Missouri: Hunting, Fishing, Camping and Hiking in Mecca

I moved to the Show-Me-State about thirteen years ago, and suffice it to say that I figured my outdoors life had come to a screeching hault. You see, I love to hunt, fish, camp, and hike, and those are not the first things many of us bring to mind when thinking of Missouri.

I remember my epiphany moment vividly. I was travelling with my wife one day, complaining about the lack of interesting outdoor diversions. You see, I was searching for the same outdoor pursuits I had enjoyed in Alaska and Colorado, our previous two residencies. Well, it does not quite work that way. I realized it at that moment, and made the following vow, “I will not only quit complaining about Missouri, but will actively seek the things that will make me happy in the outdoors, and I will stick to this pledge for six months.”

That vow opened up a world I had no idea existed. You see, Missouri is blessed with outdoor riches that may not rival the majesty of Alaska’s Denali, but offer unparalleled opportunities for the Midwestern outdoors person. All I needed to do was look around.

The first thing I found was the magnificent clear water fishing of Missouri’s Ozark Mountain region. You see, due to some rather unique geography, Missouri has a spring system that feeds some of the clearest coldwater streams in the United States. These streams get infusions of cool to cold water from sources underground that support awesome rivers full of trout and smallmouth bass amongst other species. Not only that, many of these systems, like the famous Current River or the less famous but extremely wild Eleven Point River, are protected in National Parks and Wild and Scenic Riverways.

If you are a fly or spin fisherman, this Ozark region will amaze you with its riches. You can go days on some of these rivers and count but a few fellow river travellers. This is especially true during the non-summer seasons when Missouri offers some of its most outstanding weather. Missouri even offers several “trout parks” where novice and more experienced fishermen alike are almost assured of filling their daily limits of four rainbow and brown trout. The tranquility is sacrificed a bit in these parks, but the beauty remains.

If the solitude of an Ozark stream does not quite strike the fancy of the fisherman in Missouri, he or she has some quite superior options for fishing large reservoirs. Here is a partial list of species that are in abundance in one or more of these impoundments: all the black bass species, white bass, stripers, musky, catfish (blue, flathead, channel), brown and rainbow trout, panfish of all sorts, walleye, crappie, and many more. There is great fishing at lakes like Taneycomo, Lake of the Ozarks, Mark Twain, Norfolk, Bull Shoals to name but a few. There are large tournaments at some of these lakes for bass and walleye.

Hunting in Missouri is outstanding too. We have come to enjoy greatly, pursuing whitetail deer, turkey, small game like squirrel and rabbits, as well as birds and other upland game. Northern Missouri has some superior trophy class whitetails. The northern region also supports healthy populations of pheasant, quail, turkey, and more. There seems to be a natural rhythm to the seasons in Missouri that constantly offers the outdoors person a quality outdoor experience.

Many of those experiences for us involve camping. We like tent camping, and usually in pretty remote areas. Missouri has eight designated Wilderness Areas, concentrated primarily in the southern regions of Missouri. If you are more the RV’er type, or just wish to have some amenities like a shower or laundry, there are lots of improved camping facilities catering to your desires.

Perhaps one of the greatest features of Missouri is the opportunities for hiking and biking. For the hiker, Missouri has what may some day rival the Appalachian Trail system. The Ozark Trail is a work in progress, offering some very long stretches, but still requiring a few sections to be connected. Also, Missouri has the Katy Trail, an old rail bed that crosses most of Missouri and is open to hiking, biking, and even in a few sections, horseback travel.

Whether you are a resident of Missouri, or perhaps looking for a great place for some outdoor pursuits, take a look at what Missouri has to offer. This article may whet your appetite for more. If so, use the resource below for some additional in depth research. allstate customer service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *