Bushwhacker Lake CA

MDC maintained privies are currently closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Porta-pots are provided at the boat ramp campground and the southern campground until the situation changes.

About this Area

For more information call
(417) 895-6880
Total Acres

Bushwhacker Lake CA

Bushwhacker Lake CA
Missouri Department of Conservation

During the Civil War, Kansas Jayhawkersambushed local residents believed to be Confederate sympathizers. In retaliation, those men, known as bushwhackers, banded together and started their own guerrilla war against the Union. The guerrilla warfare soon spilled over into Missouri and some fierce fighting took place along Little Dry Wood Creek. BushwhackerLake Conservation Areanow covers 4,790 acres along the Vernon and Barton county lines. Little Dry Wood Creek runs through the eastern side of the area. Historically, nearly the whole area was prairie with timber only along Little Dry Wood Creek and its drainages. Before it became public land, much of the original prairie had been plowed and put into crops, or disked and seeded to fescue. The more than 1,400 acres of prairie remaining today are being restored through prescribed burning, conservation grazing, herbicide treatment. Wildlife, such as quail, rabbits, turkey and deer are common.Thousands of waterfowl use the area's lakes and ponds throughout the seasons. One of the drainages was dammed in 1982 to make 157-acre Bushwhacker Lake. This lake, along with a smaller lake (Willow Lake) and numerous ponds on the area have been renovated and stocked with bass, bluegill and channel catfish.
During your visit to Bushwhacker Lake Conservation Area, you may observe various wildlife management, research and soil conservation activities. Sharecrop agreements with local farmers help provide some food and cover for wildlife. Trees and shrubs are planted along the boundaries, and clumps of shrubs are planted in the open fields to provide cover for quail and other wildlife. Native warm-season grasses and prairie forbs are planted in old crop fields to provide wildlife benefits and plant species diversity. Any physical disturbance is only temporary.
DEER HUNTING IS ONLY ALLOWED THROUGH THE MDC MANAGED DEER HUNT SYSTEM, if you are interested in deer hunting this area please consult the annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Booklet each year. Applications to deer hunt this area are made each July. There are archery, youth and muzzleloader hunts offered through this managed hunt system. This deer hunt is designed to provide a high quality hunt including good numbers of deer as well as the high potential for older age class trophy bucks.
Trapping is allowed by Special Use Permit.

Things to do when you visit: 
  • Field Trials
    • Special Use Permit
  • Waterfowl Hunting
    • Open Hunting
  • Camping
    • Individual Campsites
  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
    • Black Bass,
    • Catfish,
    • Crappie,
    • Sunfish
  • Trapping
    • Special Use Permit
  • Hunting
    • Dove,
    • Quail,
    • Rabbit,
    • Squirrel,
    • Turkey
  • Trails
    • Horseback,
    • Hiking
  • Boat LandingBoat Landing
  • Camping SiteCamping Site
  • Entry PointEntry Point
  • Fishing Dock (Disabled Accessible)Fishing Dock (Disabled Accessible)
  • Fishing JettyFishing Jetty
  • Fishing Jetty (Disabled Accessible)Fishing Jetty (Disabled Accessible)
  • Managed Public WaterbodyManaged Public Waterbody
  • Parking LotParking Lot
  • PrivyPrivy
  • Privy (Disabled Accessible)Privy (Disabled Accessible)
  • Hiking TrailHiking Trail
  • Hike / Equestrian TrailHike / Equestrian Trail
  • BoundaryBoundary
  • MDC Road - ImprovedMDC Road - Improved
  • MDC Road - ServiceMDC Road - Service

Hours of Operation

Area Hours
Sunday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
From Bronaugh, take Highway 43 south 2.50 miles to Zodiac Road, then east 1 mile to the area.
Area Regulations
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information