This vast, 7,906-acre area boasts diverse habitats and activities, from wetlands, woodlands, and fishing holes to hunting, fishing, and birdwatching.
During the month of November, Fountain Grove Conservation Area offers some of the state’s best hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching opportunities. The area features 2,800 acres of diverse moist-soil plant communities, which attract several species of wetland-dependent wildlife, and the diverse ecotype of this region provides food, shelter, reproduction, and rearing needs for all types of fish and wildlife.
The area is known as a popular stopover for waterfowl migrating along the Mississippi flyway, and for its high-quality waterfowl hunting. The area offers 25 waterfowl blinds, 17 wade-and-shoot units, and one ADA blind, which are allocated daily through the managed waterfowl drawing.
Hunters have access to a variety of wetland habitats on the area, including flooded timber oxbows, annual moist-soil vegetation, perennial vegetation, shrub-scrub habitat, or agricultural units. Deer hunting is by archery methods only and the area offers enjoyable hunts on a diverse landscape with hardwood timber, agricultural fields, and food plots of beans, legumes, and winter wheat.
Wetland management covers 2,814 total acres and encompasses a wide variety of practices and habitat types to attract waterfowl for hunters and bird watchers alike. During the fall, visitors will see bald eagles, Canada geese, and most duck species.
The Mike Milonski Wetland Complex is managed intensively for migrating waterfowl by using a variety of moist-soil management techniques and agricultural crops. The Jeff Churan Wetland Complex consists of bottomland forest, moist soil, shrub-scrub, and emergent marsh habitats for migratory waterfowl. These habitats provide a broad range of wetland-dependent species for wildlife viewing, including waterfowl, secretive marsh birds, shorebirds, fish, and wetland mammals.
The non-wetland portions of the area are managed to provide quality habitat for all wildlife and to offer the public quality hunting and fishing opportunities. Upland habitats of warm-season grass fields, native annual vegetation, legumes, and food plots are intertwined with shrub thickets for quality rabbit, quail, deer, turkey, and songbird habitat. Several fields of sunflowers also offer wildlife viewing and dove hunting opportunities.
Fountain Grove is located in Linn and Livingston counties in north-central Missouri. Initially acquired in 1947–1948, Fountain Grove was a 3,433-acre area purchased by Pittman-Robertson funds to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and duck hunting opportunities to the general public. Three large additions have been made to Fountain Grove since its initial purchase.
—Bryan Anderson, area manager
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