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Les Jarman with some winter crappie he caught on Stockton Lake.

With all the hunting seasons going on fishing has taken a back seat, but the fishing never stops in the Show-Me State.

Two area hunters, Ted Russell and Chris King, combine both sports into one trip this time of the year.

“Last year, we had a great trip to the lake,” King said. “We had some great hunting in the morning and then turned to crappie fishing in the afternoon when we caught some slab crappie at Truman. Later we had some good duck hunting, then went trout fishing at Taneycomo where we caught our limit of rainbows. With some good late fall and early winter fishing still ahead, our fishing gear never gets put up."

Russell was so busy fishing and hunting every chance he had last year, he didn't think about Christmas shopping until it was almost too late.

“I nearly got myself in trouble last December by not thinking about shopping,” Russell said. “I had to settle for things I really didn't want in several cases. This year, I am going to start earlier.”

Christmas has a way of sneaking up on many outdoorsmen who are busy doing their thing in November and December, gifts for outdoorsmen aren't in the thoughts of shopping. However, now is the time to start thinking about what to get your hunter or angler.

The Natural Events Calendar would make a good gift for any outdoor person as well as nonhunters and anglers. It is one of the many informational items the Missouri Department of Conservation has to offer.

Hunters can always use another duck goose crow or other type of call. Anglers never have enough lures. There are enough new books on outdoor subjects to fill a library and plenty of good “toys” to keep an outdoorsman happy this winter. Christmas shopping has never been easier for outdoor-minded people.

Jim Fraiser, Blue Springs, has two sons and three daughters who love the outdoors, so he finds gifts to fit each one.

“There are so many things to pick from today, I don't have a problem finding anything,” Frasier said. “The problem now is which of the many new gadgets do I buy? I was in a sporting goods store recently and saw all the electronic items. I know I'll have to start my Christmas shopping soon.”

Today's Christmas shoppers do have a wider selection of gifts for the outdoor-minded person on their list. Better fishing hunting camping and backpacking gear is available, so like Fraiser said, “It may seem too early to think about Christmas shopping, but with good hunting and fishing still going on, don't wait too long.”

White, a Stockton resident, has a versatile background in the outdoors as a participant and journalist. His column appears weekly.

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