The public may hunt on more than 7,000 acres in the Smithville wildlife management area. However, about 2,200 acres of land and water in the Honker Cove Waterfowl Refuge closes seasonally (October 15 – January 31) in accordance with waterfowl regulations. Smithville Lake public hunting land is subject to State and Federal hunting regulations. The public hunting ground is open to all seasons set forth by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Hunters may use rifles, muzzleloaders, or archery methods during open seasons for deer. Other wildlife species that may be hunted include; waterfowl, squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, quail, pheasant, turkey, or coyote. Trapping is also allowed on the public hunting grounds. The boundaries of the public hunting lands and the refuge are shown on the lake brochure available on this web site. Sportsman should familiarize themselves with seasons, limits and other regulations. For more information call the Corps of Engineers at 532-0174.
Tree Stand Policy
- Hunters may use ONLY PORTABLE tree stands and ladders.
- Nails, screws, spikes or damaging materials will not be allowed.
- Stands must be labeled with name, address and phone number.
- Portable tree stands may be placed and remain in the tree during the periods as shown below:
- Waterfowl Refuge:
From 1 September through 14 October
- Wildlife Management Lands:
From 1 September through 15 January
- All stands not conforming to the policy will be removed or destroyed.
Fishing habitat is plentiful at Smithville Lake. More than 4,000 of the lake's 7,190 water surface acres were left uncleared to create the aquatic habitat that should provide excellent fishing. The Missouri Department of Conservation began stocking the lake in 1975 and continues to this day. Species include largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, walleye, white crappie and bluegill. Look for our brush pile maps and coordinates on our home page.