Get Outside

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From Missouri Conservationist: August 2020

There’s the Rub

If you’re looking forward to deer season, here’s something that might start you dreaming of whitetailed bucks. Take a hike in the woods and look for rubs on small trees. Male white-tailed deer rub velvet off antlers this time of year. Take the family and make a scavenger hunt out of it!

Jelly in the Water

You may see freshwater jellyfish gently swimming in warm, still waters of ponds and lakes. In Missouri, people usually only see these creatures from July through September, when the surface of the water reaches about 80 degrees F. Missouri’s jellyfish are about the size of a quarter and pose no threat to people. They use their tentacles to snare tiny aquatic animals called zooplankton.

Working Mom

Mother wolf spiders attach their pea-sized egg sacs to the bottom rear of their abdomens and carry on with normal life, including hunting for food. She later carries the babies on her back until they are able to be on their own.

Missouri Snakes

Northern cottonmouths, also known as water moccasins, give birth in August. There are usually six or seven in a litter. In Missouri, this is not a widespread species. It only occurs in the southeast corner and in scattered populations in the Ozarks. To learn more about snakes you are encountering, check out A Guide to Missouri’s Snakes at To request a free copy by mail, email 29

Visitors from the North

Beginning in August, Missouri welcomes visitors from the north. Whereas it’s too early for Santa and his reindeer, these visitors are just as familiar to waterfowl enthusiasts. Blue-winged teal return to the Show-Me State just in time for September’s teal season. Teal are fast flyers, darting unpredictably over water, making them fun to watch and hunt.

Natural Events to See This Month

Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.

  • Hawthorn Fruits mature. The Hawthorn is our state flower
  • Common Snapping turtle eggs hatch
  • Pocketbook Mussels begin breeding
  • American badgers, a species of conservation concern, breed in early
  • August Indigo Buntings sing on hot, humid afternoons

Be Bear Aware

Help bears stay wild and healthy, and keep yourself and your neighbors safe.

Hiking, Camping, or at Home

  • Never feed a bear on purpose or accidentally.
  • Always store all food and garbage securely.
  • Stay alert and watch for bear signs such as tracks, scat, or claw marks on trees.
  • When hiking, make noise so you don’t surprise a bear.
  • Keep dogs leashed when hiking and camping.

If You Encounter a Bear

  • Leave it alone! Do not approach it.
  • Back away slowly with your arms raised.
  • Speak in a calm, loud voice.
  • Do not turn your back to the bear.
  • Report all bear sightings to MDC.

Learn more at

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

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