The Department operates five staffed shooting ranges and outdoor education centers designed to improve outdoor skills and develop safer hunters.
These facilities are located in Platte, Jackson, Greene, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. They offer target shooting, as well as numerous outdoor skills programs, such as archery, map and compass reading, and wildlife identification. The Department also has more than 70 unstaffed ranges. Check for upcoming events at shooting ranges and outdoor education centers at mdc.mo.gov/node/6209.
Citizen-Led Conservation Education
Educating and involving future generations in the excitement of outdoor recreation and conservation opportunities involves the efforts of many partners. Any attempt to list them all could never be complete—but include Missourians who volunteer their time and expertise to a variety of Department programs (see sidebar on Page 14), The National FFA Organization, the 4-H Youth Development Program, Ducks Unlimited’s Green Wings, AmeriCorps volunteers, National Wild Turkey Federation, Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Conservation Leadership Corps, and a variety of important state and nationwide hunting and fishing organizations.
“Regardless of the organization, all of these individuals share a common bond, which is that they each donate an incredible amount of time and energy to share their love of the outdoors and to help preserve our outdoor heritage,” says Tim Ripperger, deputy director.
For the past 75 years, education has been a major focus of the Department. “Part of our mission is to provide the opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about the forest, fish and wildlife resources of the state,” says MDC Director Robert L. Ziehmer. “It’s a partnership with Missourians, and for Missourians. It is gratifying to see so many Missourians sharing their love of the outdoors by teaching and mentoring tomorrow’s conservation leaders. The work we do today sows the seeds for a stronger connection to the land and the outdoors tomorrow.”
Conservation agents provide law enforcement services to the public for protection and conservation of Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife, as well as for safe and proper public uses of conservation areas. Conservation agents also provide conservation education in a broad range of settings:
- Prepare radio and television programs, newspaper articles, and meet with civic groups, schools, church groups and a wide variety of other organizations
- Help administer the Department’s Hunter Education Program, along with volunteer instructors and other MDC staff
- Provide habitat-planning information and food-plot seed to landowners
- Coordinate and support the