Whetstone Creek Conservation Area

Effective March 23, MDC offices will be closed to visitors to help protect the public amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. Conservation areas, nature center trails, and boat accesses remain open.

Whetstone Creek CA will be closed on October 8 and 9 and November 23,24,25 to all other area users for firearms managed deer hunts.

About this Area

For more information call
(573) 254-3330
Total Acres

The Missouri Department of Conservation purchased the 5,147 acre property from Mr. Molasky in 1976 for $2,500,000. Approximately 64 percent of the purchase price was supplied from the Pittman-Robertson Act funds administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Prior to settlement, the land area of what is today Whetstone Creek CA, had a tallgrass prairie, savanna, woodland, and forest landscape. The woodland and forest slopes on the rolling hills adjacent to the creek gave way to more open savanna and prairie habitats on the flat plains above the creek.

Portions of the property have had many owners since the mid-1800's (there were 27 different families owning portions of the land in 1876). It was mostly owned by a few landowners who had relatively large properties by the later 1800's. The area was managed as a cattle ranch through most of the 1900's up until the time when the Department purchased the property. A high fence was constructed on a portion of the area in the 1960's and Bison were raised in the enclosure.

The area is today managed primarily for small game species such as quail and rabbits. Management is primarily accomplished through permittee farming, prescribed fire, woodland management, and early successional habitat. It is a popular area for small game hunting and field trial events.

All deer hunting on the area is managed through the state's managed hunting program and must be applied for in order to participate. Turkey hunting and fishing activities are also popular on the area.

The Whetstone Creek Natural Area is designated for the portion of the stream corridor that passes through the area. The Natural Area is designated for the high quality stream and the state threatened Black Nosed Shiner that lives in the creek.

Things to do when you visit: 
  • Dog Training
    • Special Use Permit
  • Hunting
    • Turkey,
    • Dove,
    • Rabbit,
    • Quail,
    • Deer,
    • Squirrel
  • Field Trials
    • Special Use Permit
  • Trapping
    • Special Use Permit
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
    • Individual Campsites
  • Fishing
    • Black Bass,
    • Catfish,
    • Sunfish
  • Shooting Range
    • Shotgun,
    • Rifle or Pistol
  • Boat LandingBoat Landing
  • Camping SiteCamping Site
  • Entry PointEntry Point
  • Managed Public WaterbodyManaged Public Waterbody
  • MDC OfficeMDC Office
  • Natural AreaNatural Area
  • Parking LotParking Lot
  • Privy (Disabled Accessible)Privy (Disabled Accessible)
  • PrivyPrivy
  • Rifle / Pistol Range (Disabled Accessible)Rifle / Pistol Range (Disabled Accessible)
  • Shotgun RangeShotgun Range
  • BoundaryBoundary
  • MDC Road - ServiceMDC Road - Service
  • MDC Road - ImprovedMDC Road - Improved
  • MDC Road - UnimprovedMDC Road - Unimproved
  • Dove FieldDove Field

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 the I-70 Williamsburg Exit 161, take Route D north to the stop sign. Turn west and continue on Route D to County Road 1003. Go north 2 miles on County Road 1003 to the entrance.
Shooting Range Info
Range Name
Range Id
Maintenance Days
Business Hours
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.
Type of Complex
Range Type
Target Distance
Disabled Access
Range Name
Range Id
Maintenance Days
Business Hours
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.
Type of Complex
Range Type
Shotgun Informal/Patterning
Disabled Access
Area Regulations
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information