Ways to Connect With Nature
Winter Trout Fishing
Just because the calendar says November doesn’t mean you have to put the fishing poles away! Missouri is a great place to fish year-round. Rainbow trout are stocked in community lakes across the state, and the catch-and-release season opens Nov. 13. To find a fishing area near you, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoH.
Oysters in the Woods
Oyster mushrooms, a choice edible, fruit year-round, growing in overlapping clusters on stumps, logs, and trunks of deciduous trees. This time of year, they may be easier to spot, so be on the lookout. Remember, only eat mushrooms you know are safe. To be sure, consult A Guide to Missouri’s Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms atshort.mdc.mo.gov/ZYM.
Squirrel season is open through Feb. 15, 2021. It’s a great introductory sport for novice hunters. If you’d like to mentor a youth or new hunter, give it a try! For more information on squirrel hunting, visit short. mdc.mo.gov/Z4o.
Get your nature boost by taking a stroll through Missouri forests. This time of year, it’s like seeing things for the first time. With the majority of leaves off the trees, you’ll discover things that have long gone unnoticed. Here’s a list of things to get you started. Or make your own list and make it a fun scavenger hunt for the whole family! Get out and get exploring!
- Eagle Eye: It’s a good time to look for bald eagles. They are usually seen near lakes, rivers, and marshes as they forage for fish or carrion.
- Lazy Raccoon: On sunny winter days, raccoons may lie on limbs or other high sunny spots getting their daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Just Ducky: If your outdoor hike takes you near water, be sure to have a pair of binoculars and a field guide handy to identify the ducks and other waterfowl. Some frequent flyers include American wigeons, canvasbacks, and common mergansers, just to name a few.
- Pecan Pickin’: Pecans are ripe and falling to the ground. It’s a good time to gather them for use in pies, cookies, and other baked goods. But better hurry. These are favorites of larger birds, squirrels and other small rodents, opossums, raccoons, and deer.
- Getting Squirrelly: As eastern gray squirrels run around the woods and jump from tree to tree, take a closer look. Their fur becomes longer and more silvery-gray and their ears have a noticeable projecting fringe of white fur.
Get Your Nature Boost
Interested in exploring the outdoors, but unsure where to start? It’s as easy as stepping out your door! Join host Jill Pritchard from the Missouri Department of Conservation as she explores everything nature has to offer – from health benefits and wildlife viewing, to outdoor recreation and unbelievable conservation stories. Subscribe and get your own Nature Boost!
Download the podcast at mdc.mo.gov/natureboost
Nature Events to See This Month
Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.
- Some red bats overwinter in leaf litter and among dead leaves, clinging to trees
- Pickerel frogs move into deeper sections of caves in preparation for winter
- Adult male tiger salamanders move to fishless ponds or marshes
- Voles and mice are active, eating grass and seeds and creating tunnels under the snow
- American Witchhazel blooms
This Issue's Staff
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler