Affiliated Sites:Outdoors Missouri
Researching places to hunt on public land in Missouri can take awhile. This information is put together to help the Missouri hunter looking for public hunting land to simplify and shorten that process. Essentially there are two main options for hunting on public land in Missouri. One option is conservation department land.
The MDC manages nearly 1,000 parcels of land in Missouri as conservation areas. These parcels of public land are managed for a variety of useages, but most do have hunting priveleges. The main species that are hunted on Missouri conservation area lands are whitetail deer, squirrel, waterfowl, turkey, rabbits, quail, doves, and pheasants.
When you are planning and organizing a trip, you usually will have a general area in mind as well as a species you would like to hunt. So, what we have done is organized our Conservation Department databases by counties. For each county, all of the available conservation areas are listed along with an MDC estimate of relative hunting prospects for each species of animal I mentioned above. There is a link to each individual conservation area as well as a link to a county map for that county showing the location of all the conservation areas in the county.
Beacuse of the number of counties, we could not fit them all on one page. Therefore the conservation areas are separated as A-C, D-L, M-P, and R-W. It should be noted that not all conservation areas offer hunting and also, many conservation areas have special regulations. Therefore, before heading off to one of these areas, click on the link and make certain the regs allow for the type of hunting you will be doing.
Another option, and I might add a pretty great one, is to do your research using Google Earth. There is at least one file you will need to download (that is assuming you have GE installed already on your computer)and then you will have overlays of most if not all of the Missouri Conservation Areas. The specific instructions are found on our Researching Missouri Public Hunting Land Using Google Earth page.
Missouri is also blessed with a fairly abundant amount of federally managed land. Most of the federal land that is available for hunting is in the Mark Twain National Forest. We have given a synopsis of the major deer hunting options in the Mark Twain Forest at Mark Twain Deer Hunting.
Finally, let me encourage you not to be discouraged if you have no access to hunt private land. For the hunter willing to do the scouting and research, there is plenty of Missouri public land hunting available for deer, turkey, pheasant, squirrel and rabbit, quail, dove, and more. All you have to do is put in the work to find it. An added challenge to hunting these areas is that due to the fact they are public, you must be flexible. We have hunted areas for several years, only to find that suddenly there were too many hunters for our liking. So, we begin our research process once more. That is essentially how this information got put together for you. We hope you find it helpful!