Deer hunting and Halloween are popular events in Missouri in autumn and both topics serve as the basis for conservation-themed programs in October at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Some nature center programs require registration in advance so it’s important for nature center guests to familiarize themselves with MDC’s event website at www.mdc.mo.gov/southwestevents or call 417-888-4237.
On Oct. 17, learn more about the basics of hunting deer at Deer Hunting Basics. MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Greg Collier will discuss the basic strategies of deer hunting (both archery and firearm) at this free event, which is from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Topics include equipment, regulations, scouting, hunting methods, tree stand placement and safety. This program is for ages 10-adult. People can register online for this event at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/169313.
On Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, some popular super heroes make a surprise visit to the nature center to help local habitats in the Halloween Happening event. No registration is required for this event, which is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. each evening. Guided evening hikes will be led on the trail on a first-come, first-served basis with the last hike leaving at 9 p.m. People can enjoy activities inside the nature center building before or after their hikes, which are insured to be insightful, not frightful. This event is for all ages. Call 417-888-4237 for details.
Other October programs at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center include:
Babes In The Woods: Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, from 9:30-10:15 a.m. each day, ages 0-2, no registration required:
Primitive Skills Day, Oct. 5, from 1-5 p.m., all ages, no registration required
Story Time with Ms. Ladybug: Oct. 9 from 11-11:30 a.m., ages 2-6, no organized groups please, no registration required
Little Acorns: Big-Mouth Frogs, Oct. 11 from 10-10:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-noon, no organized groups please, ages 3-6, no registration required
Hiking: Hulston Mill Historical Park: Oct. 12 from 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m., ages 18-up, group will hike at Hulston Mill Historical Park in Dade County. Meet at the nature center and carpool, bring sack lunch and water, hike is approximately five miles and is moderate in difficulty, register at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/169312.
Conservation TEENS: Archery for Beginners, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-noon; ages 12-17, no experience necessary, archery equipment will be provided, register at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/169314.
Archery: Beginning Archery for Families, Oct. 19, from 1-2:30 p.m., ages 10-adult, no experience necessary, archery equipment will be provided, adult supervision required for ages 10-17, register at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/169315.
.22 Shooting Introduction for Women Only: Oct. 26 from 8:30 a.m.-noon; ages 14-adult (girls ages 14-17 must be accompanied by an adult); program will be taught at MDC’s Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center; people will meet at the nature center and carpool, equipment will be provided
Little Acorns: Going Batty, Oct. 30 from 10-10:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-noon; ages 3-6, no registration required, please no organized groups
Springfield Conservation Nature Center guests can conveniently manage program registration online at www.mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents. The first step to registering for a program is creating a profile. Once that is accomplished, it is easier to sign up for future programs.
The Springfield Conservation Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting the words “MDC Springfield” to 468311.Sign-up for e-mail updates is available at www.mdc.mo.gov/Events by selecting “Sign Up” under “Stay in touch with MDC.” Updates specific to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center are available under the category “Events and Facility Reminders.”
Find information about monthly programs at www.mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents. The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located in southeast Springfield at 4601 S. Nature Center Way. People can call for more information about the facility or any of the programs listed above at 417-888-4237.