Missouri Department of Conservation and the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department will hold a free Discover Nature in the Park event Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sept. 23.
Friday night, MDC will hold a campout for registered individuals to learn how to set up a campsite and build a campfire; they will have the option to take a night hike to Sodalis Nature Preserve, where they will learn about bats the area supports. On Saturday morning, they will learn to make breakfast over an open campfire.
The Saturday portion will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in and around the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center. Activities will include a National Archery in the Schools Program tournament, a variety of booths where people can attend “how-to” outdoor recreation demonstrations and learn about current conservation issues and opportunities.
Schools interested in participating in the NASP tournament may to call 573-248-2530 for additional information.
Saturday programs will include the following:
• NASP shoot: Watch middle- and high-school students in tournament competition.
• Big game official measuring station: Bring in your trophy game animals to be measured under Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young or Missouri Big Bucks. All North American big game species will be accepted with priority to those most likely eligible for record books.
• Urban wildlife conflicts: MDC Wildlife Damage Biologist Daryl Damron will present information about wildlife conflicts with deer, raccoons, opossum, bats, squirrels and other urban wildlife that commonly present problems to homeowners.
• Filleting stations: Learn how to fillet panfish, catfish, carp and other species and how to store and prepare those fish at home.
• Missouri Bat Census of Bats of Hannibal/Sodalis Refuge: Learn about the United States’ largest Indiana bat colony.
• Children’s crafts and games at Ringer Park: Included will be fish prints, wildlife tracks, backyard bass and casting practice.
• Turkey-calling demonstration: Hear experts perform turkey calls.
• Deer-calling/antler- rattling demonstration: Hear experts perform deer calls.
• Atlatl demonstration: Join Atlatl Madness for a demonstration of how to use this primitive weapon.
Booths the public may visit include:
• United States Army Corps of Engineers
• FKF Commercial Fisheries and Bait
• Missouri Bat Census
• Hannibal Parks and Recreation
• Atlatl Madness
• Missouri Department of Conservation Hunter Education Volunteers
• Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Nature Fishing
• National Wild Turkey Federation
Schools may register for the NASP tournament at nasptournaments.org. To register for Friday Camping in the Park or for a natural resource-related booth, please call 573-248-2530 by 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21.