Fountain Grove Conservation Area is located in Linn County, Missouri, and is made up of nearly 8,000 acres of wetlands, hardwoods, and pasture. From Mallards to Canvasbacks, Fountain Grove’s diverse landscape offers hunters the opportunity to chase waterfowl in the Golden Triangle of Missouri. Due to wetland management, location, and managed private wetlands near by, Fountain Grove houses thousands and oftentimes hundreds of thousands of ducks during the fall.
Reservations at Fountain Grove
Pre-Season Reservations at Fountain Grove:
Hunters apply for preseason reservations at Fountain Grove from the beginning of September to mid September through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online application. All applicants not awarded a preseason reservation may apply through the “quick draw” reservation system once the season begins. Only Missouri residents may apply.
Quick Draw Reservations at Fountain Grove:
Quick draw reservations at Fountain Grove are awarded to hunters who apply for a reservation throughout the season. Quick draw reservations may be applied for approximately one week before a hunt. Hunters from across the state apply for a quick draw reservation at Fountain Grove, which makes your chances of being awarded a reservation low. Only Missouri residents can apply.
Poor Line at Fountain Grove:
The poor line is available to hunters at Fountain Grove the morning of the hunt. The poor line requires one member of each party to “draw” a number from a box. Numbers 1-20 drawn from the box will typically guarantee you and your party a hunt at a desired location for the day. At Fountain Grove, sixty parties drawing for thirty five locations in the poor line is not uncommon. Additionally, reservation holders have first access to areas which leaves fewer areas available to hunters relying on the poor line to hunt.
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Where to Hunt at Fountain Grove
Fountain Grove Hunting Area Map
Fountain Grove Duck Population Heat Map
Hunting a Blind at Fountain Grove:
There are 20-25 different pit blinds available throughout the season depending on water levels. Fountain Grove will camouflage the blinds with natural grass, but bringing your own natural camouflage is most effective late in the season. The blinds hold 3-4 hunters comfortably. Most blinds at Fountain Grove require a boat to access, so bringing your own boat is permitted. If you do not have a boat, Fountain Grove provides hunters with a boat without a motor (but does provide oars) at the boat ramp the morning of the hunt.
Hunting the G Pool at Fountain Grove:
The G pool is made up of only pit blinds with the exception of G12, which can be hunted as a walk-in or blind in most years. The G pool is popular among hunters at Fountain Grove due to its success rates. The best blind in the G pool is G4 based on its location and previous success out of that blind. The G pool is a great place to hunt later in the season because the west side refuge of Fountain Grove borders the G pool on its northwest side.
Hunting the A, B, and C Pool at Fountain Grove:
The A, B, and C pool consists of 9 pit blinds and a handicap accessible blind. Hunting the A, B, and C pool at Fountain Grove is great considering its proximity to the east side refuge at Fountain Grove as well as stellar private land nearby. C2 and B3 are both notable blinds in this pool based on personal experience and location. Hunting this particular pool late in the season and on a reverse migration has proven successful.
Hunting the H and J Pool at Fountain Grove:
The H and J pool is located on the north side of the west refuge and consists of 5 pit blinds and one walk-in area. The H and J pool is great when considering its proximity to the west side refuge at Fountain Grove. J3 and H2 are notable blinds based on location and experience.
Hunting Walk-Ins at Fountain Grove:
The walk-in areas at Fountain Grove consist of flooded timber, flooded corn, and moist soil vegetation. There are 20-30 walk-in areas available depending on water levels. Walk-ins require more “work” from each party, but the results can also be much better than hunting out of the blinds. Walk-ins at Fountain Grove close at 1 p.m.
Hunting the Mac Units at Fountain Grove:
The Mac units are walk-in units located on the north side of the east refuge, and are typically planted in corn and beans. The Mac units at Fountain Grove are the best areas available when considering the population of ducks that utilize the east side refuge. Mac unit 5 and Mac unit 3 are the most sought after Mac units in the area based on experience. Late in the season, the Mac units still produce significant results regardless of ice and harsh conditions.
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Hunting Other Walk-In Areas at Fountain Grove:
There are several additional walk-in areas at Fountain Grove that produce results. The Stinson areas should not be overlooked considering how close they are to the east side refuge. Also, G12 walk-in produces great results when the west side refuge is holding ducks. G12 is a timber hole located at the far end of the G pool. Other notable walk-in areas include the Grand River walk-in units located close to the G, A, B, and C pools.
What to Expect When Hunting Fountain Grove
Hunting Among Other Parties at Fountain Grove:
Hunting among other parties competing for ducks is common at Fountain Grove. With that, the staff at Fountain Grove does an exceptional job of managing hunters and creating reasonable space between parties. In the pools where blinds are located, the competition between parties is more intense, and therefore leads to more skybusting and highball calling at ducks. Most walk-in areas at Fountain Grove are separated by a levy or berm, which leads to parties of hunters remaining a respectable distance away from one another.
Best Time of Year to Hunt Fountain Grove:
Early Season at Fountain Grove: Beginning of November to Mid-November
Early season at Fountain Grove consists of low pressure, many species of puddle ducks, and many parties hunting the area. Teal, pintails, and mallards are the primary puddle ducks hunted at Fountain Grove during the early season. The hunting pressure at Fountain Grove during the early season is low, which means ducks respond well to calls and are not overly shy of the blinds and motion decoys. Hunting at any location at Fountain Grove during the early season has proven successful.
Mid-Season at Fountain Grove: Mid-November to Mid-December
Mid-season at Fountain Grove is difficult due to hunter pressure and stale ducks. By the time mid season comes around, the ducks that have been staying at Fountain Grove are accustomed to where the blinds are located and are aware of common strategies that hunters use while hunting. During the mid-season at Fountain Grove, being different than other parties and getting creative with how you set up can lead to success.
Late Season at Fountain Grove: Mid-December to End of Season
Hunting results later in the season at Fountain Grove depend on weather, hunter pressure, and the food available to the ducks. Many seasons, hunters find themselves hunting over ice during the late season at Fountain Grove. If there is an adequate food source available in the area, then mallards, pintails, and divers will utilize the area until the season closes. Hunting Fountain Grove late in the season is stellar if hunters are willing to withstand harsh conditions and wary ducks.
Statewide waterfowl regulations change from season to season. Be sure to check MDC website for specific questions regarding waterfowl regulations.
Do I need a boat to hunt Fountain Grove?
You do not need a boat to hunt at Fountain Grove. Fountain Grove provides john boats, but they do not have a motor. Fountain Grove does provide oars for hunters. Hunters are permitted to bring their own boat.
Do I need a reservation to hunt Fountain Grove?
You do not need a reservation to hunt Fountain Grove. Utilizing the poor line allows hunters to hunt at Fountain Grove without a reservation. If you do have a reservation, you will be guaranteed a spot to hunt for the day.
How many people can I hunt with at Fountain Grove?
Fountain Grove allows parties to have up to four members.
Can parties join up at Fountain Grove?
Fountain Grove does not allow separate parties to join up and hunt together.
Can I bring my dog to Fountain Grove?
You may bring your dog to Fountain Grove. The majority of the pit blinds do not have dog boxes attached. Fountain Grove does allow hunters to bring their own dog boxes.
Is there flooded corn at Fountain Grove?
The weather during the spring, summer, and early fall will determine whether or not there are any agriculture plants at Fountain Grove. When Fountain Grove does have a successful crop, there is flooded corn and beans dispersed throughout the hunting areas and refuges.
When do I have to stop hunting at Fountain Grove?
Walk-in areas are strictly closed at 1 p.m. throughout the season at Fountain Grove. Parties that choose to hunt from a blind may hunt from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Can youth hunters hunt at Fountain Grove?
Youth hunters are allowed to hunt Fountain Grove during youth season which is October 23rd and 24th for the 2021 waterfowl season. Youth hunters may also hunt throughout the year at Fountain Grove.
Is Fountain Grove handicap accessible?
Fountain Grove has one handicap accessible blind located near the A, B, and C pool.
Do I have to be present for my waterfowl reservation at Fountain Grove?
The hunter that was awarded the reservation at Fountain Grove must be present with his or her party the morning of the hunt.
Can you teal hunt at Fountain Grove?
Hunters may hunt teal at Fountain Grove during the north zone designated teal season. Teal hunting at Fountain Grove is contingent upon water levels and moist soil vegetation conditions.
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