Missouri is known for its large wooded tracts and large river access. Filled with the grandeur of the Mississippi River, to the Ozark Mountains, and the rolling hills of the Great Plains. Beautiful caves dotting the landscape and wonderful midwest culture bring The Show-Me State to life. There are also some of the very best public hunting and fishing spots in the midwest. Missouri offers managed deer hunts for archery, crossbow, and firearms from mid-September through January. These hunts achieve deer management goals while also providing additional hunting opportunities.
Heath Memorial Conservation Area
Several conservation areas, covering thousands of acres of protected land, offer up some of the best deer, turkey, and small game hunting. Heath Memorial conservation Area, located in Northeast Missouri, covers 1526 acres with over five miles of trails for easy access to the wooded areas. There is the Fox River, running for over 3 miles in the southeast portion of the area. Rolling hills and natural habitats are all part of the scenery. There is also a Heron rookery located along the river. There are accessible campgrounds and fishing on the Fox River with the proper permits. Catfish and Sunfish are some of the main crops of fish in the area.
Grand Trace Conservation Area
Located in the northwest of the state, near Albany, MO, offers two large ponds with excellent Bass and Crappie fishing. It now consists of woodlands and open fields. Farming, haying, and woodland management are practiced in the area. There is also deer and turkey hunting, but with regulations from the state regarding limits and permits. Dove, squirrel, quail, and rabbit are also plentiful in the area, allowing for small game hunting.
Mark Twain National Forest
As the only National Forest in the state, it is the home of large springs, caves, and volcanic mountains and trails covering 742 miles of the Ozarks. With over 1.5 million acres covering 29 counties in Missouri, this is an idyllic spot to camp, hunt, fish, and bike along gorgeous trails. Big game hunting is featured in the Swan Creek area of Mark Twain National Forest. This forest is unique in that it supports Public Hunting. No fees are charged by the National Forest Service. Some common game found in this forest is deer, rabbit, doves, bobcats, and coyote.
Missouri is not only a wonderful vacation destination, but it is also the very epitome of great game hunting and fishing in the midwest. Bordered by eight states and home to the mighty Mississippi River, hunting and fishing are permitted almost all year long. There are even great apps available for our phones that not only show us all the great spots to hunt and fish, but also help with permits and laws governing the state and its wildlife population. The Missouri Department of Conservation is a great resource in finding all the information you need to plan your next trip. They can be found online at mdc.mo.gov. Give it a look and see what the Show-Me state can do for you.