I am not an early adopter. DVD players already were on the market when I bought my first VCR. I only use the I-pod my son gave me to listen to radio, and if I never own a high-definition television, that will be soon enough for me. So I am a little surprised at myself for being genuinely excited about Quick Draw.
Quick Draw is a new, online system for dividing up daily hunting opportunities at state wetland areas. The Conservation Department is testing Quick Draw this year at Grand Pass, Eagle Bluffs and Otter Slough conservation areas. The idea is to give more hunters a chance to enjoy the amazing hunting opportunities these areas offer.
Under the traditional waterfowl reservation system, a September drawing assigns reservations months in advance. Quick Draw allows hunters to apply a few days before they want to hunt.
Why does that matter? Duck hunting is very dependent on weather. Being able to watch the 10-day forecast and apply only on good hunting days will allow me to opt out when hunting is likely to be poor. On the other hand, if I don’t have anything better to do, I can apply to hunt on less-than-perfect days, knowing that most other hunters won't apply, which will give me a better chance of getting one of the best spots. I could have an excellent hunt if I get a choice spot, even on a lackluster day.
Instead of allocating half of each day’s hunting spots to reservation holders, as the traditional system does, Quick Draw assigns 80 percent of hunting spots each day. So, under Quick Draw, eight out of 10 hunters will know before leaving home that they have a place to hunt. What’s more, they will know where they stand in the drawing order. If they are dead last, they can decide to stay home. I really like that. I want to hunt with my son-in-law, but I would hate to ask him to give up a day’s pay to come with me, not even knowing if we are going to hunt.
I plan to take two weeks of vacation in late November, which is when waterfowl migration usually peaks in Missouri. I will apply to hunt ducks at Grand Pass or Eagle Bluffs every day. On days when I don’t draw in, I will be forced to choose between hunting ducks somewhere else or hunting deer. Now that is a sweet dilemma!