Sunday, July 17, 2016

Finding the right place to hunt on Missouri Conservation Areas - Adair County


deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, waterfowl, quail

Adair County in north-central Missouri

Adair County is in the northern-central region of Missouri, and has been part of the central location for Missouri's hottest region for deer hunters seeking trophy Missouri whitetails.  This status for the region has been placed in a small degree of peril by the CWD outbreak, but is still a good deer hunting location.  It is also a region where there are some other great options for hunting other species.

There are four conservation
Adair County CA's...for links click HERE
 in Adair County, Union Ridge being the largest at almost 8,000 acres.  All four have good deer populations.  Big Creek comes in second at 1064 acres, followed by Montgomery Woods and Shoemaker at 348 and 259 acres respectively.


This area borders Thousand Hills State Park, ad is predominantly grasslands and savanna.

Hunting for deer and squirrel are considered good on this property, while turkey and rabbit just fair. To arrive at this location from Kirksville, take Business Highway 63 south 0.50 mile, then take Highway 11 west 1.70 miles, then take Route H north 1.70 miles, and take Rainbow Basin Trail west 1 mile.

If you get tired of hunting, there are several ponds with some decent catfish and bass fishing as well.

Here is a link to Big Creek Conservation Area on Google Maps.


This area is a little less than 20 miles west of Kirksville.

Of the 348 acres in the area, it is nearly all forested with relatively rough terrain.  Deer, turkey, and squirrel hunting are all good at Montgomery Woods. This might be one of those areas that gets overlooked a bit because it's on the smaller size. Keep in mind that were this private lad, 348 acres is a pretty good sized chunk or real estate.

Here is a link to Montgomery Woods on Google Maps.


Shoemaker is west of Kirksville, and a little east of Unio Ridge Conservation Area.

Of the approximately 260 acres at Shoemaker, all but about 10 are forested.  Deer, turkey, and squirrel hunting are all good here.  In terms of the size of this area, again, don't discount it as too small. Also, it might be a good alternative from Union Ridge, as it's close by and Union can get crowded during deer ad turkey seasons.

Here is a link to Shoemaker on Google Maps.

Union Ridge 

Union Ridge is the largest and best known conservation area in Adair County, and it gets crowded during certain hunting seasons. Because of its popularity, deer regs and perhaps others have been adjusted to handle the pressure it gets. We used to frequent the area ad have kind of put it on the back burner as of late. Having said that, it's a beautiful area and our tolerance level for company when hunting is very low.

There are lots of hunting options at Union Ridge. Deer, dove, rabbit, and squirrel are all good. Pheasant, quail, waterfowl, and turkey are fair.

Of the approximately 8300 acres, about 5400 are wooded while the rest is grassland, savana, old fields, etc.

We have had some great times here, ad it's probably worth a visit at some point if you like hunting northern Missouri. We would just advise advance scouting during deer season, and if willing to get away from trails and do some walking you will probably be okay.

Here is a Google Map of the area.