Places To Go

Crowley’s Ridge CA

Enjoy fall hunting, fishing, hiking and birding at this southeast Missouri conservation area.

If you’re looking for fall hunting and fishing in southeast Missouri, try Crowley’s Ridge Conservation Area (CA). Located in Stoddard County, the 1,878-acre area sits on Crowley’s Ridge, a peninsula of rolling hills cutting through the otherwise flat plains of Missouri’s Bootheel. Although it’s one of MDC’s 19 quail emphasis areas and is managed primarily for quail, rabbits and grassland birds, it offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the area’s diverse habitat management. Fields of ragweed, foxtail and other common annual plants provide cover for quail and turkey broods, and warm-season grasses serve as nesting cover for quail and habitat for rabbits. Doves, deer, turkey and other small game find forage in food plots planted with sunflowers, corn, beans and wheat.

Fall hunting is prime at Crowley’s Ridge CA. Try the area for turkey, deer and small game. Firearms turkey hunting runs throughout the month of October, with the archery season for deer and turkey hunting running from Sept. 15 through Nov. 11 and then Nov. 23 through Jan. 15, 2012. Deer can be harvested using firearms Nov. 12–22.

Small-game hunters can pursue the area’s population of rabbits, quail, dove and squirrels. Rabbits can be harvested from Oct. 1 through Feb. 15, 2012, quail from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15, dove until Nov. 9, and squirrels until Feb. 15. All small-game hunters must obtain an area daily hunting tag at one of the parking lots.

Aside from offering outstanding hunting, the area features two lakes and four ponds that are stocked annually with channel catfish, making for great fall fishing. If hiking and birding are your passions, try the grass access lanes and roads, and be sure to bring a pair of binoculars for exciting migratory bird watching.

After a day of hunting, fishing, hiking or birding, you can pitch a tent at the area’s campsite. Camping is primitive, so come with potable water and be ready to pack out trash and waste.

To find Crowley’s Ridge CA, travel 10 miles east of Puxico on Route PP then 1 mile south on County Road 237. Check the area’s website (listed below) and bulletin boards at the parking lots for regulations and special notices.

—Bonnie Chasteen, photo by David Stonner

Recreation Opportunities: Fishing, birding, camping and hunting for deer, turkey, doves, rabbits and squirrels
Unique Features: Two lakes and four ponds annually stocked with channel catfish
For More Information Call 573-290-5730 or visit mdc.mo.gov/a8107.