To give residents a chance to see some of Missouri’s first free-ranging elk in nearly 150 years, the Missouri Department of Conservation has set up a self-guided driving tour at Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
The route begins at the Peck Ranch office and is marked along the way.
Peck Ranch is located near Winona with entrances off both Highway 19 and U.S. 60.
Peck Ranch is open sunrise to sunset seven days a week–except during managed deer hunts, fall firearms deer season and in the event roads are closed due to weather.
Tours will be closed for deer hunting on the following dates:
•Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 9
•Friday, Nov. 4, through Monday, Nov. 7
•Thursday, Nov. 10, through Tuesday, Nov. 22
•Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4
The best chances of seeing elk are the hours right after sunrise or right before sunset.
“We can’t guarantee an elk sighting, but the tour is a beautiful drive though fields, forests and glades where you can also see deer and other wildlife,” according to a press release from the department.
Note that the gravel roads on Peck Ranch may not be accessible to vehicles without adequate ground clearance, and some roads may also be impassible at times due to high water at stream crossings.
For more information on elk or other area wildlife, visit the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center located near Peck Ranch one mile east of Winona on U.S. 60, or call Twin Pines at 573-325-1381. Twin Pines is open Wednesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
A printable map is available with this story.