MDC event highlights outdoor opportunities in Springfield area

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SPRINGFIELD Mo -- Find out what’s great about the Ozarks outdoors at Great Outdoors Day on Saturday, Sept. 25. This day-long event, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation MDC) , will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on at the Bois D’Arc Conservation Area northwest of Springfield. It is the local celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day, a federally designated day which is the fourth Saturday of each September.

The event will include shooting (rifle, trap and skeet) and archery demonstrations at the Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoors Education Center, which is on the Bois D’Arc Conservation Area. Many of these events will offer hands-on opportunities. Fishing programs, including two free public fishing sessions (8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.), will be at the Bois D’Arc Conservation Area’s urban fishing pond. Anglers who to take part in the free fishing sessions need to bring their own fishing equipment and bait. At the shooting range, all firearms will be provided by Dalton Range staff.

There’s more to Great Outdoors Day than hunting and fishing activities.

Canoeing demonstrations will be given at scheduled times at the pond. Learn about the variety of dishes that can add flavor to any type of outdoors outing at the Springfield Greene-County Park Board’s outdoors cooking station.

There will also be chances to learn more about forestry programs, camping, fly-tying and hiking.

Throughout the day, individuals will be able to go on self-guided nature hikes to view the native plant life and natural features of the Bois D’Arc Conservation Area.

There will also be badge opportunities for a variety of youth scout groups.

Information about various types of outdoor activities at local publicly owned areas will be available from staff working the event and from literature that can be picked up that day. All parts of the event are free to the public.

For information about Great Outdoors Day, call the MDC Southwest Regional Office in Springfield at 417-895-6880 or the Andy Dalton Range and Outdoors Education Center at 417-742-4361.

Scout leaders inquiring about merit badge opportunities need to call the Springfield Conservation Nature Center at 417-888-4237.