Changes to managed waterfowl hunts will start this season. Applications open Sept. 1st. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces changes to its reservation system for managed waterfowl hunts – starting this hunting season.
MDC offers managed waterfowl hunting on more than a dozen conservation areas specially managed with a focus on wetlands. Hunters can apply for a reservation or participate in a daily morning drawing for opportunities to hunt at these areas. MDC also offers waterfowl hunting on other conservation areas. In addition to MDC areas, Missouri offers waterfowl hunting opportunities at numerous other public and private locations around the state.
Changes to the waterfowl reservation system include offering 50 percent of daily hunting positions for the managed-hunt areas through online reservations. Of the 50 percent of spots through online reservations, half will be for pre-season applications and half will be allocated during a weekly in-season application period. The remaining 50 percent of spots will be held for hunters who participate in the daily morning drawing, called the “poor line.”
The pre-season reservation period will run Sept. 1-18 with results posted Oct. 1. The in-season weekly drawings will take place on Monday afternoons with a seven-day application period that opens the Tuesday before and closes the Monday of the draw at 3 p.m. Successful hunters will be notified via email or text message after the draw with their hunt date, location, and pill assignment. “Pills” designate the order hunting parties select their hunting locations on the area. The lower the number, the sooner hunting parties get to select their hunting location.
Another change is that all applicants for waterfowl reservations must have their required permits to apply, and their Federal Duck Stamp to hunt.
One major change to the morning draw system is that only one member from each hunting party will be allowed to draw a number. In the past, several areas allowed each member of the party to draw a number. This approach favored larger parties and resulted in more hunter trips but was unpopular with most hunters.
For more information, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov and search Waterfowl Reservations, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/waterfowl/waterfowl-waterfowl-draws/waterfowl-reservations directly, or get a copy of MDC’s 2019-2020 Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest, available where permits are sold.