Places to Go

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From Missouri Conservationist: Feb 2014

Drury-Mincy Conservation Area

Visit Drury-Mincy Conservation Area (CA) in Taney County for a look at the Missouri Ozarks’ out-of-the-ordinary outdoors. Located in the heart of the White River Glade region, the area features 3,400 acres of forest alongside rolling hills of bluestem glades and post-oak savannas.

Drury-Mincy CA’s diverse landscape makes for a unique mix of wildlife. The area’s typical glade species include the eastern collared lizard, tarantula, and pygmy rattlesnake, as well as unusual plants such as purple beardtongue, fringetree, and Ashe juniper.

The area’s history is as significant to Missouri conservation as the habitat it provides today. The Department’s first white-tailed deer refuge, Drury-Mincy CA harbored one of 14 whitetail herds statewide at the turn of the 20th century. Drury-Mincy deer helped restore whitetail populations across Missouri. Additionally, Drury-Mincy CA was one of three Missouri conservation areas that supported flocks of native wild turkeys. The area provided 300 turkeys for statewide restoration projects during the 1960s.

Today, Drury-Mincy CA offers great wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing. It is a popular destination for bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish, and sucker fishing, as well as squirrel, turkey, and archery deer hunting. A muzzleloader only, Department-managed deer hunt occurs on the area in October for hunters with approved applications. Hunters can hone their skills at the area’s unmanned shooting range.

Wildlife viewers are welcome to explore the area year-round via two hiking trails, the 1.5-mile Bear Cave Trail and shorter Thurman’s Sink Trail. You might also gear up to enjoy nighttime nature viewing and camping at Mincy Camping Area, which provides eight fire rings and eight picnic tables, as well as privies.

Because the area contains mostly glade and woodland habitat, managers use prescribed fire to maintain Drury-Mincy CA’s natural diversity. A prescribed-fire rotation puts fire on roughly 80 percent of the area’s 5,699 acres every three to five years. Managers plant 50 to 75 acres of high-quality green browse and small-grain food plots annually as supplemental food sources for deer, turkey, and small-game populations. Additionally, the Department manages the corridor along Bee Creek to prevent streambank erosion and provide critical habitat for the endangered Swainson’s warbler and other Neotropical migrant songbirds.

Drury-Mincy CA is located just southeast of Branson off Route J. For more information, visit the website listed below.

—Rebecca Martin, photo by Jim Rathert

  • Recreation opportunities: bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, shooting range
  • Unique features: This area features unusual species of glade plants and animals and was Missouri’s first white-tailed deer refuge.
  • For More Information: call 417-256-7161 or visit

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler