drift boat 03

Ever heard of ‘drift boat’ fishing?

At those times when job or family obligations or weather conditions do not favor opportunities for reeling in fish, the dedicated angler is still alert to reeling in new or updated “keeper size” fishing-related information, such as: • Where to…

Read More


Did the groundhog see his shadow?

Well, did the groundhog see his shadow? Wait a second, Wes. Aren’t you a couple of weeks late? Not in the Ozarks. The traditional Groundhog Day in the Ozark region, where many of us are blessed to live, is not…

IMG_2813 copy

If your life is in imminent danger…

I am now, officially, almost a conceal carry permit holder. I say almost because I haven’t gotten the card that says I can start carrying yet. My fiancé, Joey, and I just took the conceal carry class at Missouri Southern…


Using decoys will improve your predator hunt

A couple of years back, a buddy and I were predator hunting on a local farmer’s land where coyotes had been a problem with his cattle herd. On our second set of the day we found ourselves in a corner…

The "Terstriep Trio" shows-off both light geese and ducks from southeast Arkansas.

Extend your waterfowl season into winter 2016

A couple of decades ago I learned the complexities of hunting snow and blue geese from a guide in the Missouri bootheel named Bob Stoner. The “Terstriep Trio” shows-off both light geese and ducks from southeast Arkansas. Stoner had a…


Meteorite on St. Patrick’s Day

Since I have been a Boy Scout and a Boy Scout leader for many years I have seen many natural events that happen in the out of doors.   In 1989 or thereabouts, the Scouts went camping at Hawn State…

Participants of Twin Pines Conservation Education Center's annual backpacking program take a break to pose for a photo at Klepzig Mill.

The best kept Ozark secret

One of my father’s perennial Christmas gifts to my brothers and me is a renewed subscription to Backpacker Magazine. After my March issue came in the mail, he texted me, “Check out page 61.” I flipped through the glossy pages of…


Missourians need ‘Fishing Prospects” booklet

When anglers aren’t fishing, most of them are either thinking or reading about fishing. If this describes the type of person you are, the “2016 Fishing Prospects at Selected Missouri Lakes & Streams” is a publication for you. This Missouri…

League of Watershed Guardians

New Stream Team chapters form

Last year was a time of growth for MSTWC (the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition). Much of our efforts this past year focused on diversification of funding. We hosted a variety of fundraising events that rose very close to our…

Dedicated squirrel hunters (front row) Jaxton Hooper, Hayden Hooper, Jette Akins, and Jeremiah Lowe. (Back row) Cody Richardson, Ian Campbell, Zack Stewart, Andrew Moritz, Luke Guss, and Cheyenne Knott.

Squirrels wallop kiddos

Stormy weather and uncooperative squirrels got the best of local kids during the Young Outdoorsmen United’s squirrel hunt and dinner event held the day after Christmas. Dedicated squirrel hunters (front row) Jaxton Hooper, Hayden Hooper, Jette Akins, and Jeremiah Lowe….

7-Gary Madole and Maryann Townsend (2) copy

Fly fishing: ‘Anyone can do it’

Maryann Townsend, a business professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., also teaches classes on fly tying, casting, and rod building in Missouri. “I teach this both at Lindenwood and in my own time to anyone who would be…

NHVCtr copy

Mountain man John Colter left a legacy

Almost unnoticed, John Colter/Coulter/Coalter pulled his dugout canoe into port at St. Louis in May 1810. He was the last member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to make it back to the starting point.  The others had been met…

Mallards Tn 3 copy

Tough side of waterfowl hunting the rice fields

January. A New Year. Bitter cold, ice, snow. And what  do outdoorsmen think about? A trio of steady customers from Tennessee show off another limit of mallards they took while hunting with Perry May. Hunkering down by the fireplace and…

image2 copy

Rifle, gear tips for hunting feral hogs

If you read the December issue of River Hills Traveler, you probably read an article from Francis Skalicky of the problems that wild hogs can cause. Being the diehard hunter that I am, I am always looking for more opportunities…

IMG_0271 top

Focusing on the harvest of teenage bass

Well, here we are in January and not a lot to do. OK, that’s not exactly true. We still have some small game hunting, trout fishing, and if you’re really energetic, you can still catch some bass on the rivers….

Empire plants trees copy

Tree trimming crews CAN be our friends

Ever since I became a property owner I have observed what appears to be an ongoing battle between power lines and trees. I have experienced frustrating days without electrical power because an ice storm caused a tree to snap and…

DSCN0056 copy

Beavers are no longer a problem

The water exploded at my feet as a large blanket beaver came to the surface of the pond. Chuck Smick with his first day’s catch of tree eaters. After a short “tug of war,” I managed to put two or…

Shed Antler Hunter

Now is the time to search for deer antlers

Tracks, rubs, scrapes, droppings and bedding areas are all common signs that show where deer have been. In addition to these, this is the time of year when you may find interesting – and highly noticeable – proof that a…

10906562_10152465072566946_8693049747643448368_n copy

Let’s Go Fishing Show attracts over 8,000

Gateway Center will host the Let’s Go Fishing Show, which is the largest fishing show in the region. This family-friendly event maintains a focus on fishing and will take place at Gateway Center in Collinsville, Ill., on Jan. 8-10.  The…

Black Eyed Peas

Do you believe in these Ozark superstitions?

Growing up in the Ozarks, where old traditions tend to live on, I knew many people who cooked up a pot of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck. You probably did, too. Most folks probably didn’t really…

Nealry 40 youth attended the recent United duck call building for the seminar.

Young outdoorsmen build duck calls…Quack!

A gaggle of kids flocked together on the banks of Elk River in Noel, Mo., inside the River Ranch Resort Rendezvous Room, to construct their own personal duck call and learn how to imitate the basic sounds of mallard ducks….

An Opossum keeps an eye for danger.

Critter of the Month: Opossum

January 2016 • Species: Opossum. • Scientific name: Didelphis marsupialis. • Nicknames: ’Possum. An Opossum keeps an eye for danger. • Claim to fame: To most Ozarkers, opossums are known for their less-than appealing sneer, a lumbering gait and a…

persimmon 1 copy

Next time, try this persimmon jam recipe

When Joy and I were first married and had our first child, Camille, we didn’t have a lot of money. Joy and I had just finished college at Southwest Missouri State, in Springfield, Mo. We had already been through Hurricane…

deer season outlook

Harvest for antlerless portion ends with 9,733

Top counties are Pike, Callaway, and Lincoln. Harvest up 613 from 2014. Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 9,733 deer during the antlerless portion of fall firearms deer season, Nov….