By Larry Archer
More on the menu than just elk.
As the epicenter of the Department of Conservation’s elk restoration efforts, Peck Ranch Conservation Area’s signature feature dominates visitors’ time and attention.
“The most common use in October is elk viewing,” said Peck Ranch CA Manager Preston Mabry. Driving tours through the area’s refuge, especially when taken right after dawn and right before dusk, offer visitors the best — but not guaranteed — opportunity to view elk. The refuge is closed during parts of October for managed deer hunts, so a check of the department’s website when planning a trip could stave off disappointment.
But Peck Ranch, with its23,763 acres in the Ozarks region of south-central Missouri, has much more to offer in addition to elk. With four natural areas totaling more than 5,800 acres, access to 11 miles of the Ozark Trail, a viewing deck, and several viewing blinds, the opportunity exists for experiencing an abundance of nature.
The area’s combination of woodlands and glades also offers bountiful opportunities for bird watching. More than 50 species of birds have been documented in October at Peck Ranch, and it is included in the Great Missouri Birding Trail. Like a restaurant best known for its most popular dish, Peck Ranch CA has more on the menu than just elk.
Northwest Carter County and eastern Shannon County, northeast of Winona. From Winona, take Route H east 5 miles, then continue east on gravel 7 miles to the area in Carter County.
N37° 3’ 2.7216” | W91° 10’ 28.9776” short.mdc.mo.gov/Z55 417-256-7161
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
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