Get Outside in October

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

Fall is Getting Nutty

Missouri is the world’s top producer of black walnuts, and they are ripe for the picking. These nuts are popular in baking and confections and can even be pickled whole. It’s important to get to them before the squirrels. They enjoy black walnuts, too.

Pecans are also on the menu in October. These versatile nuts can be eaten by the handfuls but are also popular in cookies, candies, muffins, pancakes, quick breads, in coatings for fried fish or chicken, in poultry stuffing, and in or on ice cream. Wildlife, including raccoons and deer, enjoy them, too, so best to pick them early.

For recipe ideas, visit

Go Birding!

October is a great time to go birding! The winter residents, like dark-eyed juncos from Canada, are arriving. Fall migrants like American wigeon, northern pintail, gadwall, and green-winged teal are at their peak. Greater scaup and other transients are also making their way through Missouri. Dust off those binoculars and get out there! For more information on birding, visit

The Big Show

Fall color peaks around mid-October for most of the state. Get out and look for these species:

  • Sugar maples and sweet gums showcase a rainbow of colors on one tree — red, orange, yellow, and green.
  • Missouri’s official state tree, the flowering dogwood, sticks to reds and purples.
  • White oaks add to the color palette with wine-red hues.

For more information on Missouri’s fall color, visit

Relax Your Mind and Body

Spending time in nature is never wasted. Find a place to go. Download the free MO Outdoors app.

Learning to Hunt: Deer Hunting

Thursday, Oct. 5, 6–7:30 p.m.

Virtual event

Registration required. For more information, call 888-283-0364 or visit

Learn the basics of hunting white-tailed deer from experienced instructors. We will cover scouting, setup, taking the shot, and much more. Attend this class to increase your success in the field.

Wetland Day

Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Schell-Osage Conservation Area, 4662 South 2950 Road, Schell City, MO 64783

Registration not required. For more information, contact Chris Daniel, MDC district supervisor, at

Celebrate wetlands and the outdoors when MDC hosts a free Wetland Day at Schell-Osage Conservation Area in Vernon County. Get updates on the wetland and Schell Lake renovation project, including poster layouts of the new lake, wetland pools, and the designs and locations for waterfowl blinds. See the new waterfowl refuge layout. Visitors can also go fishing in a recently stocked pond, learn about birding, try target archery, and other outdoor activities.

Find more events in your area at

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Black bears enter hibernation.
  • Muskies are active.
  • Cardinal flower blooms.
  • Dekay’s brownsnakes cross trails and roads.
  • Listen for field and house crickets.

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 – Marcia Hale