This forested area near Truman Reservoir offers good hunting, hiking and nature viewing.
If you’re planning to hunt turkey or view spring flowering trees around Truman Reservoir in Benton County this month, give Granny’s Acres CA a try. This 351-acre area offers good squirrel, turkey and deer hunting in season, and its hardwood forest will be graced with dogwood, redbud and woolly buckthorn blossoms.
This formerly inaccessible area had a history of frequent wildfires before the Department acquired it in the 1960s. Those fires destroyed the area’s timber potential but created a diverse plant community, including trees with cavities that provide habitat for birds and small wildlife. Today, managers are using prescribed fire and other techniques to restore the area’s dolomite glades (a rocky, desert-like type of habitat), maintain the limestone oak/hickory woodland plant community and restore the riparian forest along Whig Creek. These management practices maintain the area’s diverse wildlife habitat and support good populations of turkey, deer and squirrel.
In 2008, the Department acquired an additional 31-acre tract, and it added a small, three-car parking lot in 2009. Thanks to these improvements, visitors can now park at the area and hike in for hunting and nature viewing. Spring turkey hunting is always challenging and can be very rewarding at Granny’s Acres—if you’re willing to hike.
Nearly four miles of mapped, signed hiking trails allow you to range widely over the area’s diverse topography. The trails are not for the faint of heart, however. Granny’s Acres is a very rocky area with steep hills with some long climbs along glades and old-growth woodlands.
Birders will appreciate seeing and hearing such species as summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, field sparrow, eastern towhee, red-eyed vireo, white-eyed vireo, eastern bluebird, yellow-bellied cuckoo, yellow-breasted chat, red shouldered hawk and broad-winged hawk. Other fun-to-watch wildlife includes scorpions, box turtles, five-lined skinks and fence lizards. Come back later in the spring and summer to see lead plant, goat’s rue, blazing star, purple coneflower, Missouri coneflower, rose verbena, asters and purple milkweed.
The area is open to statewide regulations for deer and turkey hunting. As always, visit the area’s Web page (listed below) for a look at the regulations and to download the map and brochure.
Bonnie Chasteen, photo by Cliff White
Recreation opportunities: Bird watching, hunting and hiking
Unique features: Forests, glades, savannas, woodlands and grasslands
For More Information Call 660-530-5500 or visit www.mdc.mo.gov/a6520.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler