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Critter of the month – River Hills Traveler
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Critter of the month

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Bullsnake

Bull snake on burned prairieApril, 2000 One of the longest and heaviest snakes in Missouri is the bullsnake. Bullsnakes can average four to six feet long but may grow upwards to seven, maybe even...

Small, stinky & ferocious: Meet Missouri’s musk turtle

The eastern musk turtle, or stinkpot, is Missouri’s smallest species of turtle and one of the smallest turtles in the world.  These darkly-colored aquatic turtles only grow to 4.5 inches and have a more...

Species of the Month: Mallard duck

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Species of the Month: Dark-eyed Junco

• Species: Dark-eyed junco. • Scientific name: Junco hyemalis. • Nicknames: Snowbird. • Claim to fame: The junco was known to nature watchers in the Ozarks and elsewhere long before singer Anne Murray vaulted...

Species of the Month: Eastern Wood Rat

• Species: Eastern wood rat. • Scientific name: Neotama floridana. • Nicknames: Pack rat, trade rat. • Claim to fame: Many people have used the term “pack rat,” but most don’t know what a...

Things a turkey hunter ought to know about barred owls

Turkey hunters should have some appreciation for the barred owl, also known as the hoot owl. That is the owl who helps us locate that gobbler early every morning during turkey season. If you...

American avocet

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Animal of the month: Raccoon

• Species: Raccoon. • Scientific name: Procyon lotor. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: “Coon hunting” is part of the Ozarks’ rural heritage that dates back to this region’s first settlers.  Though the...