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Wednesday
Aug012012

Needmore Game Land

Description

The 4,400-acre Needmore Game Land follows along a 27-mile stretch of the Little Tennessee River and is home to several rare native plants and aquatic animals. The Game Land consists of one contiguous 4,000-acre tract and twelve smaller tracts, some of which are accessible only by boat. Consult a North Carolina Game Lands Map Book for more information. Habitat management across the Needmore Game Land, including prescribed burning, timber harvest and thinning, mowing, herbicide applications, nest box programs and food plot management, supports a variety of forest and shrub-scrub bird species. The Queen Brach access - adjacent to a property by the same name owned by the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee - provides nice opportunities to view early successional species in habitats consisting of native warm season grasses with scrub/shrub and food plots intermixed. Watch for Northern Bobwhite, Indigo Bunting, Yellow-breasted Chat, Prairie Warbler, Eastern Meadowlark, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow and Eastern Kingbird. Along Lower Needmore Road, the Little Tennessee River parallels the Game Land for about a mile and offers opportunities to watch for migrating waterfowl and waterbirds. Continue to the end of Lower Needmore Road to access the 50-acre Brush Creek Farm, where early successional habitat, prescribed burn areas and beaver ponds are available for exploration.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow

Habitat

oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine, early successional, floodplain forest, river/stream

Special Features/Concerns

While on the Game Land, be sure to keep clear of tractors and other agricultural equipment. Numerous barbed wire fences run thru fields and forested areas. Entry is prohibited in and around any structures such as barns, houses, spring houses, old home site foundations, etc. Hunting is allowed on Needmore Game Land during certain times of the year. Birders should be aware of current hunting regulations and seasons, and take adequate safety precautions during those times. For more on hunting precautions, see the hunting season information at the beginning of this guide.

Access and Parking

The Game Land can be accessed daily during daylight hours.

Directions

From Main Street in Franklin, travel 11 miles north on NC 28 to the Queen Branch parking area (owned and managed by the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee) on the left. Access to the state-owned land is approximately 100 feet down the gated access road. From the Queen Branch area, travel 4 miles north on NC 28 and turn left on Lower Needmore Road. Travel 1.4 miles to the parking area near the swinging bridge over the river. Additional parking can be found at the end of the road.

Google Directions

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