MDC pilots new program that expands public access for Missouri hunters

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A new program piloted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in northeast Missouri increases outdoor recreational opportunities for Missouri hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers. The Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP) provides incentive payments to private landowners who volunteer to open their property for public access and recreation.

Upon enrollment, landowners select from various public access options such as:

  • All Access Hunting and Fishing
  • Small Game Hunting Only
  • Youth Only Hunting and Fishing
  • Wildlife Viewing Only

To promote quality hunting opportunities, all offered land must meet minimum wildlife habitat requirements, and extra incentives are available to landowners who agree to implement new habitat improvement practices on their property.

Four MRAP access areas are now available to the public in Macon and Shelby Counties. Open to small game hunting, these tracts range in size from 135 to 610 acres, and cumulatively add nearly 1,400 acres to the public land pool available to Missouri's outdoor enthusiasts. Small game species which may be pursued on these areas, in accordance with Wildlife Code regulations, include doves, pheasant, quail, rabbits, snipe, squirrels, waterfowl, and woodcock. All MRAP lands are open to foot traffic only and area users must self-register at designated property entry points. Unless otherwise designated, parking will occur along roadsides near the registration area.

More information about the program may be found on the MDC-MRAP webpage at There you can find property enrollment information for landowners, area use rules and procedures, and maps of enrolled properties. More information may also be obtained by contacting the program manager, Jeff Esely, at MDC plans to expand the access program in 2016 and make it available to landowners throughout most of Missouri. MDC works with you and for you to sustain healthy forests, fish, and wildlife, making Missouri a great place to hunt, fish, and discover nature.