Get Outside in September

By MDC | September 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: September 2022

Fall Gets Nutty

Hickory nuts, including those of pecan and shellbark hickory, some of Missouri’s tastiest species, ripen and begin to fall. Missouri is the top producer of another ripening nut — the black walnut. It’s a good time to get out there and gather. But you better be quick. You will be competing against squirrels, deer, and other wildlife stocking up for the coming winter months.

Fall Color — Not Just for Trees

Much of our early fall color in Missouri occurs along roadsides, where native wildflowers — including goldenrods, ironweeds, thoroughworts, sunflowers, native asters, crownbeards, and rosinweeds — bloom among grasses turned coppery or bronzy. Sumacs turn wine-red, completing the picture.

National Hunting and Fishing Day

Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Lake City Shooting Range, 28505 E Truman Road, Buckner, MO 64016

No registration required; for more information, call 816-249-3194.

All ages

The Lake City Range is happy to open its doors to the public with a free day of shooting in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day. Everyone is welcome. Come hone your skills on the trap or skeet fields, archery fields, or on the rifle or pistol ranges. All shooters must provide their own firearm and ammunition. We’ll see you on the range.

Women’s Free Fishing Day

Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery, 26142 Hwy 64A, Lebanon, MO 65536

No registration required; for more information, contact the hatchery at 417-532-4418 or Ben Haven at

All ages

Come out to the hatchery for a day of fun and fishing. Missouri is a great place to fish and Bennett Springs is one of the best places to get hooked. Women and girls of all ages fish for free.

Find more events in your area at

Flowers to Frost Flowers

Dittany and yellow and white crownbeards produce abundant blossoms late in the growing season, which are important nectar sources for insects. They also provide a hunting place for the many insects and spiders that prey on nectar gatherers. These also are some of the species that can create frost flowers in early winter. Locate and ID them now when they’re blooming and return to look for frost flowers in December.

A Horn of a Different Color

Hickory horned devils are the caterpillars of the regal moth, otherwise known as the royal walnut moth. Most people see these huge, colorful, horned larvae in late summer and early fall as they are creeping around, looking for a place to dig into the soil where they will overwinter. These hot-dog-sized, spiky caterpillars may be seen through October.

Conservation Nature Centers

  • Burr Oak Woods, Blue Springs:
  • Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau:
  • Discovery Center, Kansas City:
  • Powder Valley, Kirkwood:
  • Runge, Jefferson City:
  • Shoal Creek, Joplin:
  • Springfield, Springfield:
  • Twin Pines, Winona:

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • American white pelicans gather at wetlands.
  • Elk begin bugling.
  • Three-toed box turtles enter overwintering retreats.

Also In This Issue

regal fritillary

Tending to the queen of the prairie

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation Manager - Laura Scheuler