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Going floating or camping? Read this guide!

By now you’re probably noticed that this issue of the River Hills Traveler is a little bigger than most. It’s actually double the size of our average issue. That’s because it includes our 7th Annual Ozarks Float Trippin’ & Camping…

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Huge black crappie caught at Duck Creek Conservation Area.

Crappie abundant at Wappapello, Clearwater lakes

The dogwoods have already dropped their blooms and the blackberry bushes are flowering out… you know what that means. It’s time to catch some crappie! Crappie are beautiful, fun, and absolutely delicious fish. Many fishermen, like me, anxiously await spring weather just…


A Strike King jig is hard to beat for largemouth bass,  according to Brauer.

Retired Bass Pro Chad Brauer talks fishing

Bass fishing has been a favorite pastime of mine since childhood. Regardless, I never joined the forces of the bass tournament craze that swept over the U.S. in the 70’s and 80’s and still continues to this day. Fishing and…


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Unusual camping tips from the old-timers

While you’re camping this summer, there are a few old Ozark, er, “practices” to keep in mind, courtesy of the late Mr. Vance Randolph. These are all real in the fact that they were once believed by at least some…


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We have but so many days on earth, so why not do good?

Along with ideas to embrace healthier habits we find ourselves using rainy days to catch up on those tasks that have somehow gone undone for far too long. Some are as menial as organizing our inventory of fishing lures (options…


Bullsnake Constricting Its Prey

Critter of the Month: Bullsnake

• Species: Bullsnake. • Scientific name: Pituophis catenifir sayi. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: Growing to lengths that sometimes exceed six feet, the bullsnake is Missouri’s largest snake. Its size, plus its defensive tactics of hissing and coiling,…


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Tours temporarily suspended at Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Missouri, has suffered a “double whammy” this year. According to its website, Meramec Caverns is “the largest commercial cave in the state of Missouri.” This popular attraction is located…


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Neosho hatchery implanting mussels onto host fish

Neosho National Fish Hatchery (NNFH) biologists have successfully implanted tiny baby mussels named glochidia onto the gills of a host fish.  “Barely the size of a grain of sand, each tiny mussel needs to hitchhike on a specific type of…


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No fish is safe from the beetle spin!

No, not the boys from the other side of the big water. But still loved by millions! The beetle spin. That fabulous little grub with the safety pin spinner. It was most likely the first spinner bait that you used…


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Guests loyal to Circle B Campground

Circle B Campground is located in Eminence, Mo., and sits on the banks of the Jacks Forks River, one of the most scenic of all Missouri Ozark streams. The campground features several amenities, including a general store that sells ice,…


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St. Louis Arch re-opens, work continues on grounds

The Gateway Arch and grounds, the Old Courthouse, and the Museum of Westward Expansion are part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. The entire complex is presently undergoing a major transformation that will result in a safer…


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Animal of the Month: Mottled sculpin

• Species: Mottled sculpin. • Scientific name: Cottus bairdi. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: The mottled sculpin is one of Missouri’s lesser-known fish. Though their large heads and bulging eyes may not win any beauty contests, people who…


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How to make the twisted scud that trout love

This is my twist on the scud. I use this pattern when I fish for trout in my local Missouri waters. I tie it in sizes from 32 to 8. My go-to sizes are 16 and 18; however, during May…


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Railroads an important part of westward expansion

There were no railroads west of St. Louis in 1850. It was 1852 before the first locomotive made its way out of the early downtown St. Louis depot for a short journey to Shaw’s Garden.  It was May 10, 1869,…


Champion White Ash Sooner Park Bartlesville OK

Where the state champions grow

When I first heard of the concept of the National Register of Big Trees, I knew that I had found something which fascinated me.  I knew I had found a hobby which would occupy and interest me for many years…


Fried morel mushrooms, crappie filets, and wild turkey breasts are the perfect trifecta of Ozark foods with which to celebrate spring.

A spring trifecta: Recipes for 3 favorite Ozark foods

Spring is a time of awakening and renewal. Outdoorsmen long for the sweet smells of honeysuckle and apple blossoms and the delicate flavors of nature’s spring bounty. There are none better than the spring trifecta of crappie, morel mushrooms and…