MDC, partners invite youth to outdoor skills day in northeast Missouri Oct. 23

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GREENCASTLE, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) and other local sponsors, invites youth ages 6–15, and their families, to register for a day of FREE outdoor skills instruction at Union Ridge Conservation Area.

The NWTF JAKES program, or Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics, and Sportsmanship, works with MDC to get youth outdoors and provide opportunities to pass on traditions of responsible hunting, principles of habitat management, hunting ethics and safety.

The event on Oct. 23 will take place 8 a.m.–1 p.m. at Spring creek Ranch Lake on Union Ridge Conservation Area.  

Participants will have opportunities to learn and practice shotgun shooting, fishing, archery, safety instruction, and a turkey calling demonstration. Participants may bring their own shotguns for trap shooting, but firearms, ammunition, fishing gear, bait, and all other equipment will all be provided. Lunch will also be provided at no cost.

NWTF will also give away free JAKES memberships to all registered participants.

“MDC and NWTF are longtime partners, and this is just one of the many ways that we work together to get kids and their families outdoors to learn lifelong sports and skills,” said MDC Conservation Educator Rob Garver.

Space is limited for this unique outdoor skills event and participants must register at

To help ensure public health and safety, MDC asks all participants to observe current, local guidelines regarding physical distancing and masking. MDC encourages participants to bring and wear face coverings when appropriate. MDC and partners will follow state and county guidance for COVID-19 precautions.

For more information about this event, contact Conservation Agent Sean Ernst at, or 573-673-7588.

Learn more about NWTF JAKES programs for youth at, and find more information about how MDC works to provide all Missourians with free opportunities to discover nature at