Places To Go
Maintz Wildlife Preserve
Search for some of Missouri’s beloved birds at this area maintained especially for bobwhites and other small game.
Maintz Wildlife Preserve is a hot spot for bobwhite quail and doves, but birds aren’t all this area has to offer. Located in northwestern Cape Girardeau County, this Conservation Area encompasses 445 acres of grassland and expanses of woodland and cropland amid the rolling hills of Southeast Missouri.
Maintz Wildlife Preserve offers exceptional in-season hunting opportunities for deer and turkey, as well as small game including dove, quail, rabbit and squirrel. Hunters in the market for small game must obtain an area daily hunting permit at one of the parking lots. If you’re an archery hunter, bring your bow for some pre-season practice at the area’s 12 station archery range. A local chapter of the Christian Bowhunters of America, On Target Archers out of Fruitland, continues to work in cooperation with MDC to expand and maintain this range.
MDC maintains Maintz Wildlife Preserve especially for bobwhite quail and other grassland birds, so quality early successional habitat—a stage of plant growth that features an open understory with scattered plants—is key. Such a habitat encourages a good quail population by providing seed production, insect foraging opportunities and easy mobility for quail and their broods.
Maintz Wildlife Preserve managers use techniques such as prescribed burning, disking, timber stand improvement, edge feathering and rotational farming to promote early successional habitat. The area’s fields feature warmseason grasses and prairie wildflowers that provide nesting cover and broodrearing habitat for upland birds and small game. Local farmers plant crop fields and leave a portion of crop standing over winter for wildlife food.
Each year MDC plants several fields of sunflowers to attract flocks of doves during their fall migration. Dove hunting can be very good during the first few weeks of the statewide dove season, which begins Sept. 1.
Nine fishing lakes and ponds dot the landscape. Fishing is best at several ponds stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Additionally, some small, fishless ponds and a larger seasonal wetland harbor habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds.
Maintz Wildlife Preserve is located northwest of Jackson. To reach the area, take Route B north, then County Road 472 west 1.5 miles. Visit the Maintz Wildlife Preserve website (listed below) for information including a brochure and map.
—Rebecca Maples, photo by David Stonner
Recreation opportunities: Archery range, bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking and hunting in season
Unique features: This area features habitat maintained especially for bobwhite quail and other small game, along with in-season hunting opportunities and nine fishing lakes and ponds.
For More Information: call 573-290-5730 or visit mdc.mo.gov/a7712.