Friday, June 17, 2016

Hunting the Conservation Areas of Missouri

Danville Conservation Area
This is a topic we have covered quite a bit on this blog, as well as on our website,, but it fits nicely here with the Missouri Conservation Areas series on which we are now on installment 2.  The hunter in Missouri has such a blessing in the respect that most midwestern states have not made the level of commitment that Missouri has with regard to state land on which you can hunt.

If you doubt this, take a look at Kansas or Illinois as an example. These two states differ from the Missouri model in that first, oversight of conservation is politicized, and second, there has never been an effort to devote land to hunting and fishing and other outdoor pursuits.

Getting on with the topic at hand - if you want to hunt any species in Missouri, and are willing to do Missouri Public Hunting Resource. It has a database, which is sourced from MDC, but arranged frankly in a manner that was and is convenient for us when looking for a hunting area by geographic region and by species we which to hunt.  In addition to MDC conservation areas for hunting, there is also extensive coverage of hunting on Mark Twain National Forest. Being summer, and there being a few months until the most popular hunting seasons kick in, you may want to bookmark the page we mentioned above for future use.
Screenshot from Family-Outdoors Missouri Public Land Resource
the research to find the right conservation area, you should find what you are after.  One resource we have put together is out

MDC manages conservation areas with many competing interests, and hunting is certainly featured prominently in those considerations.  Many properties have food plots to enhance the density of wildlife that can be sustained in the area.  As a side note, MDC has in some cases reduced the planting of some food plots with the spread of CWD in the deer population.

Some conservation areas are sort of devoted primarily to giving hunters opportunity to harvest a particular species.  For example, there are conservation areas where waterfowl hunters will find fantastic facilities and populations of ducks and geese.  There are conservation areas devoted to dove hunting.  Pheasant hunters and upland game hunters will also find plenty of opportunities.

In conclusion, as I plan to remind folks in each segment of this series, all of these opportunities are what they are because politicians have been kept from screwing things up.  The non-partisan Missouri Conservation Commission oversees MDC, and much of the funding for CA's and other MDC efforts come from the sales tax on sporting goods that was long ago approved by forward thinking Missourians.  If you do not believe that there is a contingent of folks out there who would dearly love to hand things over to the politicians, read the comments under about any Facebook or other social media post by MDC.  Make sure your views of reason are heard too.