Keepin’ It In The Ozarks with Justin Sapp

“Keepin’ It In The Ozarks” is an independent reality series produced by Pulaski County Missouri native, and avid outdoorsman, Justin Sapp. The show, filmed in Pulaski County and surrounding areas, documents the Sapp family’s hunting and outdoor experiences in the Ozark Mountains. The episodes are designed to be both entertaining and informative and cover a wide variety of outdoor related topics- including hunting, fishing, trapping, and enjoying God’s creation and the outdoors. New episodes of “Keepin It In The Ozarks” are released in high definition on their YouTube channel the 1st and 15th each month and can also be viewed on their website. You can follow Justin’s outdoor adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their blog.


Pulaski County Tourism Bureau was able to meet with the show’s Executive Producer & Host, Justin Sapp, to get his thoughts on beards, frog gigging, antler point restrictions in Pulaski County, Missouri- and more!

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau: Just to get this question out of the way, I have to ask this- Will you be growing a beard like the Duck Dynasty guys?
Justin Sapp: If I could grow a beard like that I would!

PCTB: Bow or firearm?
JS: I use both but if i had to choose one it would be a bow!

PCTB: Canoe or kayak?
JS: Canoe, I’m afraid of getting stuck upside down in a kayak!

PCTB: Has hunting/fishing/outdoors always been a part of your life?
JS: I can’t remember a time I wasn’t in the woods or on the water. My wife would agree too!

PCTB: What is your earliest memory of hunting in Pulaski County?
JS: My Dad started taking me with him on his hunting trips to the Mark Twain National Forest when I was 8.

PCTB: What is your favorite public fishing spot in Pulaski County?
JS: I really like fishing at the Boiling Spring Campground near Dixon!

Justin Sapp, Executive Producer of "Keepin' It In The Ozarks".

PCTB: If a visitor from Arkansas, or anywhere else, asked you for a publicly accessible place to go frog gigging, where would you send them to?
JS: Frogging is good in a canoe by Steckels Bridge in front of the Cave Restaurant near Richland! Actually, anywhere on the Gasconade is fun to frog on!

PCTB: Why should someone travel to Pulaski County to deer hunt?
JS: Deer herd and public access. Between Ft Leonard Wood and the Mark Twain National Forest, Pulaski county is not lacking in either category there! After the hunt, there is plenty of great Breakfast cafes around. We like to warm up and eat breakfast at the Oasis truck stop on 133 exit!

PCTB: Are there special considerations that one should take before hunting on Fort Leonard Wood or in the Mark Twain National Forest?
JS: Fort Leonard Wood does have special regulations for hunting. Since I cannot film my hunts out there I do not venture out to Ft Wood that much although I’m probably missing out on the best hunting in Pulaski County! Mark Twain National forest is public walk -in land and you just need to be up to date with your hunting licenses and regulations for the game you are after!

PCTB: In layman’s terms please tell us how you think the 4 point antler restriction could improve hunting in Pulaski County.
JS: The Antler point Restrictions have already helped! I have noticed more mature bucks each year in Pulaski County.. We are surrounded by non APR (antler Point restriction) counties , so if you want a better chance at a mature deer then Pulaski County is the county to be hunting in! Putting deer herd and mature deer aside, I like the APR because it makes hunters slow down and look over the animal before pulling the trigger. I’m sure it has saved someone from injury or worse, death, from an unfortunate hunting accident! Safety First.

PCTB: Why should someone travel to Pulaski County to coyote hunt?
JS: Coyotes have been increasing in population for a while now. Our ground nesting birds and rabbits are struggling in population because of them. Most farmers around here are happy to allow you to call some Coyotes in for a dirt nap! Pulaski County has the Gasconade and the Piney rivers- river bottom land is great for calling in those Yotes !

PCTB: Why should someone travel to Pulaski County to hunt for other game?
JS: Our turkey population is doing great this year! After a few bad hatches from floods and predator problems our population was dwindling. We have now had some great hatches and it seems as if everyone is into removing predators now, so the Turkey population is looking great for this year!

Justin & Robin Sapp of "Keepin' It In The Ozarks"

PCTB: Please share your favorite Spring Turkey hunt story with us…
JS: My favorite Spring turkey hunt was last year. After harvesting my largest Gobbler to date , I took my wife the first weekend and she harvested her first Gobbler! We had four big Gobblers run into the decoys and she shot the one that I didn’t have on camera but it was an exciting hunt!

PCTB: What about the feral hogs?
JS: Feral hogs are mostly on the Fort. I have personally never seen one while hunting. There are only a handful of people who know where they normally make their home and they are tight lipped about the hogs location. Eventually, I believe the population will get out of control and begin venturing farther off Ft Wood. If you get lucky you may run into some off the South Gate of the Fort.

PCTB: Do you have any black powder experience?
JS: Oh Yeah, I love hunting with my Muzzleloader! Sometimes I pack it with me during Rifle season! Again, Slowing down and enjoying Gods creation in the outdoors is what this is all about! Slow down, make your one shot count!

PCTB: Have you ever trout fished the Roubidoux in downtown Waynesville?
I love fishing the Roubidoux and I am usually successful. They have a concrete ramp for people that are disabled! My wife can walk to the Waynesville park while I fish so that is a plus! The spring is also stocked with rainbow trout on a regular basis so it makes for an exciting trip every time!

PCTB: Was Robin a huntress/outdoorswoman before you met?
JS: My wife, Robin, is the biggest city girl I have ever met. I’m slowly converting her to a huntress but I never make her to hunt or fish if she does not want to. This year she shot her first turkey and Buck!! I’m a proud husband, and truth be told , I would not be doing what I am today without her. She is the biggest technology freak I have met, and she is the one that got me interested into video production!

JS: What is the most interesting find that you have stumbled across in the woods?
The most interesting and “rewarding” find that I have found is a ridge full of Spring Morels (edible mushrooms). I found 103 on one ridge! No, I won’t share the location! 🙂

Justin Sapp, of Keepin' It In The Ozarks, and son.

PCTB: What other projects have you worked on before deciding to launch “Keepin’ It In The Ozarks”?
JS: I’ve been with Ozark Traditions TV and Bowdacious Outdoors TV. Both shows got me where I am today and now it’s time to take the path God is leading me!

PCTB: What is your inspiration behind “Keepin It In The Ozarks?”
JS: I have a strong desire to get people into the REAL Outdoors. We want to not only be entertaining but informative! Killing a mature buck is exciting but I would rather film a kid shooting their first deer and their excitement! It is not about killing an animal. In the end it is about the journey of the Hunt, family, friends, and God. The Outdoors “saved” me! God has a plan, and I’m going to follow!

PCTB: How often will new episodes of “Keepin’ It In The Ozarks” be released?
We release an episode on the First and Fifteenth of every month.. The episode on the Fifteenth will be about what we are doing to manage our hunting property for that past month. It should be very informative to local people planting food plots and managing their deer herd. We are excited for 2015!

PCTB: Will you be at any outdoors shows so people can meet and visit with you?
JS: We will be at the Outdoor Sportsmans Show On February 20th and 21st at the St. Robert Community Center! This August we will be at a few Hunting expos again! Come on out, We love to hear your hunting stories!

*Editors Note- The Outdoor Sportsman Show scheduled for February 20th & 21st in Saint Robert, MO has been cancelled due to weather.

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Eagle Watching In Pulaski County USA

by Katie Dreadfulwater
Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center
Visitor Services Representative

I have always loved bird watching and enjoy nature whenever I can, so I guess I could be called a nature nerd. Our family had recently heard about Eagle Watching Days at several locations throughout Missouri, and since I love to bird watch, we loaded up the car and took a drive in search of our nation’s official mascot, the bald eagle. It was about an hour away and we saw live captive birds and educational demonstrations, but were only able to see the eagles from very far away. After driving all that way and only viewing them from inside a building, it made me want to see bald eagles up close and in their natural environment. After watching these majestic birds soaring in the sky, it really made me want to see them again, and right here where I live. Why should I have to drive an hour away from home? After doing a little bit of research, I learned that bald eagles visit Missouri during the winter months. They migrate south in search of food when waterways and lakes north of us freeze, making their main food source difficult to access. There are some eagles that reside in Missouri all year round, but most bald eagles seen in the winter months are only temporary residents until they begin moving back north in February. I was thinking why would these birds just stick to visiting the places where the Eagle Days festivities were being held? Fish composes a majority of their diet, so why wouldn’t they be here in Pulaski County, where there is excellent fishing from two major rivers, natural springs, and streams. I put on my thinking cap and decided search out these majestic birds right here where I live.

Bald eagle near the Big Piney River in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Terry Primas.

Bald eagle near the Big Piney River in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Terry Primas.

I got up early on a cold Saturday morning, made some coffee and ventured out. Since my youngest daughter was awake as I was planning to leave, I invited her along and boy was I glad I did. I decided to search out an open, larger section of water where there is good fishing for my first attempt. We only ventured out to one place that morning, a local boating access point on the Gasconade River. When we arrived at the Missouri Department of Conservation Riddle Bridge Access area, we immediately spotted a large falcon very close to the parking lot and stopped to watch it as it was resting on the branches of a nearby tree. I knew if there was another predatory bird nearby, it was sure to be a good spot for eagles too. After the first bird flew away, I looked all around me to notice that the foliage closer to the bluff and along the river was completely covered with ice crystals. It was an absolute winter wonderland! I had not experienced this since moving to Missouri more than 7 years ago and I was in awe. I stopped to take some pictures wishing my camera would capture the real beauty all around me the same way I was seeing it. I then looked up and all around in the trees, and there it was, a beautiful mature bald eagle perched right across the river from us. We stayed in our vehicle and just watched it for a few minutes enjoying the moment before trying to get a closer view. We crossed the bridge and were able to get a bit closer, but still stayed in the car to watch under cover. My daughter just viewed her first bald eagle up close with both her own eyes and with the assistance of binoculars. It was amazing! We both looked at the bird up close with my scope and admired the details of its yellow hooked beak, white head and tail feathers, and the details of its sharp talons. After a few minutes and as more cars started to travel around in the area, the eagle decided there was too much company and flew away. It was truly a special moment, watching bald eagles right here where we live in Pulaski County. No more driving far away for me, I was now enthralled in this new expanded bird watching hobby.

Riddle Bridge Public Fishing Access on the Gasconade River near Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, MO. Photo by Laura Huffman

Riddle Bridge Public Fishing Access on the Gasconade River near Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, MO. Photo by Laura Huffman

A few days later, I decided to take a chance and go on another adventure. I was eager to see more eagles and I wanted to share it with another one of my kids. I love to fish and was near a trout stream, so I figured if it is a good fishing spot for me, it should be for eagles too. We arrived in the late afternoon at Stone Mill Spring. As we exited the car to walk the trail to the spring, I knew it was a great place to seek out viewing eagles because we immediately heard one calling and it sounded really close. We did see two eagles flying along the Big Piney River as we walked closer to the spring, but when we arrived three herons immediately flew away right out of the spring. We stopped walking before continuing any further into the fishing area, and saw a large mature bald eagle perched up in a tree very close by. We got out our binoculars and scope for a closer view, but made little movement for fear of scaring it away. We were out in the open, under no cover, and were very fortunate to watch and hear it call for about 30 minutes. When the eagle flew away, it was followed by another immature eagle we hadn’t even seen that was perched behind us.

The trout at Stone Mill Spring on Fort Leonard Wood are popular with anglers of all ages, as well as bald eagles. U.S. Forest Service photo.

The trout at Stone Mill Spring on Fort Leonard Wood are popular with anglers of all ages, as well as bald eagles. U.S. Forest Service photo.

The next weekend, it was time to go seek out more eagles. I am so excited to be watching these awesome birds here where I live that I just can’t get enough. My husband joined me this time and we headed back to the Big Piney River where I had seen some before. This time we stopped in a different area and were very successful in finding plenty to view. As we stopped along the river, we spotted one just across the river from us back in the trees a bit. As we were enjoying the view, we saw a couple more bald eagles were flying up river. These birds are just wonderful to watch fly, their wingspan is larger than any I have ever seen. We then headed to the spring in search of more sightings, but saw none at Stone Mill, but did see more perched along the river. We finished up our eagle viewing with a hike up to the bluff above the spring. The view from above the spring was wonderful, and it was the perfect way to end a great morning.

Eagle watching above Stone Mill Spring on the Big Piney River on Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Katie Dreadfulwater.

Eagle watching above Stone Mill Spring on the Big Piney River on Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Katie Dreadfulwater.

The next day I was itching to go out and watch again! I had one more person to show the eagles to, my oldest daughter. I convinced her to come along even though she is not much of an outdoors person. We first headed out towards the Big Piney River in search of great views of bald eagles and did not see any along the river this time, so we headed toward the spring. On the way there, we stopped by another good fishing area on the river and spotted an immature bald eagle perched in a tree above a larger pool of water. It was a beautiful bird, large and stout. My daughter was the one who spotted it and had the best view. We continued searching all the way there, not really seeing any more eagles as we drove. We parked and walked back to the spring, and upon our arrival we immediately saw a large mature bald eagle perching in the trees along the stream. We enjoyed watching it only for a few minutes before it flew away. We walked around the fishing area and did not see any more eagles that morning, but did see a pair of pileated wood peckers and a great assortment of smaller birds. It was a rather chilly morning, but we decided to hike the trail behind the spring for a better view. As we were reached the top of the trail, I saw a bald eagle fly directly overhead and it was the best view ever! We both appreciated the sunshine and enjoyed our morning watching for eagles and being outdoors in the magnificent Ozarks.

There is so much to do away from all the hustle and bustle of activities, especially outdoors right here at home in Pulaski County. I was quite content spending a few hours outside with my family away from all the noise: the video games, the television and all the electronic gadgets we seem to think are essential to everyday life. I still am excited at how my one of my kids reacted after seeing the eagles. I heard her say, “I am amazed that we saw that eagle up so close!” and to continue to hear her say all day long, “Mom, I am still amazed.” It just made my heart sing. I am going to do this more often, take my kids outdoors to feel, see, smell and just be with nature. I have seen those bumper stickers that say, “Take a Kid Fishing.” I think I am going to make one that says, “Take a Kid Outdoors and Enjoy Nature.”

Pulaski County is a short drive for most of Central Missouri- and is the perfect place to eagle watch, without the crowds. To plan your eagle watching and birding outings order your FREE Visitors Guide at http://visitpulaskicounty.org/contact_us.htm.

Tweet your Pulaski County bald eagle and wild bird photos to us at @PulCoUSA! #PulaskiCountyUSA

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

Pulaski County, Missouri Outdoors & Wildlife: Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpeckers have been identified in Pulaski County at Schlicht Springs Access, Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood), Dixon Towersite, Fort Leonard Wood Towersite, and Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area. Downy Woodpeckers are smaller than their lookalike, the Hairy Woodpecker. Being able to differentiate between the two is one of the first identification challenges that beginning bird watchers master. Downy Woodpeckers can be spotted in open woodlands habitats, city parks, and backyards. A Downy Woodpecker’s diet consist mainly of insects, although they will consume berries, acorns, and grains.

You can find Downy Woodpeckers in woodlots, residential areas, and city parks.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
Woodpeckers don’t sing songs, but they drum loudly against pieces of wood or metal to achieve the same effect. People sometimes think this drumming is part of the birds’ feeding habits, but it isn’t. In fact, feeding birds make surprisingly little noise even when they’re digging vigorously into wood.

Downy Woodpeckers have been sighted at Schlicht Springs Access, Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood), Dixon Tower Site, Fort Leonard Wood Tower Site, and Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area in Pulaski County, MO.

Downy Woodpeckers have been sighted in several areas across Pulaski County, Missouri.

Hairy Woodpeckers have been identified in Pulaski County at Riddle Bridge Access. Larger than their lookalike, the Downy Woodpecker, its bill is much longer than the Downy Woodpecker. Hairy Woodpeckers are often sighted in mature woodlands, parks, and even cemeteries. A Hairy Woodpecker’s diet consist mainly of insects, although they will consume fruit and seeds.

You can spot a Hairy Woodpecker by watching the trunks and main branches of large trees, looking for a boldly patterned black-and-white bird.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
Hairy Woodpeckers sometimes drink sap leaking from wells in the bark made by sapsuckers. They’ve also been seen pecking into sugar cane to drink the sugary juice.

Hairy Woodpeckers have been sighted at Riddle Bridge Gasconade River Access in Pulaski County, MO.

Hairy Woodpeckers have been sighted in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Northern Flickers have been identified in Pulaski County at Riddle Bridge Access, Dixon Towersite, Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) and Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area. They are large brown woodpeckers with black-scalloped plumage. Northern Flickers can be seen in open woodland habitats. Northern Flickers diet consists mainly of insects. In winter they will eat fruits and seeds.

You can spot a Northern Flicker by walking through open woods or forest edges, but scan the ground. You may flush a flicker from a feeding spot up into a nearby tree.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.

Northern Flickers have been spotted at Riddle Bridge Gasconade River Access, Dixon Tower Site, Waynesville's Laughlin and Roubidoux Parks, and Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area in Pulaski County, MO.

Northern Flickers have been spotted in several locations across Pulaski County, Missouri.

Pileated Woodpeckers have been spotted in Pulaski County at Ross Access, Schlicht Springs Access, Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood), Dixon Towersite, Fort Leonard Wood Towersite, Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) Mitschele Access, Roubidoux Creek Conservation Access. They are very large woodpeckers- “one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest.” Pileated Woodpeckers live in mature woodlands and have an affinity for dead trees. They primarily eat carpenter ants.

You can spot a Pileated Woodpecker in stands of mature forest with plenty of dead trees and downed logs.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate new arrivals during the winter.

Pileated Woodpeckers have been identified at Ross Big Piney River Access, Schlicht Springs Gasconade River Access, Mitschele Gasconade River Access, and several other locations in Pulaski County, MO.

Pileated Woodpeckers have been identified in many areas across Pulaski County, Missouri.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been identified at Ryden Cave Conservation Area, Riddle Bridge Access, Schlicht Springs Access, Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood), Dixon Towersite, Fort Leonard Wood Towersite, Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area, and Mitschele Access, all in Pulaski County, Missouri. They are medium-sized woodpeckers about the same size as a Hairy Woodpecker. Red-bellied woodpeckers are often found in a forest habitat, especially in river bottoms. They mainly eat insects and spiders, but will also eat acorns and grapes.

Identify a Red-bellied Woodpecker by its call. Once you learn its rolling call, you’ll notice these birds everywhere.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak. The tip is barbed and the bird’s spit is sticky, making it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices. Males have longer, wider-tipped tongues than females, possibly allowing a breeding pair to forage in slightly different places on their territory and maximize their use of available food.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been spotted at Ryden Cave Conservation Area and several other areas in Pulaski County, MO.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been spotted in many areas across Pulaski County, Missouri.

Red-headed Woodpeckers have been spotted at Dixon Towersite and Mitschele Access in Pulaski County, MO. This bird has been described as a “flying checkerboard”. Its head is crimson red, its body is white, and its wings are half white and half black. They are the only North American Woodpecker with an entirely red head and neck. Red-headed Woodpeckers breed in deciduous woodlands with oak or beech, groves of dead or dying trees, river bottoms, burned areas, recent clearings, beaver swamps, orchards, parks, farmland, grasslands with scattered trees, forest edges, and roadsides. They eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Like Lewis’s Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpeckers are very adept at catching insects in the air.

Look for Red-headed Woodpeckers in scattered, open woodlots in agricultural areas and dead timber in swamps.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
The striking Red-headed Woodpecker has earned a place in human culture. Cherokee Indians used the species as a war symbol, and it makes an appearance in Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, telling how a grateful Hiawatha gave the bird its red head in thanks for its service.

Red-headed Woodpeckers have been sighted at Dixon Towersite and Mitschele Gasconade River Access in Pulaski County, MO.

Red-headed Woodpeckers have been sighted at Dixon Towersite and Mitschele Gasconade River Access in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been spotted at Ryden Cave Conservation Area and Ross Access in Pulaski County, Missouri. They are fairly small woodpeckers and prefer a forest habitat, especially forests with young birch and maple trees. Just as their name implies, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers consume sap for the majority of their diet. They bore shallow holes in tree bark and lap up the leaking sap and any trapped insects with its specialized, brush-tipped tongue.

To find a sapsucker’s territory, keep an eye out for their distinctive, neatly organized rows of sapwells.

AllAboutBirds.org Cool Fact:
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been found drilling sapwells in more than 1,000 species of trees and woody plants, though they have a strong preference for birches and maples.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been spotted by birders at Ryden Cave Conservation Area and Ross Big Piney River Access, near Fort Leonard Wood, in Pulaski County, MO.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been spotted by birders at Ryden Cave Conservation Area and Ross Big Piney River Access, near Fort Leonard Wood, in Pulaski County, MO.

To learn more about the size & shape, color pattern, behavior, habitat, food, nesting, migration, and conservation of Woodpeckers please visit www.allaboutbirds.org.

The Ozark Rivers Audubon Chapter meets the 2nd Thursday monthly at 7 pm at the Eugene F. Northern Community Center in Rolla, Missouri. You can visit them online at: http://ozarkriversaudubon.org/

For more information on bird watching in Missouri visit The Audubon Society of Missouri at http://www.mobirds.org.

For more information on birding, in Pulaski County, MO please read “Hitchhikers Guide To Birding In Pulaski County”

Take part in The Great Backyard Bird Count February 14-17, 2014! How many birds can you identify in your backyard and across Pulaski County? Tweet your Pulaski County wild bird photos to us at @PulCoUSA! #PulaskiCountyUSA

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

For more information about things to do in Pulaski County, Missouri visit Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com or http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA.

Hitchhikers Guide To Birding In Pulaski County

Are you a birder or a bird watcher? If so, flock to Pulaski County, Missouri! Over 400 different kinds of birds have been identified in the state, with over 100 species already identified in Pulaski County. Almost 40,000 acres of Mark Twain National Forest lie within our boundaries. Pulaski County also offers two Missouri Department of Conservation Areas, four public river accesses, two towersites, and an impressive public park system along the Roubidoux River in Waynesville.

Birding is the most popular spectator sport in Missouri and is a wholesome hobby and activity for all ages. Bird watching can provide quality one on one time with Mother Nature and is also a great way to introduce a younger generation to the great outdoors. Whether hiking, biking, or canoeing in Pulaski County, Missouri you will see songbirds, birds of prey and quite possibly the magnificent Bald Eagle.

Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood) is a popular fishing location that is handicap accessible. Anglers fish here for Bass and Sunfish. 36 wild bird species have been identified in this 40 acre wetlands habitat including Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead.

Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Goose, and Northern Shoveler are waterfowl species that can be seen in the wild at Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Birders have identified over 30 other species of wild birds in this area.

Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Goose, and Northern Shoveler are waterfowl species that can be seen in the wild at Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Birders have identified over 30 other species of wild birds in this area.

Driving Directions to Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood: From I-44, take Exit 161. Go south on Business 44 to the front gate of Fort Leonard Wood. Obtain a map and directions at the front gate.

Lesser Scaup is a waterfowl species that can be seen in the wild at Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Bird watchers ers have identified over 30 other species of wild birds in this area.

Lesser Scaup is a waterfowl species that can be seen in the wild at Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Bird watchers ers have identified over 30 other species of wild birds in this area.


Missouri Department of Conservation Bloodland Lake Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=200301

Bloodland Lake Printable Field Checklist:

http://www.mobirds.org/cache/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=1217

Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area is over 175 acres and includes grassland, wetlands, and forest habitats. This area includes over 6 miles of Roubidoux Creek frontage and almost a half mile of Gasconade River frontage. Anglers fishing for Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish seek out the waters of the Gasconade while Trout anglers enjoy the Red Ribbon Trout Stream portion of the Roubidoux Creek. The Deer, Dove, Quail, Rabbit, Squirrel, and Turkey populations make this location popular with hunters also. Almost 100 species of wild birds have been identified in Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area including Wood Duck, Green Heron, Merlin, Wild Turkey, and numerous types of sparrows, tyrant flycatchers, wood warblers, and blackbirds and orioles.

Swamp Sparrow, Green Heron, Merlin, Nashville Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Le Conte's Sparrow are some of the wild bird species that have been identified at Pulaski County's Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area near Waynesville, MO.

Swamp Sparrow, Green Heron, Merlin, Nashville Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Le Conte’s Sparrow are some of the wild bird species that have been identified at Pulaski County’s Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area near Waynesville, MO.

Driving directions to Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area: From Interstate 44 take Exit 159. Travel west on Historic Route 66 (Highway 17) to Waynesville. After crossing the Roubidoux River Bridge make a right (north side) onto Revere Lane. Parking area is one mile north of Waynesville on the north side.

Northern Bobwhite, Wood Duck, Eurasian Collared-Dove, and Wild Turkey are some of the game birds that you will see at Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area near Waynesville, Missouri in Pulaski County.

Northern Bobwhite, Wood Duck, Eurasian Collared-Dove, and Wild Turkey are some of the game birds that you will see at Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area near Waynesville, Missouri in Pulaski County.

Missouri Department of Conservation Roubidoux Creek Area Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=9130

Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=795

Ryden Cave Conservation Area is a remote 30 acre area that includes two caves, Ryden Cave and Stockpen Cave. Both caves are closed to the public to help prevent the spread of White-nose syndrome in bats. However the area is open for birding and 15 species have been identified to date including Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

At Ryden Cave Conservation Area in Pulaski County, near the community of Duke, Missouri birders will see White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.

At Ryden Cave Conservation Area in Pulaski County, near the community of Duke, Missouri birders will see White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.

Driving directions to Ryden Cave Conservation Area: From I-44 take Exit 169 and go south approximately 17 miles on J Highway. Turn right on K Highway. Continue onto Western Road. Continue onto County Road TT-825. Ryden Cave Conservation Area is on the left (south) side.

Bird watchers will also have an opportunity to spot Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the wild at Ryden Cave Conservation Area in Pulaski County.

Bird watchers will also have an opportunity to spot Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the wild at Ryden Cave Conservation Area in Pulaski County.

Missouri Department of Conservation Ryden Cave Conservation Area Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=7822

Ryden Cave Conservation Area Printable Field Checklist:

http://mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=796

Mitschele Access includes a boat ramp which makes it a popular spot with boaters in Pulaski County. Canoeist also use this public access when starting or ending a float trip along the winding Gasconade River. This one acre area has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Suckers. Wild birds also enjoy Mitschele Access- over 30 species have been identified here, including: Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Kingbird, Carolina Wren and Red-winged Blackbird.

Mitschele Access, on the Gasconade River near Richland, Missouri, is a favorite spot for bird watchers to observe Eastern Kingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, and Carolina Wren.

Mitschele Access, on the Gasconade River near Richland, Missouri, is a favorite spot for bird watchers to observe Eastern Kingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, and Carolina Wren.

Mitschele Access is a great birding location year round with Spring, Summer, and Autumn the most active. Cliff Swallows can be seen nesting on the bridge.

Birders can also spot Louisiana Waterthrush at Mitschele Access in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Birders can also spot Louisiana Waterthrush at Mitschele Access in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Driving directions to Mitschele Access: From Interstate 44 take Exit 150. Travel north on Highway 7 about 3 miles to the Gasconade River Bridge. Entrance to the access is on the left (north) side of Missouri Highway 7.

Missouri Department of Conservation Mitschele Access Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=9801

Mitschele Access Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=792

Riddle Bridge Access also includes a boat ramp which makes it a popular spot with boaters in Pulaski County. Canoeist also use this public access when starting or ending a float trip along the twisting Gasconade River. This 9 acre area includes wetland, grassland, and forest and woodland habitats. Riddle Bridge Access has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Crappie. The bridge is the start of an 18-inch Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area that extends to the Route D bridge at Jerome in Phelps County. Popular with canoeist and anglers, Riddle Access is also a great spot for birding. Almost twenty species have been identified here including several types of woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Turkey Vulture.

Wild birds are plentiful at Riddle Bridge Access near Saint Robert, Missouri. Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Vulture, and White-breasted Nuthatch have been identified here.

Wild birds are plentiful at Riddle Bridge Access near Saint Robert, Missouri. Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Vulture, and White-breasted Nuthatch have been identified here.

Driving directions to Riddle Bridge Access: From I-44 take Exit 161 and travel six miles south of Saint Robert on Highway Y. The entrance is on the left immediately before the Gasconade River Bridge.

Missouri Department of Conservation Riddle Bridge Access Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=6409

Riddle Bridge Access Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=793

Ross Access is popular with canoeist on the scenic Big Piney River. This 4+ acre area has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Crappie. A portion of this area is a 15-inch Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area. It is also a popular place for swimming and rock skipping. Almost a dozen species of wild birds have been identified in this forest and woodland habitat, including Great Egret, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Yellow-belted Sapsucker.

Bird watchers might spot a majestic Bald Eagle at Ross Access in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Great Egret have also been identified at Ross Access on the Big Piney River.

Bird watchers might spot a majestic Bald Eagle at Ross Access in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Great Egret have also been identified at Ross Access on the Big Piney River.

Driving directions to Ross Access: From I-44 take Exit 169 and go south approximately 17 miles on J Highway. Turn right on K Highway and travel approximately 2.5 miles onto Western Road. Take Western Road to Windsor Lane. Go approximately 0.5 mile north on Windsor Lane.

Missouri Department of Conservation Ross Access Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=6306

Ross Access Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=794

Schlicht Springs Access is a 12 acre handicap accessible area near the former Schlicht Mill, dating back to the 1840’s, which was once a popular resort and boasted a lodge, post office, and general store. The area was named after John Schlicht who purchased the mill in 1876. Today, Schlicht Springs is popular with boaters and canoeist for its boat ramp. It is also popular with anglers who fish the Gascoande River’s good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and its fair population of Crappie. The area is made up of grassland and forest and woodland habitat. Birders have identified over 20 species of wild birds including Sharp-shinned Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Kentucky Warbler.

Birders might see Kentucky Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Downy Woodpecker, Sharp-shinned Hawk and many other species of wild birds at Schlicht Springs Access near Crocker, Missouri

Birders might see Kentucky Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Downy Woodpecker, Sharp-shinned Hawk and many other species of wild birds at Schlicht Springs Access near Crocker, Missouri


Driving directions to Schlicht Springs Access:
Traveling from Crocker Missouri, take Highway 133 which heads south and west of Crocker approximately five miles to Resort Road. Turn south (Left) on Resort Road and travel approximately 1.25 miles to Riverside Road. Turn east (left) on Riverside road and travel approximately one mile to the access.

Missouri Department of Conservation Schlicht Springs Access Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=7511

Schlicht Springs Access Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=797

Dixon Towersite is known for its good population of deer, squirrel, and turkey and is accessible to hunters. Most of this areas 48 acres is Oak-hickory forest and woodland. 22 species of birds have been identified here including Turkey Vulture, Barred Owl, Mourning Dove, and several types of woodpeckers.

Mourning Dove has been identified at Dixon Towersite in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Mourning Dove has been identified at Dixon Towersite in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Bird watchers have also spotted Barred Owl and Turkey Vulture at Dixon Towersite near Dixon, Missouri.

Bird watchers have also spotted Barred Owl and Turkey Vulture at Dixon Towersite near Dixon, Missouri.

In late spring and summer expect to see Pine Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatchers.

In late spring and summer expect to see Pine Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatchers at Dixon Towersite in Pulaski County.

In late spring and summer expect to see Pine Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatchers at Dixon Towersite in Pulaski County.

Driving Directions to Dixon Towersite: Travel three miles west of Dixon on Highway 133. Site entrance is on the left (southeast) side.

Missouri Department of Conservation Dixon Towersite Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=4904

Dixon Towersite Printable Field Checklist:
http://www.mobirds.org/cache/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=789

Fort Leonard Wood Towersite is also known for its good population of deer, squirrel, and turkey and is accessible to hunters. This area has over 60 acres of forest and woodland and 26 species of wild birds have been identified here. Some of these include Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and Purple Martin.

Birders have spotted Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, and Great Horned Owl at Fort Leonard Wood Towersite in St. Robert, Missouri.

Birders have spotted Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, and Great Horned Owl at Fort Leonard Wood Towersite in Saint Robert, Missouri.

Driving Directions to Fort Leonard Wood Towersite: From Interstate 44 take Exit 161. Travel one mile east of Saint Robert on Z Highway. Entrance is on the right (south) side.

Missouri Department of Conservation Fort Leonard Wood Towersite Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=4622

Fort Leonard Wood Towersite Printable Field Checklist:

http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=790

Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville)is part of the public park system in the city of Waynesville. This site includes a town habitat and frontage on Roubidoux Creek. This area includes White Ribbon and Red Ribbon Trout Areas. Roubidoux Spring has a flow of almost 38,000,000 gallons per day and is also a popular recreational spot for cave certified scuba divers. Laughlin Park is also one of only seven sites on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail in Missouri. Waynesville also maintains a tree identification area in Roubidoux Park. A brochure is available at City Hall, located at 601 Historic Route 66. Wild birds love Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks as well, with over 50 species identified to date. Some of these include Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, and Song Sparrow.

Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) is an urban wild bird oasis. Bird watchers have identified Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, and Song Sparrow. More than 40 other species have also been spotted at the parks.

Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) is an urban wild bird oasis. Bird watchers have identified Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, and Song Sparrow. More than 40 other species have also been spotted at the parks.

Driving directions to Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville): From Interstate 44 take Exit 159. Travel west on Historic Route 66 (Highway 17) to Waynesville. Laughlin Park is on the left (south)side immediately before crossing the Roubidoux River and Roubidoux Park is on the right (north) side immediately before the bridge crossing. Both parks are downstream from Roubidoux Spring.

Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) is an urban wild bird oasis. Bird watchers have identified Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, and Song Sparrow. More than 40 other species have also been spotted at the parks.

Laughlin and Roubidoux Parks in Waynesville are a great place to see Northern Cardinal.

Mallards enjoy the waters of the "Roaring Roubidoux" as much as humans do!

Mallards enjoy the waters of the “Roaring Roubidoux” as much as humans do!

Missouri Department of Conservation Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks Information:
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=9244

Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) Printable Field Checklist:

http://www.mobirds.org/CACHE/AreaChecklist.aspx?site=798

Tweet your Pulaski County wild bird photos to us at @PulCoUSA! #PulaskiCountyUSA

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

For more information about things to do in Pulaski County, Missouri visit Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com or http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA.

For more information on bird watching in Missouri visit The Audubon Society of Missouri at http://www.mobirds.org or http://www.facebook.com/153704444682191.