Hunting in the Branson area
Although whitetail deer, squirrel, quail, turkey, rabbits and other native wildlife have historically been a source of food for many residents of Ozark Mountain Country, few Branson visitors arrive with hunting gear.
Yes, deer and wild turkey are plentiful here and public hunting grounds are available. (Some communities even allow archers to help thin their ever-expanding deer herds during Missouri’s regular hunting season.) However, the wooded hills and hollows surrounding Branson are not conducive to growing large, trophy-sized deer as are areas elsewhere with good croplands. Also, thanks to the boom in tourism over the past dozen or so years many of the once popular deer, quail and turkey hunting grounds are now dotted with homes and businesses.
The three large lakes near Branson—Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals—host some flocks of migrating ducks and geese every Autumn which brings good sport to mostly local waterfowl hunters. Avid waterfowlers, though, prefer hunting around stronger flyway waters closer to the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
Over the past few years some enterprising folks have opened commercial hunting preserves within an easy drive from Branson that cater to quail, pheasant, deer and wild turkey hunters. (Click on “Hunting Preserves Near Branson.”) And if you really need to shoot some shells on your next trip to Branson, Ozarks Shooters Sports Complex (ozarkshooters.com/) is just a few miles north on Highway 65. Don’t be surprised to see some of Branson’s celebrities on the range, as quite a few are avid gunners. On the other hand, if you insist on hunting be sure to check with the Missouri Department of Conservation (www.mo.gov) for regulations, licensing requirements and listings of public hunting lands.
Posted in Hunting
on November 1st, 2011
Hunting deer is a cherished autumn tradition for thousands of Missourians each year. Enthusiasts take vacation time so that they can join friends and family in this fall ritual. As the leaves fall from the trees and the chill is felt in the air, the hunter’s carefully planned strategies get laid out in anticipation of the hunting season. As the thrill of the hunt is anticipated, each generation shares their knowledge, skill, and safety habits with the next generation. With hunters concentrated in the woods for a short season, proper safety habits are paramount for both hunters and those that do not hunt, but enjoy hiking in the woods
The firearms deer hunting season is made up of the following seasonal segments that provide hunters with many opportunities to take deer while helping to maintain a healthy deer population.
- Urban zones: Oct. 7-10 only in selected areas
- Early youth: Nov. 5-6 statewide
- November: Nov.12-22 statewide
- Antlerless: Nov. 23-Dec. 4 only in selected areas
- Muzzleloader: Dec. 17-27 statewide
- Late youth: Jan. 7-8, 2012, statewide
So good luck in your hunt, and be safe.
PS: Don’t you wish southern Missouri whitetails grew racks like the red dear in this beautiful photo!