MOC Presidential Fireside Chat

February 2018

February's Fireside Chat

By Brent Frazee, 2018 MOC President

Enduring the Cold

MOC President Brent Frazee
Let's have a show of hands. How many of you are sick of winter?

Please note that I raised my hand.

It's been a cold one, and that's kept a lot of us inside. But we have ventured out into the elements on occasion. MOC members tested winter's worst when we participated in the Conservation Federation of Missouri's Media Camp at Lilleys' Landing Resort and Marina on Lake Taneycomo.

Conditions were chilling; the roads were ice-covered and treacherous and kept some members from getting to camp on Super Bowl Sunday. Temps were cold and wind chills were bitter on our fishing days. BUT the trout cooperated.  Every boat reported catching fish, including a few nice-sized browns and some big rainbows.

Taneycomo is an outstanding winter fishery, and it showed. The trip has already generated some good media, with more to come.

A big thanks to Brandon Butler of the Conservation Federation and Phil Lilley of Lilleys' Landing.

A Night to Celebrate

March 9-11 will be a big weekend for conservation in Missouri.

That's when the Conservation Federation of Missouri will have its 82nd  annual convention at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

That's also when Bill Cooper, a longtime member of the Missouri Outdoor Communicators, will be inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. He will join fellow MOC members Kenny Kieser and John Neporadny, who already are in the Hall.

The main banquet will be March 10 and will include a keynote talk by Hal Herring, a nationally known conservation writer, and a silent and live auction. You can register by going to the Conservation Federation's website at or by contacting Tyler Schwartze at

Fundraiser Plans

We have commitments from nine MOC members to donate guided fishing or float trips to our proposed MOC on-line fundraiser auction.

We would like to have 15 trips either from MOC members or guides before we put this into motion. The one discussion we have had involves liability, but many other organizations have had similar auctions.

I'd like to hear your feedback. Email me at

Hall of Fame Discussion

A committee continues to discuss options for coming up with a Missouri Outdoor Communicators Hall of Fame.

The latest development: The Missouri Department of Conservation has agreed to display our Hall of Fame plaque at the Runge Nature Center.  The next step is getting a sponsor and determining requirements for being honored.

Thanks to Kenny Kieser for getting this discussion started and to Kyle Stewart and Larry Whiteley for exploring options.

A Teachable Moment: How to Develop a Query

Some of our younger members have requested advice on some of the basics of establishing a career in outdoors communication. I will try to make these segments a part of my monthly newsletters.

We have received questions on how to develop a template for queries. I'll say right away that I think that using a template (or a formula) for queries is the wrong approach.

Each story idea you pitch out to an editor should be as personal as possible. I start by finding the editor's name and email address (often available in the masthead page of the magazine) and address my email personally to him or her rather than a general email address that receives hundreds of queries from readers.

Explain who you are and why that editor should be interested in your story idea. Study the magazine to see the type of articles it publishes and tailor your idea for something that editor might be interested in.

Don't just say, "bass fishing at Lake of the Ozarks." Get specific, such as "Ways to catch big bass in the heat of summer."  Or "a Bassmaster Elite pro shows how to use finesse baits."

Attach a copy of your resume and links to three of your stories so that editor can see your work. If you haven't heard back after a couple weeks, email back and politely ask if he or she has had a chance to read over your query.

In the next newsletter, we'll go over ways to find markets.

Until then, stay warm and count down the days until spring.


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