Ranacker Conservation Area


Due to recent changes in area regulations, please refer to Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for additional details.

Driving Directions

From Frankford, take Highway 61 south 3 miles, then Route RA west.


Mostly forest with a mix of cropland, grassland, and old fields.

Peno Creek runs through the area and is one of the higher quality streams in North Missouri.

The shooting range has 25, 50, and 100 yard targets.

About This Area

The area is characterized by narrow valleys with numerous rock overhangs and consists of 1,447 acres of timber, 151 acres of agricultural lands and 233 acres of grasslands and old fields. Peno Creek traverses the northern portion of the area, providing over a mile of stream frontage.

The Conservation Department purchased the original 716 acres in 1967 from Roy Ranacker, a local businessman. Additional purchases, partially financed by the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition have increased the area to its present 1,831 acres.

In 1799, Benjamin Spencer established a salt business a few miles west of Frankford. Sauk and Fox Indians threatened Spencer's safety, and his salt processing works were abandoned after a short period. The salt springs later became known as Spencer Lick.

Permanent Euro-American settlements occured in the vicinity as early as 1816. The remnants of a Short Line railroad track, constructed in 1872 and abandoned in 1944, can still be seen on the area.

Ranacker Conservation Area marks a point where river hills break away from the prairie. In pre-settlement times, the area probably consisted exclusively of woodlands and small prairies. It is now home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, turkey, and bobwhite quail.

Management of the area focuses on providing wildlife habitat by maintaining timber edges and old fields, prescribed timber harvest and rotating agricultural crops.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Primitive Area  Camping is allowed on and adjacent to all area parking lots except for the parking lot at the shooting range.  No amenities provided.  Camping is not allowed along roadways.   
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Walk-in camping allowed year-around except during all firearms deer and turkey seasons.  
Fishing - Bass Fair population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Suckers 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
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 Good population. Click on link to dove management map (available in August).  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair 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.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Other Ranacker Shooting Range  Unstaffed rifle and handgun shooting range. 
Parking Lotaccessible  3-Gravel Parking Lots with concrete pads.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishless Pond  0.25 acres  
Stream - Permanent Peno Creek 1.40 miles One of the least altered streams in northeast Missouri. 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1447.50  
Crop Land 125.00  
Old Field 45.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 213.97  
Total Area Acres:1831.47 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information






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

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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