Abundant waterfowl draw hunters … and more.
By Larry Archer
Like most conservation areas, Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area (CA) in southeast Missouri’s Mississippi County is off the beaten path, but this time of year, there’s plenty of traffic, according to Wildlife Management Biologist Josh Hager, the area’s manager.
“During December, we’re pretty much exclusively open for waterfowl hunting,” Hager said. “Everything else shuts down, and we’re pretty much a managed hunt for waterfowl.”
The 3,755-acre area’s location in the Mississippi River flyway, and its combination of managed wetlands and cropland, makes Ten Mile Pond CA a destination for migrating and wintering waterfowl.
That, in turn, makes the area, one of the department’s 15 intensively managed wetlands, a destination for waterfowl hunters.
Throughout the waterfowl season, up to 100 prospective hunters regularly show up before dawn to draw for one of the area’s 12 to 22 hunting spots. And waterfowl hunters are not the only ones attracted to the abundant game, Hager said.
“The eagles feed on the snow geese pretty heavily,” he said. “You can find an eagle most days down here, but where you might find one or two in the fall, there might be 60 or 80 during the winter when the snow geese are here.”
In the winter months, the wetlands at Ten Mile Pond CA in southeast Missouri draw a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds, including large flocks of mallards.
“We manage for migrating and wintering waterfowl. That’s our number-one goal.”
—Ten Mile Pond CA Manager Josh Hager
Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area consists of 3,755 acres in Mississippi County. From East Prairie, take Highway 80 east, then take gravel County Road 515 south 5 miles to the tee. At the tee, go left 300 yards to headquarters on the right.
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler