Gist Ranch Conservation Area


The firearms shooting range at Gist Ranch will be closed March 28 & 29, 2018 to the public from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM each day. Reason for closure will be for firearms training for Missouri Department of Conservation personnel.

Driving Directions

From Summersville, take Highway 17 west 4 miles, then Route W south 3 miles, then Ranch Road west 1.75 miles to the area. Another entrance road to the area is 5 miles west of Summersville on Highway 17.


This area is predominantly forest with glades, savanna, and old fields. Facilities/features: primitive camping and two intermittent streams (Peters Creek, Sanders Branch).

About This Area

Gist Ranch Conservation Area is in Texas County, approximately five miles west of Summersville and 14 miles east of Houston.

Gist Ranch is a local name for this tract of land. The Conservation Department purchased this property in 1997 from Smith Flooring Company of Mountain View.

The area is contained in one contiguous tract and is heavily forested. Visitors to the area will find abundant populations of deer, turkey, and other forest wildlife species.

A number of natural communities can be found on Gist Ranch CA. These include small springs and wetlands (also called "fens"). The spring and fen areas host wildflowers like orange coneflower and cowbane and provide valuable habitat for salamanders, frogs, and other wildlife. Small dolomite glades, surrounded by savanna, also occur on the ridges, and on south- and west-facing slopes on Gist Ranch CA. These areas support a diverse flora, including little bluestem, leadplant, wild quinine, blazing star, and rattlesnake master. They also serve as important foraging spots for deer, turkey, and quail.

The Conservation Department is working to improve the area for visitors by constructing ponds and lakes, grading or paving roads and building camping and picnic facilities. Watershed stabilization, upland wildlife habitat practices, and forest management are being implemented.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Camping - Individual Campsites  Three designated camping areas with fire grates at each area. No other amenities.  
Camping - Primitive Area  No amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Seasonal closures may apply. 
Fishing - Bass Fair population. Two fishing lakes on area  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population. Two fishing lakes on area  
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population. Two fishing lakes on area  
Hiking  No designated trails, but numerous old logging roads offer hiking opportunities. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Good population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Other  Rifle and shotgun ranges. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   Fire rings at each area. No other amenities. 
Fire Tower Summersville Tower Site   
Hunting Blind - Deer/TurkeyaccessibleDisabled accessible user blind ONLY   Three disabled accessible hunting blinds by use of holders of a Special Use Permit  
OtheraccessibleGist Ranch Shooting Range  Unmanned firing range containing 25 yard, 50 yard, 100 yard, 300 yard and shotgun range. Associated facilities include disabled user privy and parking lot. 
Other Gist Ranch Archery Range  16 target walk-through with one elevated shooting platform. Direction of fire varies. N 37* 12.614''W 091* 46.196  
Parking Lotaccessible   
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Disabled accessible privy in firing range parking lot. 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  5.00 acres Two fishing ponds have been constructed, 1.5 acres and 3.5 acres. A picnic table is available at each pond. No camping allowed.  
Fishless Pond  25 6.00 acres 20 new fishless wildlife ponds have been constucted, average size about 0.25 acre.  
Stream - Intermittent Peters Creek 3.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Sanders Branch 2.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Glade 310.00  
Savanna 200.00  
Forest and Woodland 10601.00  
Old Field 109.00  
Other 20.00 Shooting range 
Total Area Acres:11240.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information


37*1323.O N




1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless otherwise posted

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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