OUTDOORS: Poosey CA driving tour is tomorrow

BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host its 35th-annual Poosey Conservation Area fall driving tour tomorrow (Sunday, Oct. 17).

Visitors will be allowed to drive on service roads winding uphill and down through the area’s woodlands and open fields designed to benefit wildlife that are not normally open for public driving. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended, particularly given the couple of days of rain early this past week; there are a couple of shallow creek crossings along the way!

The tour will be open from noon until 4 p.m. and begin at Pike’s Lake, located off Route W and County Road 502.

There will be nature interpretive stops along the way and a portable sawmill will be cutting lumber from logs at a demonstration site.

Hopefully, fall colors will be near their peak and the heavily-forested area should be beautiful.

Each year the tour draws families and community groups riding on trailers or wagons drawn by pickups or horses, and many visitors are on horseback. Cars and an occasional bicyclist also take the tour on gravel roads.

The MDC requests that visitors observe COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing when exiting vehicles to view exhibits or when hiking near others, such as the trail to the limestone outcropping called the Panther’s Den.

Maps and information about the Poosey Conservation Area are available at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZSS.

Go out and enjoy a beautiful day in a part of Missouri’s great outdoors.

Fall firearms wild turkey hunting season is off to a slow start, with only a few turkeys checked in from the local area and fewer than 500 taken statewide so far.

With archery season attracting many Missouri hunters now that the annual deer rut is about to begin and other hunters working hard to get ready for duck season – opening here in north Missouri in just a couple of weeks, not many folks have time for turkeys right now.

The season runs through Oct. 31, so there’s still plenty of time left to find some fall flocks, scatter them and call ‘em back for a real fun hunt.

It won’t be that long until “bird season” (meaning quail and pheasants) will open on Nov. 1 (youth season on each Oct. 30-31) and I’ve been hearing favorable reports on the numbers of young quail seen this summer.

The quail and pheasant populations have declined a lot since the “good old days” of bird hunting back in the late 1900s. I hope that maybe these popular game birds will some time become as numerous as they were when my dog Penney and I chased them all over north Missouri in the 1970s.

If you do hunt “birds” this fall and winter, be sure to wear plenty of hunter orange clothing and headware, since there could be some deer hunters in the same area you’re hunting in.

Rabbit and squirrel seasons also are open, but don’t draw much attention these days.

There are several hunting seasons going on now or soon will be, so be aware that you are probably not the only person out there.

Missouri has a pretty good record on hunter safety and you sure don’t want to be the one to spoil that.

Good hunting and be safe!

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday and LCL every Monday)