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From Missouri Conservationist: November 2018

Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area

Civil War orator gives area history, name.

by Larry Archer

By November, copperheads this far north in Missouri are scarce, but at Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area (CA), signs of the area’s most famous Copperhead abound.

Located on 4,225 acres in Putnam and Schuyler counties, the area was once the home of Civil War minister, orator, and politician Henry Clay Dean. A vocal critic of President Abraham Lincoln, Dean was labeled a Copperhead, a term used for northern Democrats opposed to the war.

The area’s name is drawn from references in Dean’s writings, according to Wildlife Management Biologist Ryan Jones, Rebel’s Cove CA manager.

“About 200 acres of the area was his original homestead,” Jones said. “He’s buried on-site. One of his famous speeches or one of his publications made a reference to Rebel’s Cove. That’s where the name came from.”

If not looking for copperheads of either variety, one still has the opportunity to see any number of migrating waterfowl taking advantage of the wetlands created by the Chariton River, he said.

“We have about 200 acres of man-made wetlands and then another 80 acres of seasonal wetlands along the river,” Jones said. “They’re not intensively managed. They’re all passive catch. If it rains, we’ve got water.”

“It’s the longest stretch of the Chariton River that’s not channelized. We try to protect and enhance the natural communities that go with that, which are mainly wetlands and forests.”
—Rebel’s Cove CA Manager, Ryan Jones

Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area consists of 4,225 acres in Putnam and Schuyler counties. From Livonia, take Route N north 4.6 miles.

What To Do When You Visit

  • Bird-Watching The eBird list of birds recorded at Rebel’s Cove CA is available at
  • Camping Designated camping sites. Open camping — walk-in, float-in, backpack.
  • Fishing Black bass, catfish, sunfish
  • Hiking Area trails and levees give hikers access to forested areas and several wetland pools.
  • Hunting Deer and turkey. Deer and turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey booklets for current regulations. Also dove, quail, rabbit, and squirrel.
  • Waterfowl Hunting Open hunting. Waterfowl regulations are subject to annual change, so refer to the Waterfowl Hunting Digest for current regulations.

What to Look for When You Visit

  • Gadwall White-tailed deer
  • American beaver
  • American white pelican

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen

Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler