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A million and a half acres of land await hunters within Mark Twain National Forest. No fees are charged by the Forest Service for this activity. Hunting is very popular on the Forest and hunted species include deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, woodcock, mourning doves, ducks, raccoon, bobcat, fox, and coyote.

All hunting seasons, hours, license requirements and bag limits are published and enforced by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The Missouri Wildlife Code can be requested from the Missouri Department of Conservation on the MDC website.

Some areas of the Forest are closed to all forms of motorized vehicle travel

Hunting is still allowed in these areas, and they can provide a more remote hunting experience done on foot or horseback. Authorized motorized routes are shown on Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps. Areas of the Forest with no motorized use include:

Wilderness Areas

Wilderness Areas are closed to all mechanical travel, including bicycles.

Ava District

  • Hercules Glades

Potosi Ranger District

  • Bell Mountain

Cassville Ranger District

  • Piney Creek

Fredericktown Ranger District

  • Rock Pile Mountain

Willow Springs Ranger District

  • Devils Backbone

Houston Ranger District

  • Paddy Creek

Eleven Point Ranger District

  • Irish

Non-motorized Semi-primitive Dispersed Recreation Management Areas

These areas are located on all Ranger Districts within the Mark Twain National Forest. Check with the appropriate district office for more details.

Walk-in Turkey Hunting Areas

These areas are closed to motorized traffic during Spring Turkey season.

Other information to keep in mind when hunting on the Forest

  • Hunting is prohibited in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area and on National Forest System roads or bodies of water, whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
  • Hunting is prohibited on all administrative sites.
  • Only portable deer stands are permitted and the deer stand must be labeled with the hunter’s name and address.

The following lakes are closed to waterfowl hunting unless posted otherwise:

Poplar Bluff Ranger District

  • Beaver Lake
  • Pinewoods Lake

Eleven Point Ranger District

  • Fourche Lake
  • McCormack Lake
  • Ripley Lake

Salem Ranger District

  • Loggers Lake

Willow Springs Ranger District

  • Noblett Lake

Houston Ranger District

  • Roby Lake

The following lakes are open to waterfowl hunting, unless posted otherwise (no shooting of frogs is allowed):

Potosi Ranger District

  • Council Bluff
  • Crane Lake
  • Palmer Lake
  • Parole Lake

Salem Ranger District

  • Howes Mill Lake
  • Howes Mill Pond

Information about specific locations (including maps) may be obtained on this website or by contacting a Forest office.

Do not trespass! It is important to remember there is private land intermingled with National Forest system lands within the National Forest Boundaries. You must obtain permission from a landowner before hunting on private land.

Feral Hog Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities