By the first part of December, the hunting pace slows to a crawl in Missouri. The venison has been cut and wrapped, and that big gobbler you saw in October is now taking up space in your freezer. While short seasons may satisfy some hunters, others stretch their hunting opportunities well into February. Missouri has plenty of hunting opportunities available in January and early February, and ample land on which to explore the prospects. Known as Conservation Areas, the acreage offers a wealth of hunting for species such as pheasants, quail and rabbits, not to mention snow geese. The rabbit hunting is great at Prairie Home Conservation Area. Hunters take late-season pheasants on the Bilby Ranch Lake Conservation Area in the northwestern part of the state. And snow geese usually stack up in good numbers at both the Fountain Grove Wildlife Area and the Squaw Creek Wildlife Area. Contact: Mike Hubbard, Department of Conservation (573-882-9880). There are downloadable maps of the areas open to hunting at www.conservation.state.mo.us/areas/index.htm.