Outdoor enthusiasts from all over flock to the Ozarks because of the abundance of hiking trail systems, designated wilderness areas, beautiful lakes and streams and fascinating wildlife. If you visit with the intention of exploring the wilderness of this area of the country, you’re bound to run into countless scurrying, flying, slithering or crawling critters.
The exciting part of delving into the outdoors is you’re never quite sure of what you’ll find, but the Ozarks are full of exciting things to discover and Branson Shows wants to get you up to speed on what you can expect to find as you explore.
Here are a few mammals you might encounter in the wild outdoors of Branson, Missouri, so try identifying them if you see them!
- Badger: These little guys are part of the rodent club. Look for a white and black pattern on their faces or large claws that help with digging.
- Bobcat: You’re lucky if you come across one of these because they are absolutely beautiful. If it looks like a bigger version of your spotted housecat back at home, you’ll know it’s a Bobcat.
- Eastern Cottontail Rabbit: This cute little bunny has a white belly and the underside of its tail resembles the fluffy cotton balls you keep in your bathroom.
- Skunk: You’re more likely to see the striped kind than the rare spotted ones, but either way, don’t get too close or you’ll risk sitting alone for the rest of your trip.
- White-Tailed Deer: You’re bound to see this reddish-brown beauty all over the forests of the Ozarks. Just look for the white tail, like the name says.
- Groundhog: Also in the rodent family, this cute creature has a distinct flat and bush tail. If you manage to sneak up on one, you might just get lucky and hear it make a loud whistling sound.
- Red Fox: Similar in appearance to a small, reddish dog, the fox is commonly found in Missouri, but prefer the borders of densely wooded areas. These guys are experts at evading human contact, so if you do spot one it’s sure to dart away before you can even snap a photo.
Almost 70 species of wild mammals live in Missouri, so for a complete list visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.
Enjoy the Ozarks as you set out on your outdoor escapade, but remember to keep a few things in mind.
- If you see a baby animal all alone, its mother probably hasn’t abandoned it. Mammals often have to leave their young for long durations of time to hunt.
- Remember that if you temporarily adopt an animal from the wild, once you return it to its natural habitat, it’s unlikely to survive.
- Don’t touch any wild mammals because they can carry all kinds of diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
- As difficult as it may be, don’t touch, adopt or move an injured animal. The smartest thing to do is to leave it where you found it and let nature take it’s course.
For more information on wilderness exploration during your vacation to Branson, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/articles/SurvivalTipsforWildernessVacations.htm.