We are delighted to share with you informative "news" style articles about the latest not only in Missouri duck hunting, but all news related to our wonderful sport of duck hunting. We will also publish tips for all levels of hunters as well as product reviews on the latest gear and even recipes for those of you that think you are the next Bobby Flay. In other words, we hope to have something for everyone that browses through our website.
When the Missouri duck hunting season starts, we will be posting videos and pictures on our social media pages so you can see the action we see here in Missouri. If you are a regular follower, we know it will only be a matter of time before you are standing ankle-deep in the mud right next to us waiting for the morning or afternoon duck flight. Enjoy the site and good luck bagging your limit!
Duck hunting in Missouri is very popular, as forty percent of waterfowl migrate through and winter in the Mississippi flyway during the fall migration. Since tens of thousands of waterfowl pass through the area every year, Missouri is centrally located in this flyway and offers duck hunters superior odds of success.
Today, we’re going to talk about why the Show-me State provides so much opportunity to duck hunters. We’ll share some important facts which will help you to decide whether or not Missouri is the right place for your next duck hunt!
What Makes Missouri Special?
South East Missouri produces a great deal of rice and ducks feed on the rice as well as an array of aquatic grasses, crustaceans and insects which are found in rice fields, including (this varies by breed) gnats, leaves and snails. Currently, Missouri is the fifth-largest rice producer in the USA. As you can see, migrating ducks have loads of places to feed in the region.
Savvy duck hunters gravitate towards areas where wintering ducks feed and Missouri has a plethora of these serene wetlands and lush croplands.
Three Hunting Zones are Available
The Missouri Department of Conservation values the input of hunters and revises hunting zones for duck seasons every five years, based on the opinions of hunters, as well as a variety of other variables, including weather, habitat usage, harvest information and waterfowl migration patterns. After data is analyzed, a new set of duck season dates and zones are created and then shared with the public. The last set of zones and hunting dates were released in 2014 and they remain valid today.
The 2016/17 seasons duck hunting dates tentatively will be Oct. 29th through Dec. 27th for the North Zone, Nov. 5 to Jan. 3rd for the Middle Zone and Nov. 24th to January 22nd for the South Zone.
It’s possible to visit hunting areas, such as refuges like Grand Pass Conservation area, where over three hundred thousand ducks (or more!) congregate during peak migration periods.
As well, you should know that non-resident and resident licenses for waterfowl hunting are very inexpensive. A resident small game licenses cost just ten dollars and a non-resident daily licenses is only eleven dollars a day. Permit license holders to shoot up to six ducks per day with a possession limit for ducks is 18 (three times the daily bag limit; varies by species.) . Full rules for licenses, zones and hunting dates are available via the official Missouri Department of Conservation website.
You’ll Access Plenty of Variety
Sometimes, hunters want to bag more than ducks during duck hunts. When this is the case, Missouri offers superb variety. It’s possible to hunt an assortment of species during a duck hunt, such as Snow Geese, Specklebelly Geese and Canadian Geese.
Waterfowl migrate based on the amount of day light , weather and availability of food and this is why so many different species choose to visit Missouri as they fly south for the winter. Waterfowl feed in a range of Missouri environments, including crop fields which are flooded, moist soil marshes, oxbow sloughs and fields which are dry.
South East Missouri is a Great Place to Duck Hunt
In particular, South East Missouri is known for premium duck hunting. This part of the state provides access to an array of public hunting grounds, including Duck Creek, Dark Cypress and Otter Slough. Companies which offer guided duck hunting and other types of waterfowl hunting experiences within South East Missouri also give clients access to private acres which are managed expressly in order to promote successful waterfowl hunting.
Ducks to watch for in Southeast Missouri include Teal, Widgeons, Pintails, Mallards, Gadwalls and Shovelers. Most people are able to bag different species of ducks during one hunt. However, results will vary. Southeast Missouri is a mecca for ducks and other forms of waterfowl and this is why so many people prefer to plan hunts in the area during the winter migration period.
Waterfowl Numbers are Rising
Statistics show that Missouri’s publicly-managed wetlands held 628.347 ducks in total, based on January, 2016 figures. At the end of December, 2015, numbers began to rise above average, due to a stint of warmer weather. All told, the number of ducks in publicly-managed wetlands has almost doubled over the last five years. The previous total for the last five years was 388.446 ducks.
How to Hunt for Ducks in Missouri
The first step is getting appropriate licenses and choosing the right weapon. You’ll need a shotgun in order to hunt waterfowl. Next, you’ll need to decide whether going it alone or booking a guided hunt is best for you. If you have a lot of experience, you may be fine on your own. If you’d like to access the expertise and assistance of a guide, choosing a guided hunting experience may be very smart and practical. A range of companies provide guided hunt experiences to their customers in Southeast Missouri and in other parts of the Show-me State.
Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has given you the hard facts that you need. By showing you why Missouri is the gold standard for duck hunting, we hope to inspire you to plan a duck hunt of your own in this beautiful part of the country.