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Find Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education classes near you.

Registration period: July 1 - September 1
Date: Friday, July 1, 2022 8:00 am - Friday, September 2, 2022 8:00 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

It’s time to break out the point-and-shoot, dust off the DSLR, or polish up the cell phone camera.

Our theme for this year is “A Year in Color” and we’re inviting you to join our celebrations as we host a photography contest.

Submit your photo(s) that best represent color and nature in Missouri for the chance to have your photo displayed in the nature center during the month of October. All photos must be taken between January 1 and September 1, 2022 and submitted prior to 5:00pm Thursday, September 15, 2022.

Submissions will be judged by MDC staff and volunteers within the following categories:

Children up to 12 years old

Children 13-17 years old

Adults 18+

Professional photographers

Age categories are based on the person’s age at the time the photo was taken, and professional photographers are defined as someone consistently compensated for their photography work.

First and second place photos from each category, as well as honorable mentions, will be mounted and displayed as part of our temporary art exhibit during October. Each photo will include an identification card with the photographer’s name and the location and date the photo was taken. Photos will not be used by the Department beyond the specified exhibit and will be returned to the photographer at the end of the exhibit. Photos can be submitted via email, USB drive, or other data storage device and should be no less than 2100x2100 pixels. Photos submitted via email should be sent to CapeNC@mdc.mo.gov titled “Photo contest + last name + category”.

Please contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center if you have any questions.

Registration period: July 1 - September 2
Date: Friday, July 1, 2022 10:00 am - Friday, September 2, 2022 2:00 pm
Location: Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center

Join us this summer for a free guided tour of Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery. Tours are conducted Tuesday-Friday at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm & 2 pm from May 31st through September 2.

No reservations required. Meet at the Conservation Center. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is open 9 am-5 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

For more information email Shepherd@mdc.mo.gov or call (417)334-4865 ext 0.
Date: Friday, July 15, 2022 12:00 am - Tuesday, August 16, 2022 12:00 am
Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Don’t just wake up and smell the flowers, take pictures of them too! Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is known for its yearly sunflower fields and to highlight their massive bloom, MDC is offering the chance to win sunflower-related prizes when you participate in our sunflower photo contest.

The contest itself is open from July 15th until August 15th, during any photos of the CBCA sunflowers you take and post on social media with the tag #ColumbiaBottomSunflowers will be automatically entered into the contest.

The pictures MUST include at least one Columbia Bottom sunflower but can contain anything else as well- wildlife and humans alike. Any number of photos may be submitted by any one person. Just remember not to hurt the sunflowers while taking pictures!

Weekly selections will be offered smaller prizes and grand prizes will be chosen from those weekly selections following the end of the contest. Winners will be contacted through their social media accounts and be given 48 hours to accept their prize. All prizes relate to sunflowers! Winning pictures may possibly be printed out and posted near the visitor center (currently closed).

MDC photographers offer the following tips to help create the best photos. Try going during the early morning, or later into the evening. The light is usually much better during these times than the harsher, midday sun. Soft, cloudy days can also make for some pleasing light. Don’t forget to fill the frame with your subject—close-up photos tend to be much more engaging that subjects seen from a distance. Consider pulling out a macro or closeup lens. There are amazing details to be discovered in the sunflowers, and a host of tiny and cool insects and pollinators. Capture fun or off-beat poses with yourself, family, and friends. And finally, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 2:00 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages)

Discover what’s for dinner at Burr Oak Woods as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their feast every Tuesday and Friday. The snakes are fed on the second and fourth Wednesday (August 10 & 24).

Registration period: July 28 - August 29
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 10:30 am - Wednesday, August 31, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Lake City Shooting Range
Have you just bought a new pistol and want to become more familiar with it? Do you need some help getting started as a new shooter or haven’t shot for a while and want to get back into it? Is there a technique that you want to learn or improve upon? This One-on-One instruction is for you! THIS CLASS IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY! Participants must provide their own pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition. For more information or to make an appointment, call 816-249-3194.
Registration period: July 29 - August 29
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 10:30 am - Wednesday, August 31, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Lake City Shooting Range
Shotgun shooting is fun and exciting. Whether you want to learn about the shotgun fundamentals from the very beginning or improve your skills on the skeet, trap or 5-stand ranges, this One-on-One Shotgun Instruction course is for you! Our instructors will help you get started and work with you on the basics to prepare you for moving on to each discipline. THIS CLASS IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY! Please call 816-249-3194 to make an appointment. You must provide your own shotgun and two (2) full boxes of shells. The shells must be # 7.5, 8, or 9 shot. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Registration period: July 29 - August 29
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 10:30 am - Wednesday, August 31, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Lake City Shooting Range
The Lake City Shooting Range wants to help you sight in your rifle...for FREE! The instructors will help you ready to hunt, fine-tune your scope or improve on your shooting skills. If you are preparing for a hunt, bring the rifle and ammunition you plan to use during the hunt. THIS CLASS IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY! Please call 816-249-3194 to make an appointment.
Registration period: July 11 - August 9
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 10:00 am - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Creve Coeur Park-Lake
During this kayaking program you will learn about paddling equipment, paddling safety, and how to paddle a kayak on a lake. All equipment will be provided. Please meet near the Taco Bell Pavilion located at Creve Coeur park. Participants must be 13 and able to swim to participate in this event. Closed toe shoes are required and be prepared to get wet. Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: July 12 - August 9
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 12:00 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 1:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Come learn about how native plants can be used to make tasty vinegar. We will discuss the seasons of the plant, how to get some for your yard, and how to make delicious vinegars from the scraps after you process the fruits into jellies and juices.
Registration period: July 11 - August 9
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 1:00 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Creve Coeur Park-Lake
During this kayaking program you will learn about paddling equipment, paddling safety, and how to paddle a kayak on a lake. All equipment will be provided. Please meet near the Taco Bell Pavilion located at Creve Coeur park. Participants must be 13 and able to swim to participate in this event. Closed toe shoes are required and be prepared to get wet. Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: July 12 - August 9
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 2:00 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Come learn about how native plants can be used to make tasty vinegar. We will discuss the seasons of the plant, how to get some for your yard, and how to make delicious vinegars from the scraps after you process the fruit into jellies and juices.
Registration period: July 23 - August 10
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 6:00 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 8:30 pm
Location: Sterrett Creek Marina

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spin cast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided.

Program is appropriate for ages 7 through adult. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Participants DO NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

Each participant will need to register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website. Email instructor for assistance with registering for this program.

Participants who attended all four of the Discover Nature - Fishing Lessons will receive their choice of a free fishing rod/reel combo, tackle box, dip net or tackle kit as an appreciation gift from the Missouri Department of Conservation for participating.

Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 6:30 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 8:30 pm
Location: Ste. Genevieve Community Center
Landowners will learn about signing up for free permits within the CWD Core area, the past year's CWD management activity report, and deer management cost share opportunities.
Registration period: July 15 - August 10
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 7:00 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 8:30 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Hiking at dusk can transform even a familiar Runge trail into a new adventure. Join a naturalist to explore the world that comes alive when we are typically getting ready for bed! Please wear comfortable walking shoes. Registration required. All ages
Registration period: June 14 - August 8
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 7:30 pm - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 9:30 pm
Location: Perry County Community Lake

Howl at the full moon with us on tranquil Perry County Community Lake. This moonlight paddle allows new and experienced paddlers alike to enjoy the glow of the August moon and its reflection on the water. This program will be "borrow a boat"-style as you will paddle at your own pace without a guide. Staff will be on hand to offer paddling instruction and will be on the water to ensure safety. Canoes have two seats and hold three people or 600 lbs.

IMPORTANT: Please register only one person per canoe. For example, if you plan to have two adults with a child in the middle of the canoe, only one adult needs to register. If you have four or more people in your party, please register extra adults to reserve additional boats. If you are planning to attend by yourself and do not have a partner, please email the class instructor to make arrangements.

We'll meet at 7:30pm at the North Boat Launch at Perry County Community Lake off Highway T. An email will be sent two days prior to the event with a welcome packet and information about what to bring.

If you are participating in Cape Nature Center's "A Year in Color" this program earns a wild bead.
Registration period: July 16 - August 11
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 2:00 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Discover the importance of Missouri reptiles and amphibians and see what it takes to keep our education animals happy and healthy. Bring your family and watch as we introduce and feed several different reptiles and amphibians. If you are participating in Cape Nature Center’s “A Year in Color” this program earns a red wildlife bead.

Registration period: July 28 - August 9
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 5:00 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 2

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various types of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for Children and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Please meet at Forest Park Hatchery in Forest Park
Registration period: July 5 - August 10
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 5:30 pm - Friday, August 12, 2022 8:30 pm
Location: Parma Woods Shooting Range

Registration required (Ages 11+; ages 11–17 must be accompanied by an adult)

This program includes firearms safety, operation, shooting fundamentals, maintenance, and safe storage. Equipment and ammunition will be provided; you may bring your own firearm and ammunition to the live-fire session.

Registration period: July 9 - August 11
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 6:00 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2022 8:30 pm
Location: Platte Falls Conservation Area

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided.

Ages 7 through adult, All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Participants DO NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

Each participant will need to register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website. Email instructor for assistance with registering for this program

Registration period: June 27 - August 10
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 7:00 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2022 9:00 pm
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

This program is an introduction to wingshooting fundamentals, distance estimation, non-toxic shotshell ammunition and shotgun patterning. The goal is to help migratory and upland bird hunters improve their hunting skills with non-toxic shot. Bring your own shotgun with a minimum of 50 rounds of new steel ammunition in the gauge of your shotgun. Make sure all firearms are unloaded before arriving at the range. There should be no live ammunition, or uncased firearms inside the classroom. Please leave all firearms in the vehicle until the class is dismissed including all concealed carry handguns and magazines.

Registration period: July 29 - August 11
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022 7:00 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2022 9:00 pm
Location: Schuyler County Library
If you and your family and friends enjoy nature, then join us for a fun night of nature-inspired trivia! Build your team from the youngest to the oldest.
Registration period: July 8 - August 11
Date: Friday, August 12, 2022 9:00 am - Friday, August 12, 2022 10:00 am
Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Insects inspire wonder with their small sizes, varied shapes, and beautiful colors. Join us to explore where insects can be found in the woods and how they move. This class is designed for 0-3 year olds and their families. Dress for the weather. Meet at the arbor.

Everyone present must be registered.
Registration period: July 8 - August 11
Date: Friday, August 12, 2022 10:00 am - Friday, August 12, 2022 11:00 am
Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Insects inspire wonder with their small sizes, varied shapes, and beautiful colors. Join us to explore where insects can be found in the woods and how they move. This class is designed for 0-3 year olds and their families. Dress for the weather. Meet at the arbor.

Everyone present must be registered.
Date: Friday, August 12, 2022 6:30 pm - Friday, August 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Our annual celebration of insects and the important role they play in nature returns! Insects--they fascinate us, they bug us, they surround us, and they bite us; but what would a summer evening be like without them! Join insect specialists and enthusiasts for an evening devoted to discovering insects. Grab your entire family and participate in some creepy-crawly fun for all ages. No registration required.
Registration period: June 21 - August 12
Date: Friday, August 12, 2022 7:30 pm - Friday, August 12, 2022 9:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Bring the family and join us for two different Wild Kratts episodes under the stars! Between episodes you can explore, interact, and learn more about the animals featured in the evening’s shows! Bring bug spray and a blanket. We'll provide the popcorn! No registration required. All ages invited.