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Find Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education classes near you.

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 8:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center
Visitors to Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center may select a seedling (witch hazel or paw paw) to plant in their own yard to celebrate Earth Day. One tree per family or group available, while supplies last.
Registration period: February 20 - April 15
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 8:00 am - Sunday, April 21, 2024 1:00 pm
Location: Paddy Creek Wilderness and Big Piney Trail

Join MDC Staff for our Introduction to Backpacking Program where we will hike in Paddy Creek Wilderness along the Big Piney north loop to the south loop (approx. 8 miles) with primitive overnight camping along the trail. Trail map can be found at: Please note that the full length of the Big Piney Trail is 17.5 miles. As this is an introductory program, we will hike the north section from Roby Lake and take the connector loop to the south trail - approx. 8 miles - and primitive camp along the southern section.

Expect the Ozark Hills terrain of steeper climbs to beautiful overlooks as well as hikes along ridge tops and down into valleys. We will be camping along an overlook of the southern loop. Participants will need to filter water along the trail and hike their water supply to the campsite on the ridge. There will also be several creek crossings. Be prepared to bring a spare pair of sandals when crossing the creeks.

Since this is an Introductory Backpacking Program, all gear and equipment can be provided for participants. We will conduct a MANDATORY virtual check-in on March 13 (6:00pm-8:00pm) which is around five weeks prior to the trip to introduce the group and discuss trip preparation and logistics. A supply list will be emailed to you if you need any backpacking equipment or gear. You will also be required to submit a survey of your past outdoor skills experience, as well as submit an emergency medical form in case of any emergency while on trail.

All family or friend groupings will be responsible for carrying their own gear, including water filter, stove, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. You are responsible for packing your own food - this will be discussed in our virtual check-in - and you will be shown how to hang a bear-bag and filter water while on trail. We will be outside for the entirety of this program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the instructor.

Thank you and our hope and goal is for each of you to be more inspired to explore the trails around you - whether that is through practicing your backpacking skills during this trip or taking longer day hikes. We want you to know that you have access in many ways to our beautiful natural resources!
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 8:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 10:00 am
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required by visiting (adults) Experience how a native garden changes over time and learn the seasonal maintenance required for success. Feel empowered, enjoy camaraderie and learn seasonal skills alongside native gardening experts and enthusiasts! All experience levels are welcome. The Deep Roots Demonstration Garden features Midwest native plants suitable for the home garden. Enjoy a naturalist-led garden tour following the end of the session. Contact for more information. If accommodations are needed, please e-mail the instructor at least one week prior to the program.
Registration period: April 6 - April 19
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 8:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 9:30 am
Location: Jay Henges Shooting Range

Families who have never had experience shooting .22 rifles are invited to participate in an instructor led, live fire session learning safety and the proper techniques of shooting .22 rim fire rifles. Firearms, ammunition, and safety equipment will be provided

Registration period: December 7 - April 19
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 8:30 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 11:30 am
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

Join us to discover the basics of responsible handgun ownership and the joys of shooting. We will cover safety, handgun nomenclature, sight picture, sight alignment, breath control, trigger squeeze, and much more. During the live fire portion, .22 handguns and ammunition will be provided. If you plan to use your own, bring a minimum of 50 rounds of new ammunition for your firearm. 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: February 16 - April 18
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 10:30 am
Location: Adlyne Freund Center at Shaw Nature Reserve

Are you someone that has never shot a bow and arrow before and you’re not sure how to get started? Or maybe you did when you were young, but never pursued the activity any further. Learn the basics of shooting the bow and arrow utilizing some of the techniques and methods that have been adopted by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This course is for those 10 years of age or older with the desire to shoot a bow and arrow but have little or no experience. Note: All equipment will be provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Not recommended for adults with shoulder or back injuries.

* Classes will be CANCELLED if we encounter inclement weather.

Registration period: January 19 - April 20
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 12:00 pm
Location: Cape LaCroix Creek
The nature center is partnering with the Cape Girardeau Parks & Recreation Department to clean up Cape LaCroix Creek during their annual Friends of the Park Day. Gather your friends, family, or organization to help bring the beauty back to the creek between Walden Park and Shawnee Sports Complex. We’ll meet at the nature center to distribute supplies and assign locations. If you register prior to April 5 at 5 pm, lunch and T-shirts will be provided at Capaha Park. Youth and adult groups welcome.
Registration period: March 1 - April 18
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

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.

Registration period: January 19 - April 20
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 9:30 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 10:15 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Red, blue, white, and green; what beautiful colors appear in spring! Learn about the beautiful blooms in spring and participate in some fun and flowery sensory activities and crafts. Babes in the Woods programs are designed to empower parents to introduce babies and toddlers ages 0–2 years to the sights, sounds, and textures of nature.
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024 10:00 am - Saturday, April 20, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Walk-in (ages 3-6) Discovering the amazing natural world is as easy as opening a book! This volunteer naturalist led story program is ideal for preschool - kindergarten children and will take them on journeys to learn about wildlife, habitats and more. If accommodations are needed, please e-mail the instructor at least one week prior to the program.