"About the closest we come to underused public land in Pike County is on the Mississippi River islands," says Krumwiede. You'll need a boat-preferably at least a 16-footer with a 40 horsepower motor-to access this federally owned land, which helps explain the reduced hunting pressure. Pool 24 extends from Lock 22 at Hannibal, Mo., to Lock 24 at Clarksville, Mo., and there are half a dozen named islands on the Illinois side of the state line worth checking out. Denmark (the largest, at 30 acres), Cottonwood, Willow, Gosline, Crider and Cash lie in Pike County, while Middleton Island is in Calhoun County. Cottonwoods, willows and thick brush can make it hard to see far, but some mature hardwood stands thin out the cover and offer more visibility. Pool 21 (with 8,536 acres in Adams County) and Pool 22 (with 6,861 acres in Adams and Pike counties) offer similar opportunities upriver.