Peck Ranch Conservation Area


The Refuge (fenced portion of the area) will be closed 4/7-8 (all day), and 4/16 - 5/6 (until 1:00 p.m. each day), 10/6-7, 10/20-22, 11/10-20, and 12/8-9. This includes the elk viewing route.

Driving Directions

From Winona, take Route H east 5 miles, then continue east on gravel 7 miles to the area in Carter County.


This area is predominantly forest with nearly 1,500 acres in glades, along with quality woodland, cropland and some wetlands. Facilities/features: primitive camping, picnic areas, firearms range, viewing deck, two deer/turkey blinds, one intermittent stream and four Natural Areas (Grassy Pond, Goldenseal, Stegall Mountain and Mule Hollow).

About This Area

Peck Ranch Conservation Area is in northwest Carter County and eastern Shannon County, north of Fremont.

The area consists of 23,763 acres of rugged, forested hills and hollows. Limestone and rhyolite glades provide natural openings among the oak-pine forest that dominates the region. Narrow ridges range from 900 to 1,000 feet in elevation. The area's highest point is Stegall Mountain, 1,348 feet above sea level. Rogers Creek and Mill Creek, which flow into the Current River, meander through the area.

Peck Ranch began as the dream of a wealthy Chicago businessman. After acquiring 19,000 acres along Mill and Rogers creeks, George Peck, and other investors established the Mid-Continent Iron Company. Peck's dream included clearcutting Peck Ranch to supply the 100 cords of fuel per day needed to fire the smelter's blast furnaces. He employed 200 families and installed his own teams to haul cordwood. The company town which sprang up around the smelter became known as Midco.

During World War I, the area continued to boom. The U.S. Government spent $3.5 million to install a wood alcohol distillery at Midco to be used in making ammunition. This period of prosperity was brief. The low-grade iron ore mill at Midco folded after the end of the war and a flu epidemic that ravaged the Ozarks. Peck returned to Chicago. The workers who remained in the area tried to eke out a living on the abused land.

When prohibition ended, the demand for white oak barrels surged. Griffith Stave Co., bought the remaining timber rights on Peck Ranch and revived the area's timber industry. The boom was short-lived, and Peck Ranch was once again for sale.

In 1945, the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased Peck Ranch for wild turkey management. Today, diverse management techniques, including prescribed fire and forest products harvesting methods, are being used to maintain and restore the many natural communities on Peck Ranch.

This conservation area was acquired in part through the Pittman-Robertson wildlife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

General Information




Owned by MDC

  • An access gate is located at the headquarters entrance.
  • Refuge area/interior portion is closed to general public during managed deer hunts.
  • ATV's are not permitted anywhere on Peck Ranch.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Glade, woodland, and forest interior species. Excellent viewing of spring migrants and summer resident birds. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Five designated primitive camping areas, three with disabled accessible privies.  
Demonstrations  Timber, the Midco Pine Flats Restoration Area, and glade management sites are found on the area.  
Hiking  Part of Current River Section of the Ozark Trail meanders through Peck Ranch. Ozark Trail provides map and additional information.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Managed Deer Hunts are held inside the wildlife refuge/fenced portion. The wildlife refuge is located within the interior of the Area and is posted with refuge signs. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Squirrel hunting is permitted outside of the wildlife refuge/ fenced portion. 
Hunting-Turkey Good population. The refuge (fenced portion) of the Area is temporarily closed due to the elk reintroduction project.   Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Nature Viewing  The Ozark Trail, nature trails, one viewing deck overlooking a beaver pond, several vistas, and three viewing blinds are located on the area.  The area also provides a good chance to see a wild Missouri elk!  There is a drivable route through the refuge portion of the area.  Make sure to check the dates posted at the top of Area Summary page to avoid periods when the refuge portion of the area is closed.      
Other  Archery range 
Other  Shooting range 
Tours  10 mile Self Guided Elk Viewing Auto Tour  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Mill Creek  Tent camping only. No privy/restroom facilities. 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Possum Hollow  Located at Peck Ranch headquarters. Disabled privy.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Little Pine  Located next to archery range and walk-through archery course. Disabled privy.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Pine Loop  Generator Camping Only. Disabled privy.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Long Hollow  Tent Camping Only. No privy. 
Fire Tower Stegall Mountain Fire Tower   
Hunting Blind - Deer/Turkeyaccessible  Disabled only 
Other Muzzleloader Range  Target Distance: 25 yrds  
Other Rifle/handgun Range  Target Distance: 25 - 100 yrds  
OtheraccessibleArchery Range  3D and static range. Range also has a shooting tower. Disable accessible only to static range.  
Parking Lot    
Parking LotaccessibleHeadquarters  Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad.  
Picnic Table  10  Located at Area Headquarters 
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Privies are located at Possum Hollow, Little Pine and Pine Loop campgrounds.  
Viewing Deck/Tower Beaver Pond Nature Trail   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Grassy Pond Natural Area 2.00 acres Two acre Sinkhole Pond. For more information, visit natural areas.  
Designated Natural Area Mule Hollow Natural Area 369.00 acres Contains Dry Dolomite Woodland/Dolomite Glade Complex with many interesting plant and animals. For more information, visit natural areas.  
Designated Natural Area Stegall Mountain Natural Area 5387.00 acres This natural area includes all of the former Rogers Creek Natural Area; 3872 acres owned by MDC, 960 acres owned by The Nature Conservancy, 555 acres owned by the National Park Service. For more information, visit natural areas.  
Designated Natural Area Goldenseal Natural Area 100.00 acres For more information, visit natural areas.  
Fishless Pond  119 0.80 acres These small ponds serve as wildlife watering holes and aquatic habitat for animals such as salamanders and frogs  
Spring  31 31.00 # gallons per day  
Stream - Intermittent  Mill Creek 5.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Rogers Creek 6.75 miles Headwaters Stream 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 20937.00  
Crop Land 607.55  
Wetland 5.00  
Glade 1499.00  
Total Area Acres:23761.55 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Peck Ranch Nature Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.50 
Ozark Trail (Difficult) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 11.00 

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Shooting Range General Information







Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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