I guess I feel fortunate to be both a hunter and a birder so that I can view wildlife during hunting season where only hunters are allowed. Every year I purchase hunting and fishing licenses, deer and turkey tags, duck stamps and trout stamps. Do I actually use all of them, no. I haven't been waterfowl, turkey or small game hunting in years, but I still buy the licenses because I know that the money goes for conservation. There have been times that I went "duck hunting" with no intention of ever firing a shot. It was mainly to view or photograph. Hunting is not about the kill and never has been. Many of my most memorable moments have come from sitting quietly in camouflage and having a chickadee land on my knee or have a Barred Owl land on a branch less than 2 feet away, never knowing I was there. Those are experiences many birders never get to enjoy. My definition of hunting is much different than the perception of many and is one who believes that conservation is intended for all creatures, not just those with a season attached.
As to access, there are many locations I would love to walk to in many of our NWR's, especially Squaw Creek, but they are off limits to anyone. I don't complain, I don't see what harm it would do, but those are the rules that are set by either the Dept of Interior or the refuge manager. Just because I want a better view of a bird or maybe want to try and flush up a Yellow Rail, doesn't mean I should be able to. I am all about protecting the wildlife not just the birds. If it means I can't hunt an area, then fine. If it means I can't view birds in an area, then fine. Mutual respect should be given no matter who is using or managing the area, whether it be hunters, birders, farmers, or the laws of the areas themselves.
On the subject of birds, the catbirds finally fledged last week that were nesting in a neighbors lilac bush.
Good Birding,
Kyle Driggers
Liberty, Mo.

From: Doug Willis <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 5:20:16 PM
Subject: Re: Dorothy and Toto

Yes, we are VERY lucky to have the Missouri Department of Conservation public lands and programs. CACHE is fine, but why not take it a step further and buy a hunting/fishing license and truly support MDC?! Also, documenting the hypothetical bird in question for the Missouri Bird Records Committee would add to the ornithological record in an even more substantial way. Want to support Big Muddy NWR, Mingo NWR, Squaw Creek NWR and Swan Lake NWR? Buy a duck stamp and join the rest of us in assuring these treasures will be here for future generations.
Doug Willis
Liberty, MO

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