MDC announces habitat status and changes for waterfowl hunters at southeast conservation areas
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Southeast Missouri wetlands are filling up with migrating waterfowl. Wildlife management biologists with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) are preparing for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season in Missouri’s southeast region.
MDC Wildlife Management Biologist Matt Bowyer said hunters need to buy permits before heading to Duck Creek Conservation Area due to ongoing renovations of the area’s headquarters. Bower said only federal waterfowl stamps will be available at Duck Creek so hunters should purchase their hunting permits elsewhere to be prepared.
Also due to the renovations, Duck Creek will hold its draw from a tent set up in front of the area headquarters. Parking availability will be slightly reduced on the area.
“Hunters should come prepared to face the cold weather as the draw will be held outside,” Bowyer said, adding that the tent should provide some protection from rain or snow.
Out on the area, Bowyer said all pools will be flooded this year including Units A and B by the start of duck season, and Pools 2 and 3 will be filled as the trees go into dormancy.
“We expect to enter the season with Units A and B flooded and Pool 2 partially flooded,” Bowyer said. “We expect Duck Creek will be a great place to hunt ducks this year.”
Bowyer said moist soil production was excellent this year with an average acorn crop on the area. Planted crops are limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. He said Duck Creek CA will continue to use the traditional one person/party draws.
At Otter Slough CA, MDC Wildlife Management Biologist Kevin Brunke said hunting permits and federal waterfowl stamps will both be available for purchase during the draw. At Otter Slough, Brunke reports good moist soil, fair planted crops and normal flooding progression on the area. Quick Draw will be used once again at Otter Slough this year.
At Ten Mile Pond CA, Wildlife Management Biologist Josh Hager said in the south zone, moist soil is good and the planted crops are fair. Like Duck Creek CA, hunting permits will not be sold at the Ten Mile Pond draw, but federal waterfowl stamps will be available. Every member draw will be used at Ten Mile Pond.
“We look forward to a great duck season,” Bowyer said. “Duck hunting is a great tradition in southeast Missouri and we are proud to be a part of it.”
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Missouri’s southeast region, contact MDC’s Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau at 573-290-5730. For more information on waterfowl hunting across the state, go online to mdc.mo.gov.