Only five days into deer archery season and with less than two months to go until deer firearm season, workers at Missouri’s Peck Ranch Conversation Area are expecting hunters to fill its forests.
“It is always pretty crowded during deer rifle season,” MU researcher Barb Keller said.
The scenic ranch covers more than 23,000 acres of terrain, including forest, hills and limestone, and also hosts numerous birds, deer, mountain lions and other animals.
Since 2011, Peck Ranch has worked to restore elk to Missouri. Elk is a native species to the state but has been absent for more than 100 years.
Keller said reestablishing the species would bring many recreational and economic benefits to Missouri. Today, Peak Ranch has a population of more than 100 elk, which biologists plan to watch and grow to more than 200 before hunting.
“We will start with five tags or less for hunting them the first year, and it will most likely be five to 10 years before reaching that point,” Keller said.
Supervising Editor: Margaux Henquinet