Fresh AfieldMore posts

Looking Forward to Quick Draw

Oct 13, 2010

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!

Jim Low


Sure Mr. Low, you are going to like quick draw. You work for MDC!!! I agree with you Mr. O'Brien, do away with the pre season draw and have 100% poor line everyday, low numbers hunt, high numbers go home and try another day. To Oct 14th anonymous, your chances of getting a pre season reservation on the 12 remaining draw areas were reduced by 25% this year due to quick draw.

I really understand why some people are excited and some are skeptical. This is because I am kind of both. I am excited that if you get drawn or not drawn you dont have to drive early in the morning and you can decide to go do something else. The skeptical side of me wonders if your regular duck hunters who hunt a lot at these areas are going to decrease their odds because hundreds more people put in for the spots who would have never put the time in to drive down to draw early in the morning. I think this will be the question on whether some people end up with a favorable opinion on this. I personally think that all hunting spots should be open to the draw with no reservations but use the every member draws method. I feel this would still get more people hunting because people are going to always try to fill their parties even if it means getting people that dont hunt a lot. Then you also wouldn't only be drawing from 50% of the spots it would be 100% of the spots which would increase your chances to hunt. I guess the bottom line is some people like me would rather have increased odds at a chance to hunt rather than the comfort of knowing whether I should drive early in the morning to a location. One possibilty is to use the Quick Draw at a couple spots while getting rid of the normal reservation system. This would open more spots at the non reservation locations thus increasing your odds there, but it would still allow people not wanting to get up early and drive the chance at the quick draw locations. The issue I see coming up down here in the south then is that people who dont get drawn at the quick draw locations will flock to the other locations without the quick draw and thus decreasing your odds to draw out there. There arent any easy answers to make everyone happy and I understand that if you dont try new things you will keep getting the same results you have always gotten, but I feel that most hunters(the regulars as I would call them) that I talk to at Otter Slough, Ten Mile Pond, and Duck Creek would rather just increase their odds of hunting each day that they can hunt instead of increasing the possibility of a few times or one time that you know you are going to hunt.

This does sound like a good system. No one likes to get ready for a day in the field only to find out they can't get a spot

I too am excited to give Quick Draw a try, especially at these locations which are fairly remote from home. I have left my home at midnight many times to try to get out at these locations only to pick a high pill and them watch as shooting time comes and goes while I am on the highway headed home. It will be nice to know ahead of time if I can actually get out that day, However I have to ask myself what have we done to the chances of getting out? Time will tell but instead of being one in a hunded trying to get out am I now 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000 trying for those same spots? Also, what is to keep people from entering quick draw and then just not show up? Sure the poor mans line will absorb those vacancies but how many hunters will continue to show up when there is only the chance of drawing 2 spots? Are there any penalties for repeat offenders? Hopefully it will be all avid waterfowlers doing this so that won't become an issue. It will also be intetresting to see the results of how blocking these three locations affected the odds of getting drawn in the Septemeber reservation system. Did you just make it more difficult to get a reservation as all the hunters that normally chose one of those three locations went to the others? I know that for the first time in many years my family got shut out of the early reservation system. As I said, time will tell. If I am able to get out more often than I normally could have, it will be a huge success.

Recent Posts

coyote in snow

Nature's Winter Coat

Jan 19, 2020

When you live outdoors, you need a warm coat. Discover how their fur helps mammals survive the winter months in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Eastern Screech Owl

The Sounds of Winter

Jan 13, 2020

The hills are alive with the sounds of winter. So grab your coat, hat, and gloves and head outdoors to experience the sounds of the season. Discover what to listen for in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles and Eagle Days

Jan 05, 2020

Check out bald eagles and the best places to view them in this week's Discover Nature Note.