white tailed deer

Small things then and now

Can you imagine going your whole life in the Ozarks without ever seeing a white-tailed deer? That was a real possibility around here at one time.  I find it interesting how different the plant and animal landscape – both wild…


Lost in the Huzzah River Valley (Pt. 2)

(Editor’s note: Part one of this story appeared in the March issue of the River Hills Traveler.) We crawled further into the cave and I turned out the lantern because it sounded like it was running out of fuel. The…


Drones, campground living, and a squirrel recipe

According to a press release issued by the Corps of Engineers, drones are now outlawed at Wappapello Lake. Drones are a relatively new and exciting technology available to everyone and can be used for many purposes, especially photography and videography….


You’re missing out! Try a fried potato sandwich

Fried potato sandwich. A simple fare with an easy recipe. Grab two or three potatoes from your cellar or cupboard, wash the dirt off and cut them into slices a bit heavier than a quarter of an inch.  Fry them…

Young angler Ayden Dietrich found this huge crappie in a small pond of about one-acre.

Big crappie can be found on little water

When crappie fishing becomes the topic of conversation, big lakes dominate the discussions. Mark Twain is mentioned as is Rathbun and Kentucky Lake. Up north Geneva gets press and in the south Bull Shoals. All have merit and all of…


Critter for April 2016: Badger

• Species: Badger. • Scientific name: Taxidea taxus. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: In Missouri, badgers have become one of the symbols of prairie habitat. Although not often seen because of their secretive nature and relatively scattered population,…


Two record-breaking fish hooked last month

Hillsboro fisherman takes state-record black buffalo Travis Cardona, of Hillsboro, became the most recent record-breaking fisherman in Missouri when he shot a giant black buffalo on a lake at Duck Creek Conservation Area using a bow and arrow. The new…

mingo 2

You owe it to yourself to catch this unique fish

As the weather warms, and the trees start to bud out, many of us are eager to start our spring fishing. For the majority of anglers, this means bass, crappie, and catfish. There are some of us, though, that are eager…


Lost in the Huzzah River Valley

(Editor’s note: Part two of this story will appear in the April issue of the River Hills Traveler.) The lantern was one of our many mistakes. This is a story from many years ago. I still don’t remember being more…


Invasive black carp threatening native species

Researchers with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) have reported the first documented evidence of invasive black carp reproduction in the wild in North America. This means big problems for native river species, according to MDC Resource Scientist Quinton Phelps….

Bill Reiboldt (State Representative, 160th District)

Funds shouldn’t be used for a new state park

As the 2016 legislative session moves forward there are numerous bills coming to the House floor for debate. Included in that number is House Bill 2187, a bill concerning a possible new Missouri state park. House Bill 2187 is a…


This SWMO cave is very active and growing

Bluff Dwellers Cavern, in tiny Noel, Mo., down in the southwest corner of the state, will celebrate its 86th anniversary on June 2.  “It’s been in the family since the beginning, and is right next to where Arthur Browning raised…


Olympic Steakhouse is one of Missouri’s finest

Olympic Steakhouse, located at 113 E. Main Street in Fredericktown, Mo., owned by Randy and Stephanie Brewer, has been in the same location for nearly 18 years and owes all of its praise to their customers.  “We have seen a…

Larry McQuatter fishes for walleye at Bull Shoals Lake.

Walleyes thriving in Missouri’s waters

March 1 trout park opener may be the first fishing event of the year that grabs media attention, but as winter fades into spring, many area anglers are focused on another popular sportfish. For many Ozarks fishing folks, early March…

A Flying Squirrel stays inside a tree cavity in Jefferson City, MO.

March 2016 Critter of the Month: Flying Squirrel

• Species: Southern flying squirrel. A Flying Squirrel stays inside a tree cavity in Jefferson City, MO. • Scientific name: Glaucomys volans. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: Thanks to the animated exploits of Rocket J. Squirrel of “Rocky…

Springwater dancer, male, from Williamsville, in Wayne County, Mo.

Beautiful damselflies will soon be buzzing our rivers

Our creeks, streams, and rivers are mostly silent this time of year. It’s hard to believe that in just a few months, they will be buzzing with many kinds of beautiful insects. Springwater dancer, male, from Williamsville, in Wayne County,…


Grant National Historic Site welcomes visitors

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial in 2016. The summer kitchen was a separate building, designed to keep the heat generated by cooking away from the main house. The first national park was Yellowstone National Park, which was…

Leah makes another retrieve.

Bird hunt brings fun for trio of near 70-year olds

Ron Kruger and Treff Earney stepped into the thick, weedy cover as Doc, Kruger’s golden retriever, wiggled into a frenzy of excitement. Leah makes another retrieve. It meant one thing. The dog had winded a bird. A chukar rocketed into…