In keeping with Bryant's conservation philosophy, Tara is managed for the sustainable use of a broad spectrum of natural resources. Nearly all of the former croplands on the property have been taken out of production and restored to bottomland hardwood silviculture. Timber is selectively harvested on an 80-year rotation to replicate natural forest conditions and to maintain a diversity of habitats.
The rich alluvial soil and abundance of natural foods make the Mississippi River bottoms incredibly productive for white-tailed deer. Tara began managing its deer herd for hunting by a private club, and later began offering guided deer hunting for bowhunters. Today, Tara is legendary among archers, who come from throughout North America and beyond to hunt its trophy bucks. Since 1995, bowhunters at Tara have taken more than 200 Pope and Young whitetails.
For bird hunting enthusiasts, Tara offers guided turkey hunts in the spring and dove and quail hunting in the fall. During the summer, Tara sponsors youth camps designed to help educate young people about outdoor skills, wildlife management, and conservation. And, its spacious lodge and conference facilities are used for corporate retreats, conferences, family reunions, and weddings. Tara has generously hosted many important conservation conferences and symposia, including a conservation easement workshop for private landowners conducted by Ducks Unlimited.
Although her conservation interests now take her around the world, Bryant clearly feels a special connection to the land at Tara. "We come back here every three or four months for a long weekend," she says. "I enjoy riding along the levee at daybreak and watching the birds and other wildlife. This is a place with great energy."
Bryant firmly believes that wildlife conservation and economic development are not mutually exclusive. In this regard, she hopes Tara will serve as an example that other landowners will follow. "Private lands conservation is critical because the government can't do the job alone. They can make the rules, but it is the private landowners who make the changes."
For more information about planning a trip to Tara, call 601-279-4261, or visit the website at www.tarawildlife.com.