HELTON (WAYNE) MEMORIAL WILDLIFE AREA
Edge Wade, 2018
2,560 acres. Harrison Co. DeLorme 21, A-7/8
MDC owned; for additional information call 660-646-6122
The area is named for J. Wayne Helton, who served as the conservation agent for Caldwell and Daviess counties from 1941 until 1965.
Directions: From Bethany, go east on Hwy.136 for 9 miles, then south (right) on Rt. CC for 3 miles to the north side of the area.
From the intersection of US 65 and MO 6 at Trenton (total distance about 20 miles), go west on MO 6 to a right turn (north) onto Hwy. 146 at Edinburg. Follow MO 146 to a right (north) onto Rt. CC into the south side of the area.
ADA Information: There are no ADA compliant facilities or access. Good birding can be done from a car or by short walks.
When to Visit/Species to Expect: As of this writing (April 2018), we have no data for visits other than April through August and a single trip in late November. The full potential of bird occurrence and sightings is unknown.
Eighty-nine species have been reported. Among the summer sightings are Northern Bobwhite, Ring-necked Pheasant and Wild Turkey. Flycatchers are well represented. Bell’s, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireo are present. Sedge Wren has been seen in August trips. Sparrows seen include Grasshopper, Henslow’s, Clay-colored, Lark, Vesper and Swamp.
Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Oriole have been reported in June. Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole and Bobolink were present in May and June. A Loggerhead Shrike was seen in late November.
Features of interest to birders: Intensive grassland restoration is underway to improve habitat for songbirds, small mammals and pollinators. Invasive tree and plant removal, and native prairie plant seeding are included in this process.
The 30-acre Helton Prairie Natural Area, considered one of the best examples of Missouri remnant upland prairie, is easily accessible from a parking area at the northwest corner. Nearly 200 prairie plant species have been identified here. Best wildflower viewing is from mid-May through June.
Nine parking areas provide viewing and/or starting points for walks by the adventurous along several foot trails (see map) through 895 acres of forest and woodland, 1,165 acres of old fields, and 225 acres of native prairie.
There are 12 small fishing lakes (total of 16 acres). Only Lake 12 in the southwest portion has a parking lot near it.
Camping: 2 designated individual primitive sites, one at Pond 12 off 330th St. near the southwest corner of the area; one off CC just south of 320th PL.
Hazards/Limitations: None other than the to-be-expected ticks and chiggers in season.
Nearby Birding Sites: Dunn Ranch, Pawnee Prairie NA, Grand Trace CA, Seat (Emmett & Leah) Mem. CA, Lake Paho CA.