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Find Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education classes near you.

Registration period: August 19 - September 24
Date: Friday, September 24, 2021 6:00 pm - Friday, September 24, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Online only
As cooler weather makes the great outdoors more enjoyable, you may find yourself looking into exploring a new trail or conservation area. Before you go, join us to learn tips and tricks about the hiking basics that will make your next nature walk or hiking trip a success. Please register with a valid email to receive a link to join the program. All ages, best for 5 and above.
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:30 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery
Women's Free Fishing Day at Bennett Spring State Park. Girls of all ages fish for free! For more information contact Ben Havens at Ben.Havens@mdc.mo.gov or call the hatchery at 417-532-4418
Registration period: September 11 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 8:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:30 am
Location: Jay Henges Shooting Range

Beginning Archery

Join our instructors as we learn the fundamentals of shooting archery. This is a fun program for the entire family.

As these are in-person programs MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet from others for the safety of participants and staff. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when indoors, or any time visitors are unable to maintain at least 6 feet from others. Local ordinances requiring face masks will be observed where applicable.

Registration period: September 1 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 8:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Join us in a guided hike at Prairie Home Conservation Area in Cooper County. 5 miles-moderate. Meet at the Runge Nature Center or the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions if needed. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: August 20 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 8:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area

MDC will host free forest, stream, and wildlife habitat management workshop Sept. 25 at Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area

Fishing for kids will also be among day’s activities

Sedalia, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a free forest, stream, and wildlife habitat management workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area southeast of Cole Camp. This workshop will explore topics related to woodland, forest, and open land management.

Expert advice on land management practices and cost-share programs are available that can boost property productivity and benefit fish and wildlife in the Big Buffalo Creek watershed. Besides MDC’s conservation area bearing the stream’s name, MDC also works with private landowners in the watershed to benefit people and the natural ecosystem. The watershed is an MDC priority geography due to the clear, cold-water stream flowing through timbered hills.

Topics covered will include conservation farming, management for deer and turkey, stream processes, aquatic organism passage, and fen habitat. Youth will be able to fish with help from MDC staff or volunteers at the area’s lake. A free lunch will be provided.

The program will begin at the area’s campground. Attendees should also dress appropriately for a woodland hike. Pre-registration is required, to register, call MDC’s Sedalia office, 660-530-5500. COVID-19 precautions will be followed.

For more information about the Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zj6.

Registration period: September 1 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lesson 3&4

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.

Lesson 3: Participants will learn about aquatic habitats, food webs, and the basic biology of common Missouri fish species.

Lesson 4: Participants will learn about various fishing lures techniques, as well as identify and understand Missouri fishing regulations.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following local mask and social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: August 19 - September 23
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Platte Ridge Park
Join a Conservation Educator for a morning experiencing local butterflies and potentially contribute to the Citizen Science of tagging monarchs. Participants will learn about local butterflies, their lifecycles, role as pollinators, and monarchs’ unique journey to Mexico. Participants will use butterfly safe nets to capture butterflies they encounter. Monarchs will receive small tags with ID numbers. Tags helps scientists track monarch movements and population numbers. Dress for the weather. Insect repellent and long pants is recommended. Registration is required to participate.
Registration period: September 5 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lessons 1&2

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.

Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.

All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. We will be following current masking and distancing guidelines. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Directions to the Hatchery: Use the Forest Park entrance at West Pine Parkway off Kingshighway Blvd, and turn left on Grand Drive.

Registration period: August 20 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area

MDC will host free forest, stream, and wildlife habitat management workshop Sept. 25 at Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area

Fishing for kids will also be among day’s activities

Sedalia, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a free forest, stream, and wildlife habitat management workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area southeast of Cole Camp. This workshop will explore topics related to woodland, forest, and open land management.

Expert advice on land management practices and cost-share programs are available that can boost property productivity and benefit fish and wildlife in the Big Buffalo Creek watershed. Besides MDC’s conservation area bearing the stream’s name, MDC also works with private landowners in the watershed to benefit people and the natural ecosystem. The watershed is an MDC priority geography due to the clear, cold-water stream flowing through timbered hills.

Topics covered will include conservation farming, management for deer and turkey, stream processes, aquatic organism passage, and fen habitat. Youth will be able to fish with help from MDC staff or volunteers at the area’s lake. A free lunch will be provided.

The program will begin at the area’s campground. Attendees should also dress appropriately for a woodland hike. Pre-registration is required, to register, call MDC’s Sedalia office, 660-530-5500. COVID-19 precautions will be followed.

For more information about the Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zj6.

Registration period: September 1 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 9:30 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
The Northern Cardinal is one of Missouri's most recognizable and beautiful of our backyard birds. Learn about this feathered friend, then use the craft of quilling to create a piece of hanging art. This project will take more time than previous sessions so plan on bringing a lunch/snack and water bottle. All quilling supplies are provided. Registration required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: September 1 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Online only
Everyone loves a good story, and we have plenty of them here at the nature center! You and your little one can watch and listen as our Naturalist reads a couple river stories. This program is designed for children 0-6 years of age but is open to all ages.
Registration period: August 15 - September 24
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation

This program is designed for beginning hikers who want to start hiking this fall. Topics will include the basics, such as the difference between walking and hiking, clothes and equipment needed, hiking with children, and more. A 1.5-mile easy hike will conclude the program.

MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate.
Registration period: August 13 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Join Volunteer Naturalist Dana Tideman to learn about monarch butterfly conservation, citizen science opportunities, monarch life cycle, and how to rear and tag them. Ages 10-adult.
Registration period: August 17 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:30 am
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 10+) Just in time for fall migration, get ready to welcome back our waterfowl as they return from breeding grounds in the north to overwinter in Missouri. What's the difference between a dabbler and a diver, a duck and a grebe or a goose and a swan? In this introduction to waterfowl identification, you'll learn what to look and listen for when exploring the diversity in ducks and other water birds by sight and sound. You'll have your ducks in a row and be ready to go on a waterfowl viewing adventure of your own!
Registration period: September 1 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Hummingbirds are on the move! Explore their migratory pattern and learn what you can do to assist with their successful flight, such as native plant options and how long to leave your feeder up. We will also introduce you to the Audubon's "Hummingbirds at Home" app. Registration required. Ages 13 and up.
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:30 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:30 am
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

Join MDC as we host an NRA - New Shooter Seminar.

Come learn about gun safety, understanding the different types of firearms both rifle and pistol, what to expect while at the shooting range and more.
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (ages 2+)

Join us for story hour as we lead you on fantastic nature adventures! We will meet birds, mammals, and all sorts of magnificent creatures! We will cross rivers, discover mysteries within the forest and fly across the prairies. Our imaginations are the only limits.
Registration period: August 19 - September 23
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:00 am - Saturday, September 25, 2021 12:30 pm
Location: Platte Ridge Park
Join a Conservation Educator for a morning experiencing local butterflies and potentially contribute to the Citizen Science of tagging monarchs. Participants will learn about local butterflies, their lifecycles, role as pollinators, and monarchs’ unique journey to Mexico. Participants will use butterfly safe nets to capture butterflies they encounter. Monarchs will receive small tags with ID numbers. Tags helps scientists track monarch movements and population numbers. Dress for the weather. Insect repellent and long pants is recommended. Registration is required to participate.
Registration period: August 17 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 12:30 pm - Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:00 pm
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 10+) Just in time for fall migration, get ready to welcome back our waterfowl as they return from breeding grounds in the north to overwinter in Missouri. What's the difference between a dabbler and a diver, a duck and a grebe or a goose and a swan? In this introduction to waterfowl identification, you'll learn what to look and listen for when exploring the diversity in ducks and other water birds by sight and sound. You'll have your ducks in a row and be ready to go on a waterfowl viewing adventure of your own!
Registration period: September 1 - September 25
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (Scouts or other outdoor nature-related youth organizations ages 8-18; one adult is required for every 5 scouts/youth)

Archery and air rifles are fun and useful skills to learn! We will teach the basics for each and help you practice shooting more consistently and accurately.
Registration period: August 13 - September 23
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:00 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation
Calling all nature detectives! Someone left the door open at Rockwoods Reservation and the mammals went wild, leaving their muddy prints all over! Before we cleaned up, all tracks were carefully photographed and printed. We need your help to identify which mammals visited and left a track! “Key out” a mystery mammal track in our special question-and-answer maze. MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate. Please register everyone attending.
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:30 pm - Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:30 pm
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

Join MDC as we host an NRA - New Shooter Seminar.

Come learn about gun safety, understanding the different types of firearms both rifle and pistol, what to expect while at the shooting range and more.
Registration period: August 13 - September 23
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:30 pm - Saturday, September 25, 2021 3:30 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation
Calling all nature detectives! Someone left the door open at Rockwoods Reservation and the mammals went wild, leaving their muddy prints all over! Before we cleaned up, all tracks were carefully photographed and printed. We need your help to identify which mammals visited and left a track! “Key out” a mystery mammal track in our special question-and-answer maze. MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate. Please register everyone attending.
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2021 4:00 pm - Sunday, September 26, 2021 6:00 pm
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

Modern Sporting Rifles are one of the most popular rifles owned and used by hunters and shooters today. They are lightweight, modular for ease of modification, and available in many popular calibers for both recreational shooting and hunting applications. Join us to learn more about the Modern Sporting Rifle, how to safely use, clean and maintain it, how to select the proper caliber for your application, and much more. If you plan to use your own, bring a minimum of 50 rounds of new ammunition in the caliber of your rifle. There should be no live ammunition, or uncased firearms inside the classroom. Please leave all firearms in the vehicle until the class is dismissed to go down range to shoot. This includes concealed carry handguns and magazines. Make sure your rifle is completely unloaded before you arrive at the range.

Registration period: August 24 - September 26
Date: Monday, September 27, 2021 9:00 am - Monday, September 27, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: August A Busch Shooting Range

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