Friday, August 21, 2020

MDC offers a number of hunter education opportunities in upcoming months

 

Individuals needing hunter education have classroom and online options.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The calendar may still say “summer,” but many people are starting to prepare for this fall’s hunting seasons. If taking hunter education is one of the things you need to do to enjoy firearms hunting opportunities this year, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has several options available

Individuals born after Jan. 1, 1967 hunting in Missouri during a firearms season or acting as an adult mentor to another hunter must have hunter education certification unless exempt (see exemptions listed below). MDC offers two hunter education options; an all-online format and a blended format.

The all-online format is an option that may be completed by Missouri residents age 16 and older. It consists of an online course and requires a fee paid to the online course provider (not MDC). The all-online option requires the passing of a final exam, but has no skills portion.

The blended format is an option for students of all ages and has two parts. The knowledge portion provides information to participants on all aspects of hunter education and can be taken online, through a free self-study guide, or in a classroom setting. Participants must also complete a four-hour skills session that includes a multiple-choice final exam. The skills portion is a hands-on demonstration of skills learned by participants. Participants must complete and pass both portions to earn certification.

For individuals participating in the blended format, here is a list of skills sessions coming up in southeast Missouri:

  • Aug. 15 – Marble Hill United Methodist Church, 300 Missouri Highway 34 (Bollinger County)
  • Aug. 22 – Bloomfield Assembly Church, 20034 Missouri Highway E (Stoddard County)
  • Aug. 22 – Ste. Genevieve VFW, 852 Memorial Drive (Ste. Genevieve County)
  • Aug. 28, Elm Street Baptist Church, 2668 North Highway 105, Charleston (Mississippi County)
  • Aug. 31 – Poplar Bluff Junior High School, 550 N. Westwood Blvd. (Butler County)
  • Sept. 8 – Black River Electric, 2600 U.S. Highway 67, Fredericktown (Madison County)
  • Sept. 11 – Arcadia Valley R-11 School, 750 W. Park, Ironton (Iron County)
  • Sept. 19 – Scott City First Assembly of God Church, 312 Dearborn St. (Scott County)
  • Sept. 24 – Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center Pavilion, Wappapello Lake, 10276 Missouri Highway T (Wayne County)
  • Sept. 25 – Perryville Elks Lodge, 921 N. Perryville Blvd. (Perry County)
  • Sept. 26 – MDC Ellington Office, 2929 Reynolds County Road 618 (Reynolds County)
  • Oct. 2 – Rice Lecture Hall, Mineral Area College, 5270 Flat River Road, Park Hills (St. Francois County)
  • Oct. 3 – New Madrid Baptist Church, 1420 Scott St. (New Madrid County)
  • Oct. 10 – Malden High School, 505 W. Burkhart St. (Dunklin County)
  • Oct. 10 – MDC Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive (Cape Girardeau County)
  • Oct. 24 – Diane Sayre Recreation Center, 1500 S. Truman Blvd. Caruthersville (Pemiscot County)

To register for one of these skills session or to learn more about Missouri's hunter education options and requirements, visit mdc.mo.gov/huntereducation.

To help keep participants, instructors, and others safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MDC will limit in-person class sizes to small numbers so social distancing can be practiced. Class availability will also be limited due to smaller class sizes and limited availability of venues. MDC will abide by applicable local health requirements and strongly encourages participants to bring and wear masks. Hand sanitizer will be available to participants, but masks will not be provided by at the above-listed classes.

“To help staff, volunteers, program participants, and others stay safe, MDC has changed the format and structure of some of our programs, including hunter education,” said MDC Hunter Education and Shooting Range Coordinator Justin McGuire. “Opportunities to attend an in-person hunter education class or skills session are available, but limited, at this time. MDC still offers ample opportunities for people to legally hunt in Missouri through youth exemptions, our apprentice hunter education authorization, and online hunter education.”

Exemptions to Missouri’s hunter education requirements are:

  • Hunters born before Jan. 1, 1967
  • Hunters age 15 or younger who will be hunting with an adult mentor age 18 years or    older who is certified in hunter education.
  • Hunters with a disability exemption from MDC
  • Hunters age 16 or older who have purchased an apprentice hunter authorization and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor age 18 or older
  • Hunters who are landowners hunting on land they own.
  • Hunters who can prove completion of an approved hunter education course in another state

More information about hunter education opportunities in southeast Missouri can be obtained by calling MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at 573-290-5730 or going to mdc.mo.gov.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Cottontails are focus of MDC online program for kids Aug. 7

Children can learn adaptations these animals use to survive in a predator-heavy world.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Cottontail rabbits are frequent sights on evening walks in urban and rural areas. However, if you think this abundance makes them easy pickings for coyotes, bobcats, and other wildlife predators looking for a rabbit meal, think again.
Children can learn about a number of unique adaptations cottontail rabbits use to avoid predators and raise their young in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) “Little Acorns: Cottontails,” a free virtual program 10-:30-11 a.m. on Aug. 7. This online program is part of MDC’s “Little Acorns” series of programs and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center. MDC Naturalist Alan Reed will describe how, although a cottontail rabbit may be a common sight, it has several adaptations that are focused on how to avoid predators. This program is designed for ages 3-6, but is open to all ages. People can register for this program at:
Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.
Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.

Monday, July 27, 2020

MDC offers online program that puts special spin on trout fishing

July 31 virtual program will focus on spin fishing for trout.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Spin fishing is an easy and relatively trouble-free way for anglers to catch a variety of fish – including trout.
People can get tips on how to get maximum benefits out of this popular style of fishing on their next trout-fishing trip at the free Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) online program “Spin Fishing For Trout,” a free virtual program 1-1:30 p.m. on July 31. Spin-fishing equipment can be effective trout-fishing tackle. MDC Conservation Educator Greg Collier will show how combining the proper reel, line, rod, and tackle, can help fill a stringer with rainbows on your next trout-fishing excursion. People can register for this program at:
Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.
Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.

Friday, July 24, 2020

MDC offers online firearms class for beginners July 29

Participants will learn the basics and proper loading of firearms with multiple types of actions during this free virtual program.

St. LOUIS, Mo.—Learning the safe and proper use of firearms can enable one to enjoy a full range of hunting and recreational shooting activities. There are several different types of actions used by a variety of firearms, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when just starting out with shooting sports.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) presents Semi-automatics and Other Actions: Loading 101, an online program to help new shooters sort out how different kinds of firearms work. This free virtual program will be held Wednesday, July 29 from 6-7 p.m.

This virtual class is for anyone just getting into hunting, considering shooting sports, or is simply curious about how to load a firearm. It will cover how to properly load and unload various handguns, rifles, and shotguns, including semi-automatics, revolvers, a bolt action, and more. The class will touch on the difference between magazines and clips as well as the main parts of a firearm.

At the end of the program, there will be a chance for participants to submit their questions via chat during a Q&A session.  

Semi-automatics and Other Actions: Loading 101 is a free program, but online pre-registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z8H. An e-mail will be sent out to all registered participants prior to the program with the link to join in virtually.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

MDC offers free virtual class on handcrafting crankbaits Aug. 18

MDC will offer an online virtual class on making
 a balsa-wood crankbait Aug. 18.
Participants will be mailed a kit with lure making materials,
 and they must provide some tools and supplies
 such as pliers, glue, and paint.
 Registration is requested by Aug. 2.
Participants will build a balsa wood crankbait to catch fish such as bass

Kansas City, Mo. – Anglers can go fishing with lures of their own design if they don’t mind some wood carving, glue tasks, and fine-brush paint chores. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free virtual online class for making a balsa wood crankbait from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18. The crankbait will be suitable for catching fish such as largemouth bass or panfish.

This class is open to participants age 12 and older. Class size is limited to 20 participants. They are asked to register online by Aug. 2.

MDC will mail a lure kit to participants that includes materials such as balsa wood, eyelets, hooks, and a plastic crankbait bill. The kit will also include a list of tools or materials the participant must provide such as glue, pliers, and sandpaper. They may start carving on the lure prior to the class.

Participants will be sent an email with a WebEx link just prior to the class startup. To register for this crankbait building class, visit MDC events signup at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z8z.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

MDC to offer virtual program on cottonmouths July 30

The cottonmouth (pictured above) can be found near some
Missouri waterways, but contrary to what
many believe, all snakes found in or near
 water are not cottonmouths. People can learn more about
cottonmouths, also called "water moccasins," at a free
Missouri Department of Conservation online program on
July 30.
Learn how to identify this venomous snake from other snakes.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For many people, all snakes found in or near water are presumed to be cottonmouths, also known as “water moccasins.” Cottonmouths do, indeed, live in Missouri, but all of Missouri’s snakes can swim and many can be found, at least occasionally, near water. Learning more about water moccasins may help you avoid confrontations with these venomous snakes and ease your worry level when you see a snake in the water.

People can learn about more about these snakes at a free virtual Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program “Identifying the Water Moccasin.” MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center staff will offer this online program July 30, from 1-1:30 p.m. Among the topics this class will cover is how to identify cottonmouths (i.e., "water moccasin"), their habitat and some precautions you can take to keep from being bitten. People can register for this program at:

https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/173690

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Fun Way to Support MO Conservation

There are a couple of organizations that we really believe in.  They advocate for preserving and conserving public lands and in general make things better for Missouri's outdoors.

Those two organizations are BHA (Backcountry Hunters and Anglers) as well as the Conservation Federation of Missouri(CFM). We'd really encourage you to join both of these great orgaizations to support there efforts that benefit us as sportsmen and women, as well as the future generations.

CFM is having a virtual banquet with auction, and you can participate.  If you are remotely interested, check out their page at https://www.32auctions.com/COL20.


MDC offers a number of hunter education opportunities in upcoming months

  Individuals needing hunter education have classroom and online options. CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.  – The calendar may still say “summer,” but ma...