Enjoy early autumn in Missouri’s outdoors as families connect with nature. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free Family Outdoors Day 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit. Experts will teach outdoor skills and host nature exhibits. MDC and Ducks Unlimited (DU) are hosts along with Nathan’s Catch, a non-profit devoted to fishing.
This event offers visitors a chance to see exhibits and talk about conservation with MDC staff and volunteers. Experts will provide tips about fishing, pellet gun target shooting, archery and other outdoor skills. All equipment is provided. Actual fishing at a lake is offered with volunteers helping with casting, bait, and handling fish. Helping families enjoy the outdoors is MDC’s and DU’s way of celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day, which is also on Sept. 28.
Family Outdoors Day welcomes those experienced with rod or gun and those who would like to learn more about angling and shooting sports. Exhibits and teaching stations will be set up throughout the Reed Wildlife Area at 12405 S.E. Ranson Road. Nathan’s Catch will give away fishing rods and reels to youths.
DU volunteers will offer free Greenwing Memberships to youngsters and teach them how to use a duck call. Families can explore the duck wing maze and learn about how wetlands and uplands benefit waterfowl and people. DU’s efforts are supported by the J.E. Fehsenfeld Family Foundation in memory of Jan M. Dillow.
The target archery and air rifle ranges will have MDC staff and volunteers on hand to give instructions on safety and proper shooting techniques. All equipment will be provided for free. Visitors can also try tossing the atlatl dart, the primitive hunting tool that pre-dated the bow and arrow. Displays of real animal furs and skill tests, such as wildlife identification, will also be offered. Live turtles will be displayed for visitors to see and touch.
MDC’s Reed Area has a tradition of connecting people with nature dating to the 1950s. National Hunting and Fishing Day began in 1972. The event is dedicated to promoting conservation and the outdoor sports.
For more information call 816-622-0900. To learn about Missouri’s great fishing and hunting opportunities statewide, go to http://www.mdc.mo.gov.