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Duck Season Dates and Zone Boundaries Workshops

Feb 14, 2011

15 workshops across Missouri

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host public workshops during March and April to gather hunter input about duck season dates and zone boundary locations. The Department plans to establish duck season dates and zone boundaries that will be in place for the 2011 through 2015 hunting seasons.  Come and voice your opinion at any of the 15 Duck Season Dates and Zone Boundaries Workshops to be held around the state in March and April.

Season and boundary regulations for the next 5 years

Because ducks and other waterfowl migrate across state and international boundaries, ultimate responsibility for their management rests in the hands of federal officials. Missouri’s duck season length and bag limits are based on federal frameworks. Each year, states find out if they may have a liberal, moderate or restrictive duck season based on guidance provided by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This year, MDC will determine duck season dates for the next five years that will apply in the event of liberal, moderate and restrictive duck seasons. This approach will help hunters plan for upcoming seasons by knowing the timing of duck seasons earlier. States also can modify zone boundaries and consider options for a split season every five years.

Public Input

The Conservation Department wants to know how hunters feel about duck season dates and zone boundary locations that have been in place for the past five years and what they would like to see for the next five years. Duck Season Dates and Zone Boundaries Workshops will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates and locations. Details about the workshops are available by calling the number listed for each workshop.

Locations, Dates, and Phone Numbers

  • Columbia, March 7 at the Boone Electric Cooperative, 1413 Rangeline Street 573-882-8388;
  • St Charles, March 10 at Stegton Regency Banquet Center, 1450 Wall Street 636-441-4554 (pre-registration required);
  • St Joseph, March 14 at MDC Northwest Regional Office, 701 James McCarthy Drive 816-271-3100;
  • Blue Springs, March 15 at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Road 816-655-6250;
  • Jackson, March 22 at Knights of Columbus Hall, 3305 N. High (also known as Hwy 61 between Jackson and Fruitland) 573-290-5730;
  • Dexter, March 23 at the National Guard Armory, Hwy 114 East near airport 573-290- 5730;
  • Kennett, March 24 at the Justice Center, corner of the North Bypass (also called Ely) and Floyd 573-290-5730;
  •  Joplin, March 28 at the Wildcat Glade Conservation Area and Audubon Center, 201 W Riviera Drive 417-895-6880;
  • Springfield, March 29 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, 4600 S Chrisman 417-895-6880;
  • Nevada, March 30 at the Vernon County/Nevada Community Center, 200 N Ash Street 417-876-5226;
  • Clinton, March 31 at the Clinton Christian Church, 1201 East Ohio Street 660-885-6981;
  • Mound City, April 4 at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, 5 miles south of Mound City, just off Interstate 29. Take exit 79 and drive 3 miles west on Hwy 159 816-271-3100;
  • Chillicothe, April 5 at Comfort Inn, 606 West Business 36 816-271-3100;
  • Kirksville, April 6 at the MDC Northeast Regional Office, 3500 South Baltimore 660-785-2420;
  • Hannibal, April 7 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1 Columbus Road 573-248-2530.


The suggestion to allow the harvest of wood ducks during the teal season is brought up fairly often. Back in 1981 Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida conducted multi-year experiment to see if the breeding population could handle an early season. This evaluation found that the harvest rate was quite high and would be potentially detrimental to sustaining healthy wood duck populations across the flyways. Additionally, it would be very difficult and expensive to monitor. Discussion of eliminating the special season for KY, TN, and FL was discussed, but the three states were grandfathered into the current federal regulations, which does not allow wood ducks to be harvested during teal season. The wood duck season in these 3 states are only 5-days in length compared to our teal season that may last up to 16 days depending on the teal population status. Examining wood duck harvest alternatives did not stop with there. From 1998 to 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked in cooperation with the Mississippi, Atlantic, and Central flyways to develop a wood duck harvest strategy to address the issues brought up through earlier wood duck population work. In 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service allowed the three flyways to conduct a three-year experiment with a three-bird bag limit to see if kill rates matched expectations and models that had been developed between 1998-2008. This was the last year of the study so the states and flyways are looking at the data to see how the wood duck population is holding up under this new strategy. I hope this background information gives you a better idea of what has been examined in the past and why we have the current regulations. Thanks for the question.

how about an early wood duck season during teal season. make it a 1or 2 bird limit. people wouldnt have such a hard time identifying whats flying and enjoy an early season hunt a little more. People dont admit it often but who hasnt accidently shot a woodie while teal hunting and let it lie for fear of being caught making an honest mistake?

i'll hunt in single digit weather, did it several times this year , but the hunting is usually only good in a few spots. yes the birds are still around in january, but if the creek and slough go to the south zone we would have a 60 season instead of a 90 day season. when it gets below freezing for over a week in january like it has the last couple of years,10, the birds won't use the woods because the ice is thick enough to drive a truck on. i miss the timber as much as the next guy, hopefully the castor will flood this year and provide some great timber mallards.

lance, you may not know but back in the day we used to be in the south zone. The duck season before this last one I had a reservation at Otter Slough the 3rd day of season. 75 degree weather is not considered good duck hunting in my opinion. If hunters that do not agree with south zone season would visit these areas after middle zone season goes out, you will see why we need to be in the south zone. Birds everywhere and they do not care about the ice, and if you are a duck hunter you shouldn't either.

darin, you nuts? do you really want to trade the early november hunts for more late season ice? as i recall we have had great bird counts and hunting in early november the last few years. the woods just are not what they used to be, take what you can get and shoot a limit in the fields

Hello Zac, thanks for the suggestion.  I believe the rationale is to hold it a little bit later so folks can get home from work and grab a bite to eat before coming to the workshop.  I understand your point about not having it too late. We want these opportunities to be accessible for everyone to come and participate. Anyway, I thought I'd just explain why this time has seemed to work pretty well in the past. We'll see you there.

I think the Department needs to look at changing the waterfowl quick draw procedure. I put in almost everyday this season for Otter Slough and was not drawn 1 time. I have been hunting Otter Slough since the early 1980s and is has progressed to be the best hunting area in the state. I think they should go back to poor line hunting only. At least then I did get to hunt 4 or 5 times a year.

Frank, My only suggestion is to offer a workshop a little earlier in the day. Sometimes it is hard for older folk to get out that late in the evening because of limited visibility. Other than that, I've not had a problem with the dates-- keep up the good work.

Duck Creek needs to be in the southern zone as well as Otter Slough. This will give Duck Creek time to get the water in the woods for the late season migrants.

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