Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground in Missouri
Camp Missouri: I’m talking with Dennis today. He’s the Owner of Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground in Missouri. How’s it going today, Dennis?
Dennis: It’s going great, Clint. We’ve got beautiful weather back here, the trees are in a nice color, and we’re getting ready to have some archery hunters come out to our campground, so we’re looking good.
Camp Missouri: Awesome. I was looking at your website. I’m a sportsman myself, and it looks like it would be a great fit for someone like me. Why don’t we start with how long Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground has been there and how you got started?
Dennis: Well, we started it probably around 2008. I retired from the Marine Core and we bought some land in Northern Missouri, and some farmers kept selling us some more that adjoined us, and the wife and I figured out we needed to do something with all this land, so we decided to let it be a nature retreat. So, we have the horse trails, the campground, the lodges, the hunters, and we have other family groups and outings come out. So, just something to do to keep me off the streets at night.
Camp Missouri: Sounds like an outdoorsman paradise. What types of camping do you offer there? Is it everything from tent right up to RVs?
Dennis: Tent up to RV. In fact, we have 12 full RV hook-ups that have 1amp, 10amp, 30amp, or 50amp plugins, plus the water, and we have a dump station. We have two RV sites. One by our main clubhouse that has six sites, and then the other one is over by two of our lodges, and they have six sites also. They’re graveled, large turnaround areas.
Camp Missouri: Okay. Now, why don’t you run me through what all the most popular activities are there? A lot of them just kind of show up on the website here, but for the listeners that can’t see that, when the outdoorsman comes there, what does he have at his disposal?
Dennis: Well, we’ve built a 100-yard, 30-position rifle pistol range, and it’s all covered that have metal fall-down targets and target stands with a huge berm. So, people may target shoot at their leisure. We just have to make sure that they go through a little safety orientation before we get going. We do have a Shotgun Course that’s separate, but we need to have some additional information before we do that. You know, someone to pull traps and set them and things like that. We do have horse trails. We do not provide the horses at this time, but we have many miles of groomed horse trails through the woods. And just a bunch of fishing ponds for the people who are staying here. We don’t let people just drive by and say, “I’m going to go fish on the ponds.” The ponds and all the other activities are for our guests. So, people who are staying here don’t need to worry about just a large group of people just stopping in for the day and pushing them out.
Camp Missouri: Okay. Now, is all the hunting land part of your property as well, if somebody comes down there?
Dennis: Yes, the hunting land is part of my property, and the people that hunt here, one of our requirements is they are either staying in a lodge or in an RV site so we can maintain the number of hunters just due for safety reasons. For all of our hunters, we have prepositioned stands already up. They’re more than happy. They can drag their own stand here, but that’s not necessary. We have 26 prepositioned stands, since we live here, where we know the deer run, and the turkey, and we also provide them with Motorola radios for safety precaution in case they need to call us for any reason. So, we know where everybody is and it works out pretty good.
Camp Missouri: So, pretty much someone just has to come down there, they grab their camo or their blaze orange, depending on what kind of hunting they’re doing, and you pretty much take it from there. Everything they need is going to be there to have a great hunt.
Dennis: That is correct. We do require. They have to show up with enough daylight to get a land orientation to make sure they know where the boundaries are and where all the other stands are. We’ve positioned the stands, even in gun season; no one can shoot anyone from one of the other stands. It’s a physical impossibility because they’re down over a hill or they’re in another draw, but we just want to make sure that everybody knows where everybody is and we have a few rules that, if you get out of your stand, you call out on the radio so everybody knows who’s getting out, and we have an ATV to help people retrieve their deer, so we’re doing pretty good.
Camp Missouri: Perfect. I’m assuming you probably do everything from turkey hunting to deer hunting. Everything right on the property there, yeah?
Dennis: Yes, mostly just deer and turkey. We’re trying to get a bird population started back. We have a few acres where we’re trying to get the quail back, but while they’re starting to come back, it’s not good enough to allow anyone to hunt them yet.
Camp Missouri: Okay, two more questions for you.
Camp Missouri: If you were going to spend just one hour at Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground, Dennis, how do you like to spend your time there?
Dennis: Actually, I just enjoy going out and walking through the woods. It’s so quiet out here. We have no ambient light. The population of this county – the entire country – is only seven thousand people. We have three families that live within five miles of us, so it’s peaceful and quiet, and you can just walk down and see nature in its beauty with no problem. You can see deer and turkey just walking through every once in a while. You might see some bobcat prance around there or see some other critters. We have a lot of raccoon and everything that are kind of friendly, but of course they run when they see you.
Dennis: But it’s just a good nature thing.
Camp Missouri: And you can actually see the stars in a place like that. It’s amazing how many people who live in the city and never really get a chance to get out of a larger city; they don’t actually know what the sky really looks like.
Dennis: That is so correct. We tell people how dark it is out here, and I’ve had people from the city come out and they go: “We know what dark is,” and they have parked their vehicle just right outside of their cabin, haven’t turned on an outside light, and walked out and walked into their truck. It is so dark, but yes, this is where, if you want to see the Milky Way, I’ve had a few campers that have never had someone show them how to find satellites. So, we go out and lay down, and as a young boy, my mother taught me how to find satellites going across the sky at night, and they’re very visible up here.
Camp Missouri: Fun. Oh, what a blast. One more question for you, Dennis.
Camp Missouri: If you were going to spend just one night at Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground, what’s your specific favorite spot to stay at?
Dennis: I like over where we have our two lodges, because it overlooks a large valley where you can just get up in the morning and look out the picture window and see deer down in the pasture or turkey, or anything like that. It’s just nice and peaceful and quiet. One of the great things about our place is we don’t have the restrictions that many State Parks have, where tent camping is at one end of the Park and lodging is at the other end, and RVs are together. We intentionally put RVs close to where some of the lodges are and allow tents right there. So, I’ve had many family reunions where the kids put out the tents, a couple of the adults bring an RV, and then the older adults like me stay inside in the air conditioning. So, everybody is happy.
Camp Missouri: Perfect. Awesome. Well, it’s just hard to imagine somewhere that would be more perfect for an outdoorsman. Everything you’re offering there just sounds absolutely amazing. Dennis, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to chat with us about Middle of Nowhere Ranch and Campground in Missouri.
Dennis: Okay, Clint, thanks for the opportunity and hope to see some folks out here and enjoy beautiful Northern Missouri.