From the March archives of the River Hills Traveler:

5 years ago

• Bollinger County is not known for its righteous trout waters. Instead, we have farm ponds stocked with catfish and new rock-bottomed rivers that are ripe with sallies.

Even after being out of high school for several years, I had never seen a trout, nor had I ever even eaten one.

So when Brian, a friend from high school, contacted me about trying trout fishing for the first time, I felt a sense of adventure and a need to oblige him on this endeavor. (Shawn Seabaugh)

• It was a Sunday morning and church had just let out.

“Do you trout fish?” a friend asked.

“I never have but I’d sure be willing to give it a try,” I answered Raymond May, who had just offered to introduce me to a species of fish I never had fished for, not sure had thought about over the years.

Now, some 14 years later, I’ve spent countless days in search of rainbows and browns. (Doug Smith)

10 years ago

• A new advocacy group, Voice of the Ozarks, held its first organizational meeting in Eminence on Jan. 19. Over 100 concerned citizens met to discuss how to go about protecting area citizens’ rights to access rivers and lands in the Ozarks that are owned and managed by state, federal and private agencies.

Voice of the Ozarks President John Mark Brewer told the crowd that the problem associated with agencies controlling access to lands and waters of the area that locals have used for generations, has been discussed for a long time.

“Now we have an organization that will give a voice to the people of the area,” Brewer said. (Bill Cooper)

• The thunder of a wild turkey gobbler is reverberating in my head as I get the gun up and ready in ever slow motion, wincing as I imagine he can see me through the thick cover.

We attribute amazing powers to these creatures as they emit their throaty gobbles. Nonetheless, I am almost certain this one is going to meet his end if he shows his patriotic red, white and blue head and neck.

But the tale ends abruptly as a gun erupts somewhere up near the field that these woods border. (Don Rathert)

15 tears ago

• If you would like to improve the odds of your youngster being successful during the youth turkey season, begin scouting now.

Scouting early will increase your chances of locating turkeys, allow you to become familiar with the lay of the land you will be hunting, and will give your youngster opportunities to acclimate to the turkey hunting experience.

Scouting is the most important element of turkey hunting. Unfortunately, it is often the most overlooked facet of the sport. Scouting before the season opener is especially important when youth are involved. (Bill Cooper)

• February and my thoughts turn to trout fishing. When Bob Told called and asked how flexible my schedule was, and if I would like to float the trophy trout area of the Meramec River, I was all for it.

For the record we would be floating on a Thursday and would probably have the entire stretch of water to ourselves for the day.

Our float started at the Woodson K. Woods access just above Meramec Springs Park and we would take out at the low water bridge at Scotts Ford a little less than ten miles downstream. (Howard Helgenberg)

20 years ago 

• There was not another human being in sight as Carl, my 13-year-old son, and I slid our loaded canoe into icy-cold waters of the Current River.

Although it was January, temperatures were approaching the 40-degree mark. Our plan was to float, fish, and explore from Cedar Grove to Akers Ferry. We would camp overnight somewhere along the way. (Bill Copper)

• This spring I plan to celebrate my birthday by participating in the turkey season opener. This will create consternation for my wife and daughter, who have difficulty perceiving the importance of commemorating a milestone in this manner.

But the argument that a person ought to be able to celebrate a birthday the way he or she wants is strong poise.

So I’ll probably get my way, as long as I’m home in time to go out to a restaurant to eat supper. (Charlie Slovensky)

30 years ago

• A landscape of endless forest is NOT ideal turkey habitat. We don’t have endless forests from a human point of view, but from the point of view of wild turkeys, some of our forests are indeed endless.

The Missouri Wild Turkey Federation is starting to do something about that. Mike Fiechler announced, at a fundraising banquet in Cape Girardeau, that an agreement has been signed with the Conservation Department and U.S Forest Service to improve turkey habit. (Bob Todd)

• Two issues back, we took a jab at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources with respect to the dam at Doe Run’s Fletcher mine waste pond.

We asked what our state inspectors were doing besides drinking coffee at 10 each morning. It’s terrible that something like this could exist in our state.

Well, apparently DNR doesn’t inspect lead mines in Missouri at all. And apparently, all the reclamation laws we thought were protecting us from another disaster such as that one Big River don’t have a thing to do with lead mining. (Bob Todd)

40 years ago

• When the Osage left their villages in southern Kansas in 1870 for the buffalo hunt further west on the plains, they would not be returning.

After perhaps 250 years of contact with the white man, they were giving up land once again. And once again, white men would write their epitaph, only to find them in his path again later in time. (Bob Todd)

• Back in those yesteryears I was just one among many little girls living in the Ozarks who felt like a Queen when we were the owner of a new calico dress.

The material cost about ten cents a yard. The material for our new calico dress was brought from the leftover egg money after the groceries were paid for.

We were always told by our mother that we could choose the material we wanted for our new dress. (Rosie Alexander)

(compiled by MyraGale Sexton)