Get Outside in January

By MDC | January 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: January 2023

Tap into Winter Fun

Tap into a sugar maple tree and make your own maple syrup! The best time to tap for most of Missouri is usually middle to late January or early February. Young sugar maples often retain their dead, dried leaves throughout the winter instead of shedding them in the fall, so it’s easy to spot them as you look through the winter woods. For more information on maple sugaring, visit

Hike and Hunt

From the last of December to mid-February, after the rut, white-tailed deer bucks shed their antlers. After the antlers fall to the ground, they are gnawed and consumed by rodents and rabbits for their minerals and protein. Get your family and friends together and head out for a hike and hunt for these discarded treasures.

Take Cover

Build an out-of-the-way brush pile. Not only is it a tidy way to clean up your brush, but wildlife will appreciate the cover during the cold winter weather.

Catch a Rainbow

Cast your line and catch a rainbow! MDC stocks rainbow trout in certain lakes and streams in winter. If you’re interested in winter fishing but for other species, Missouri has you covered. Bass, crappie, walleye, and catfish are also popular for anglers during the winter months. For more information, visit

Bark at the Moon

Red fox mating season peaks in January and February, as does their nocturnal barking. If you are near a forested area or open area at night, you are sure to hear them.

Birds: Owl Prowl

Friday, Jan. 13, 6:30–8 p.m.

St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area

2360 Highway D, St. Charles, MO 63304

Registration required by Jan. 12 at or by calling 888-283-0364.

All ages.

Who’s that hooting it up each January evening? Owls, that’s who. You will learn what makes them such effective nighttime hunters and why they hoot so much this time of year. We will then take a walk on the Short Loop of the Fallen Oak Trail and see if we can entice any owls to fly in and talk to us. Dress appropriately in warm clothing (including gloves) since we will be outside part of the time. Please bring flashlights. Participants will meet in the classroom at the Busch Visitor Center.

Find more events in your area at

Call Before You Cut

5 reasons to call before you cut

  • Learn if harvesting is right for you and your woods
  • Harvest the proper trees to ensure a healthy forest
  • Find a trained logger for the job
  • Maximize timber sale income and save $$$ on taxes
  • Ensure your overall satisfaction with the timber harvest

Request a free informational packet about working with a professional forester to take care of your woods.


Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Ozark witch-hazel blooms.
  • Horned larks flock in open fields.
  • Comma butterflies appear on warm days.

Also In This Issue

Little Lost Creek

Serving Nature and You: Fiscal Year 2022

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 - Laura Scheuler