ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Effective in May 2016, all waterfowl blind site draws for the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Upper Mississippi Conservation Area restricted waterfowl hunting zone will be conducted electronically. The biennial (every other year) drawings had been held previously via in-person drawings where hunters were required to be present.
In order to better work with and serve waterfowl hunters, MDC conducted opinion polls during past draws to determine user preferences. When asked about their ability to participate in blind drawing, hunters most often noted schedule conflicts the day of the in-person drawing as the biggest obstacle to participating.
An online application open for longer than one day avoids that difficulty and allows hunters more time to apply. The shift to an electronic drawing also allows it to be held earlier in the year, giving hunters more time for blind site preparation, and affords a larger number of hunters a fair opportunity to participate. The main drawing for Upper Mississippi Conservation Area waterfowl blind sites will continue to be held every other year on even years. Redraws will also be held electronically on odd-numbered years.
Registration for the drawing will be open from May 16-22 at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/waterfowl/waterfowl-where-hunt/upper-mississippi-ca-online-blind-drawing. A map of all blind locations can also be found there. The random electronic drawing will be held May 23. After the drawing is performed, successful applicants will be notified via email. Successful applicants may only be assigned to one blind site. From May 25-June 3 those applicants may choose up to three co-registrants to occupy the blind site with them.
In order to enter the waterfowl blind site drawing, all applicants need to have the proper permits, a conservation ID number, an email address, and a phone number.
All applicants must be at least 16 years old. Those between age 16 and 64 are required to have a current annual Resident or Nonresident Small Game Hunting Permit and a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit. Any honorably discharged military veteran having a service-related disability of sixty percent (60%) or greater, or was a prisoner of war during military service, or any member of the U.S. military currently assigned as a patient to a Warrior Transition Brigade, Warrior Transition Unit, or a military medical center, will only need a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit. Missouri residents age 65 or older only need to have a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit
For more information, call the Upper Mississippi Conservation Area at 573-898-5905 or the MDC St. Louis Regional Office at 636-441-4554.
The Upper Mississippi Conservation Area includes federal lands along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. These federal lands include Pools 24, 25, and 26 and consist of 87 separate tracts totaling 12,500 acres between Melvin Price Lock and Dam and LaGrange.