Friday, June 11, 2021

The Outlawed Camera


photos like this, showing what loggers are doing to den trees on public areas, may not be legal anymore without paying for a permit to MDC


      People have been contacting me asking if I had heard about the Missouri Department of Conservation declaring that people who take photographs inside public areas they manage must buy a permit to do so.  I have to look into that, but I can’t imagine that they would do that, telling photographers to pay in order to take pictures inside areas owned by the citizens of the state of Missouri.  I take lots of photos of course, and in recent times have been photographing the forest devastation which comes from rape of these areas by logging companies.  Those companies contract to pay the MDC to remove millions and millions of board feet of lumber from the areas which Missourians own.  The loggers make hundreds of thousands of dollars stripping the timber, then pay a percentage of that profit to the MDC, which desires money more than anything else, including the beauty and wildlife of a natural area.

      They have destroyed some of the most beautiful public areas in their charge, many of them given to them by people now deceased, who wanted their lands preserved.

      I take a bunch of photos of those places they have destroyed, and they know that I intend to publish the photos in a book I am writing about them.  So maybe the photos I have taken is part of the reason they want to have photography outlawed, and a required, and an expensive permit will take care of that.  But it won’t stop me, because such a move is unenforceable and denies people their constitutional rights.  

      If they don’t know that, they will find it out, with lawsuits they may have to answer to.  But here is what I envision happening when I come walking out of the woods on areas all Missourian owns, with my camera, and find a pair of agents waiting in their brand new 50 thousand dollar MDC owned pick-up, from which they do their work. The conversation might go something like this…


AGENT… I see you have your camera with you; do you have your photography permit?

ME… Oh no sir, I did not want to leave it or my pistol in my vehicle to be stolen so I just brought them with me on my hike.  But this expensive camera cannot take photos unless it has a card in it and you can see that there is none inside it. My pistol has no bullets in it, so I won’t be tempted to shoot any copperheads, which your laws also protect.

AGENT… Well where is that camera card, you no-account violator?

ME… Well sir it is lost maybe, or possibly in my pocket or my billfold which you have no business finding unless you have a search warrant.  But then, should you confiscate it, you would see photos I took here and there, of birds and wildlife and wildflowers. I took all of them on my own place, or so I will proclaim in court. And those of destroyed trees and slash and erosion, I took on private land, which I will also tell the judge, or my lawyer will!

AGENT… You are lying, you no good violating photographer.

ME… Well, the only way you will ever know is if you wander out into the tick and snake infested woodlands and catch me in the act… and that is a long way from that air-conditioned pick-up which you seldom get more than a few feet from.  And if you actually were to leave your pick-up you are going to find out that trying to force Missouri citizens to pay to take photos on public land they own is one of the most ridiculous money-grubbing attempts the MDC has ever taken, and it may possibly cost them a lot of money when someone who can pay an expensive lawyer decides to sue them.  You guys probably don’t remember this, but the last time the MDC was sued, they had to pay one of those lawyers and his clients a million dollars. So go get your search warrant, and I will wait here until you get back and confiscate that camera card…. if you can find it.

    Now of course, should some agent be reading this, or the desk-sitters in Jefferson City hear about it, I will soon be going to the MDC managed Niangua Area and taking photos.  I will gladly tell you when that will be, and perhaps take other photographers with me.  


      Of course, this column cannot be used by most newspapers in Missouri, because the MDC has them bullied into printing nothing they do not approve of.  But if you do read this, go to the newspaper where you saw it and thank them for printing what the MDC does not approve of, and let me know what you think of this.  The address is P.O. Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613.  The email address is  Our office phone is 417-777-5227

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Are You Coming to Lightnin' Ridge Saturday for the sale and fish fry??


If you are coming to eat at the noon fish-fry, please let us know… or call 417 777 5227


List of things to be sold at lightnin’ ridge sale on sat. june 5, 9 to 3.


About 24 two by fours and some other lumber

2 metal entry doors, one with windows, one without

New in-box browning pump 12 gauge

Ford 8NTractor---AND  mower…. 5 by 5 adjustable, start on its own with battery- pull behind any tractor, even small ones.  Cost 4 grand when new.

Garden tractor-mower

2 clothes dryers

1 clothes washer

2 warm morning gas heaters.

1 gas range

1 electric range

rear seats for a buick suv

used tires and wheels

small dog kennel carriers

irrigation water pump and long hoses

antique outboard motors.

Fishing lures and rods and reels

New minkota trolling motor

Several of Norten Dablemont’s hand made paddles.

Wind tunnel vaccum

Kirby vacuum and attachments

Rocker recliner

Refrigerator –freezer

Game smoker

Hot water heater

Number of 8-foot 2 x4’s

Duck decoys

Large powerful squirrel cage fan

Dozens of men’s large shirts

Almost New front-tine garden tiller

Dozens of old 1 inch wide band saw blades 11 ft long

Wildlife art

Tables full of odds and ends


One thing you all should remember… if I become famous as one of the fbi’s ten most wanted, some of the fishing lures I have used might become valuable!!!


As I remember more items I want to sell, I will post them on facebook






I often listened to old timers who fished the river talk about various ways to tempt big bass, or to catch a limit of goggle-eye.  The river was so much different then, so clear and clean.  The big deep holes, now most of them filling in with silt and gravel, and becoming slick-bottomed with algae and slime, had flathead catfish that commonly weighed from 30 to 40 pounds. 


There were huge soft-shelled turtles, hellbenders nearly two feet long, and occasionally an eel.  You could gig red-horse suckers on occasion that exceeded ten pounds, and the river was full of pan-sized green sunfish that would make a great meal when you were camping on a gravel bar and had an iron skillet with you.


I remember hearing about a method of fishing that worked in any clear, deep creek or river.  Old Bill Stalder and Jim Splechter talked about it, and I never knew for sure if it really worked. 


They said that when they were younger they would take a glass gallon jar, fill it with big shiner minnows, at least a dozen or so, then tie a heavy string around the neck, make a dozen holes in the lid and close the jar with it, letting it sink in a deep hole somewhere below a shoal. 


They said they would put a two or three treble hooks on the jar, tied well with the same kind of trotline string, and that big old bass, or catfish or goggle-eye, would be attracted to those minnow, flashing and struggling in that jar.  The jar even magnified their size, and it drove fish crazy, seeing them like that and not being able to get them. 


Ol’ Bill and Ol’ Jim both swore that you could fish alongside that jar and catch fish that were attracted to the shiners inside, and whipped into a feeding frenzy by their frustration. They said that sometimes, big fish would just grab one of those hooks on the jar and you could occasionally haul one in like that. It didn’t sound like something a fisherman ought to do, so I never tried it, though I tried most everything else back when I was a kid.

Then I was really surprised, while looking through my collection of old outdoor magazines, to find an article about that same kind of tactic in a 1940 publication, entitled ‘bumble-jugging’. It was written by a fishermen who claimed he came across two boys who had filled a big jar with bees, and as he watched they weighted it with a big rock, sunk it in the creek with the lid sealed, and began to catch fish right and left with bobbers and minnows fished around the jug filled with buzzing bees.


He explained how the boys got the bees in the jar, and claimed that in time a huge walleye grabbed a hook on the jar.  They landed it, but broke the jar on a rock beside them, and they got stung in the process. 


If there are any readers out there who ever actually seen, or tried, the jar-fishing that Ol’ Bill so adamantly insisted was a bona-fide method of fishing, I would certainly like to hear from you. But I can’t see it working with bees. At any rate I am thinking of running that whole bee-fishing story from the ‘40’s in one of my upcoming outdoor magazines.


I know that no one is going to believe this, but I know how anyone who is young and strong can spend his time outdoors, with no boss, completely on his own, and make a small fortune.  This is no joke.  I will write about this unbelievable opportunity in the summer issue of my magazine, The Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal.  I am not young enough or strong enough to do it, and I have a good outdoor occupation already, but this is a way for a pair of young men to make around 100 thousand dollars a year, working outdoors. You won’t believe it, but it is all there for anyone who wants to work, and it is all above board and legal.


I am hoping my July 5 fish fry here on Lightnin’ Ridge will be a success, but if the rains continue as they have all through May, we might have to postpone it.  If you would like to attend, or find out if it is going to be postponed, please call my office, 417-777-5227.  We need to have an estimate of how much fish to have ready to fry.  Information about the daylong get-together can be found on my blogpot…


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