states bordering Missouri, it is much the same. The 4th amendment is the same in all states. Agents use the Telecheck system far beyond its original purpose. I have documented many, many instances of that and they are being printed in an upcoming book I have written, “THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION!”


           Shortly after that Telecheck letter was received, I contacted the newly appointed Enforcement Division Chief for that department, Randy Doman.  We agree on very little, but we do agree that a high percentage of hunters have no idea what their rights are.  If you do not, you are in danger of being given a citation over a technicality even if you are trying to obey the law.  You need to know that you should NEVER let any agent come into your home, barn, shed or vehicle without a search warrant. They DO NOT have a legal right to do so unless you give them permission.  I’ll tell you in a future column what happened to one innocent hunter by the name of Henshall in Northern Missouri; when he allowed a pair of nice friendly smiling agents with hats in hand to come into his home because they could never get a search warrant to do what they wanted to. His loss from their trick, was in the thousands of dollars, and every hunter and fisherman should read his story. Here is what Enforcement Chief Randy Doman sent me in an email.  Read it, print it and keep it where you do not forget it, and where you can show it to an agent bent on making a victim of you….


-----“The 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure apply to conservation agents just the same as they do for state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, city police, etc.  The Open Fields Doctrine provides that open fields do not carry the same expectation of privacy as an occupied dwelling or curtilage.  Pending exigent circumstances, conservation agents may not search a closed barn or shed without consent or a warrant.  Conservation agents may not force their way into a home without a search warrant or consent based on seeing a mounted deer head on the wall.  

Regarding the enforcement of baiting laws, citations are warranted when hunters are found physically within or immediately adjacent to baited areas. When hunters are found outside of sight of the baited area or out of range for killing an animal standing in the baited area, no ticket should be issued unless other evidence is present to indicate the hunter knew or reasonably should have known the area was baited and is hunting there because of the bait; or is the person who placed the bait for other hunters; or there is a preponderance of evidence clearly indicating the hunters are in a particular location because the placement of the bait is attracting deer or turkeys to that location. If the evidence for baiting violations is not clear-cut, agents are instructed to consult with supervisors for guidance in enforcement actions.  Conservation agents may instruct hunters in the immediate surrounding area of the bait that further hunting in that area is prohibited until ten (10) days following complete removal of the bait.

Agents are instructed not close entire farms or large areas of land simply because bait was found at a particular location. Likewise, adjoining property owners should not be considered in violation unless they were aware of the bait and were using it as an attraction to deer or turkeys for hunting.

Conservation agents must abide by the same 4th Amendment protections as any other law enforcement officer.  Conservation agents often follow up on deer and turkey Telechecks as their schedules allow.  With the discontinuation of wildlife check-in stations in 2005, these Telecheck investigations have become an expectation and a valuable tool for conservation agents; not only to increase compliance with the Wildlife Code, but to ensure the integrity of the self-reported harvest data.  When hunters raised concerns about increased poaching if check-in stations were discontinued, the Department assured them that conservation agents would conduct spot checks of the Telecheck system to provide reasonable assurances that the self-reporting system was being used properly. 

While the majority of these Telecheck contacts are positive and most hunters are following the regulations, conservation agents also discover occasional violations including but not limited to; taking over-limits of deer and turkey, taking deer or turkey over bait, fraudulently obtaining/using permits, and taking deer and turkeys in closed season.”------Randy Doman.


Readers may contact me via email at or write to me at Dablemont, Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613 or if you  want you may call me when I am in my office, 417 777 5227



Fall Leaves… Fall Fish



         The darned leaves in the water makes it tough to fish a river in the fall. I should remember that! But I have a hard time learning things due to a deficiency which comes from being hit on the head so often over the years by falling limbs and lightning bolts resulting from high winds and thunderstorms.  But I keep trying! Last week, with temperatures up in the seventies I tried again, up my favorite river on a calm day with no storms in sight.


         I kept reeling back leaves and no fish.  BUT… I found a spot below a shoal where there were   hundreds of fish congregated.  With that, my plans changed.  To heck with those leaf-catching lures sporting treble hooks, I quickly found a small spinner with a white plastic grub on a single hook.  That is a lure I have used in a pinch which will catch every kind of fish you could imagine; all three species of bass crappie, walleye, drum, and white bass on many occasions. It is a super lure to use for white bass, which is what I found by the jillions in that eddy where the swift water of the shoal swirled and slowed.


         White bass fishermen don’t have to be very good fishermen.  When they swarm up the tributaries of any midwestern lake in the spring, they just have to be found to be caught. But then they leave the rivers and go back to sulk in the deep waters of the lake from which they came.  And the average fisherman thinks they will stay there until next spring. Not so!           They get confused by the cooling water of the fall and up the river they go again for some reason cannot tell you.  There are not many things about the outdoors I cannot venture a good guess on, and that fall migration is one of them.  That is something to be written about later.  Anyways, there they were. Only problem was, while I could catch a fish from 8- to 10- inches on every cast, there seemed to be none bigger than that. If you want to have fun with smaller fish, you have only to fish with ultra-light gear, a rod like a switch and light line.


         I had such an outfit, and as the evening sun sank beyond treetops behind me, I caught a bunch of those yearlings.  With each fish I hooked, there came a half dozen or so others, swirling beneath the unfortunate fellow, wanting to help him eat whatever it was he had. They fought like the devil on that little light rod!  In my river, only smallmouth compare to those white bass when it comes to fighting long and hard.


         Let me say here that if I had wanted to take home those short-sized white bass, I could have kept a number of them, filleted them and used them for delicious fish patties to be eaten over the winter. I have a recipe for that, involving crackers and eggs.  But I didn’t keep any.  An hour before darkness I just drifted down stream, hoping I could catch a black bass or walleye on that little spinner bait. 


         I stopped at a place that has an amazing history for me, a place I call the miracle-tree eddy. I will tell that unbelievable story in the spring issue of my outdoor magazine, but here with limited space, I can’t get into that.  I can just say that I only caught four more fish. Three were white bass from 14- to 15-inches, which I kept for supper.  The other was a channel catfish a little less than four pounds, which is to say, he could have also been a little better than three pounds, if you get my drift. I turned him loose, amazed that with all the fish I mentioned earlier, I could now add catfish to the little white spinner list.


         You know what was great about that evening?  I never saw or heard another soul. It was just me and the Great Creator and something close to perfection…at least as close as you can get nowadays.  I thanked Him for it, even if the fish were small. I never want God to think I will just settle for anything when I go fishing! 


         There was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever enjoyed on the river, the yellow-gold tint of late fall trees and drifting leaves accentuated by the setting sun beyond them, and a beautiful multi-colored bluff above dark water. Back home on my ridgetop, I sat down to write this, knowing that there isn’t enough room to tell it all or enough words to describe it. But in time I will get to it all… fascinating things to tell, like what that channel catfish did, and why those white bass were so small, and what you have to do to remove the red meat on the bigger ones to make them excellent eating. Then there is the long ago story of the miracle tree. As I said, I will get to it all… someday!


         I have written ten books about the outdoors. See them on my website, Email me at If you want a free copy of the holiday issue of my  ‘Journal of the Ozarks’ magazine, call and tell MS, Wiggins, my secretary, to send you one. Phone 417 777 522

The Voice


I left the border of Nebraska and South Dakota at midday on Wednesday, crossing the wide, sandy banks of the swift but shallow Niobrara River.  Beyond it, I gazed across desolate, gentle hills of prairie grass, rolling away as far as the eye can see.  It is the land where Chief Spotted Tail led a band of Sioux Indians northward, to find a place where there were no intruding white people that were coming destroy to his homeland in a search for gold and all it would buy.  


At six o’clock that evening I got lost trying to find my way into Iowa, and I stopped on a high point to look across miles of the city and suburbs, of Omaha. There were lights to every direction, and from that high hill I could see giant ribbons of car lights backed up to a distant horizon, creeping slowly along.  To all directions there were nothing but lights… herds of humanity in masses too great to imagine.  I thought to myself that out below me was a misery of wasted time and wasted lives, where people worked their days and lives away to make enough money to survive, and flee on occasion to enjoy what their wages would buy, as far as they could get from a life that imprisons them without their knowledge of it.


Eighteen hours later I sat on an Ozark river near my home, watching the late-day sun cast the world in a yellow and orange landscape, where a quiet music played in flowing water and in the whisper of crisp falling leaves hitting an adjacent gravel bar.  There were small fish there by the hundreds.  I became tired of catching them from the dark, shadowed waters of a clear, cool current.  Below me there was a river bluff with shades of subtle colors, bathed in the glow of a setting sun’s last rays.  There was not a soul there but me, and a peace and contentment I cannot describe, settling over me in the late evening. It was a peace that made me want to stay forever, where I felt the Great Creator’s presence and a blessing far beyond what I deserve.  It comes in a way I have felt a million times before, since boyhood, in those places where there is no man-made sounds, and His presence sends a chill throughout my being.


There is the distant howl of a far-away coyote, the screech of a wood-duck hen and the splash of an occasional fish below the shoal.  I am a writer.  I feel as if God is conveying to me a message to write for others, from Him.  In a matter of hours, He showed me the beauty of the sand hills prairie, the confusion and waste in a great city during the late hours of the evening, and the wonder of an Ozarks river that seemed to have been, in those few hours, as it could have been a thousand years ago.   Often, I feel the urgency to convey a message from God after seeing what He has shown me… but I have no idea how to do it.  And I have no idea what it is! 


God doesn’t need me.  He has told our nation what will save us and what will destroy us. In the wake of our complicated technology, which is so loud amongst the great, crowded herds of men, God’s voice has been drowned out, I think.  But you can hear it in the winds blowing through the grasses of Spotted Tails lands, and in the sound of flowing shoals and falling leaves from mine, hundreds of miles away.  God is still alive I think, if you can find a place where you can hear Him.