This land is our land

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“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

By Johnny Sain

Thorny vines droop under the weight of ruby-red berries still a week away from summer ripeness. My daughter, Mackenzie, and I walk farther down the old logging road winding around the head of a steep hollow. We were searching for mature blackberries and raspberries with my four-legged kid, Rudy, bounding ahead as scout and then back to check our progress. We ended up with only half a coffee can of plump, wine-colored fruit, but we’ll be back next week.

I’m not saying exactly where we were except that we were in the Ozark National Forest. Not that I’m worried about anyone else loading a bucket with berries, there’s plenty to go around (except for the raspberries, and I’m not keen on sharing the raspberries), but I’d rather keep the location a secret and

Conservation agency fail — big time!

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Poison ivy and Virginia creeper — prime habitat, but not a snipe to be found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
By Johnny Sain

I’m mad at our state run conservation agency. I’ve been holding back on this for a while, but I just can’t take it any longer. I thought the whole point of the agency was to ensure that populations of game animals were kept at sustainable numbers. They have failed miserably in my opinion regarding my favorite game animal. Let me explain.

My family was known for generations as expert snipe hunters. Oh the stories I heard about the talents of Dad, Grandpa and my Uncle Ted in all matters pertaining to the capture of wily snipe. When I first started in the pursuit of these mysterious birds, I was awed with tales of vast flocks. My mouth watered as Dad told about tasty meals prepared with snipe as the main course. Grandpa glowed with pride as he bragged of his conquests in the snipe woods.

I recall the day before my first ever snipe hunt, Uncle Ted filling my head with tales of a crafty bird only the most skilled hunters could capture. He told me how