Fall Managed Waterfowl Reservations Open Sept. 1
MDC offers managed waterfowl hunting on more than a dozen conservation areas, specially managed with a focus on wetlands
The pre-season reservation period for MDC managed waterfowl hunts will run Sept. 1–18 with results posted Oct. 1. The in-season weekly drawings will take place on Monday afternoons with a seven-day application period that opens the Tuesday before and closes the Monday of the draw at 3 p.m.
Missouri residents and qualifying nonresidents, such as students from out of state or members of the military stationed in Missouri, can apply online for a reservation to guarantee an opportunity to hunt on a specific day on a specific area. Residents and nonresidents can also arrive at a managed waterfowl hunting area the morning they wish to hunt and wait in line for the possibility of getting a hunting spot.
Applicants for waterfowl reservations must have their required permits to apply, and their Federal Duck Stamp to hunt.
MDC also offers waterfowl hunting opportunities on other conservation areas. In addition, Missouri offers waterfowl hunting opportunities at numerous public and private locations around the state.
For this fall, the waterfowl reservation system will offer 50 percent of daily hunting positions for the managed-hunt areas through online reservations. Of the 50 percent of spots allotted through online reservations, half will be for pre-season applications and half will be allocated during a weekly in-season application period. The remaining 50 percent of spots will be held for hunters who participate in the daily morning drawing and wait in the “poor line” for the possibility of getting a hunting spot.
“Under this reservation system, if an area offers 20 daily hunting positions, five will be allocated through pre-season reservations and five through in-season reservations,” explained Joel Porath, who coordinates managed waterfowl hunts for MDC. “The remaining 10 positions will be allocated to hunters from the poor line the morning of each hunt.”
Successful pre-season and in-season reservation applicants will be notified after their respective draws via email or text message with their hunt date, location, and pill assignment. “Pills” designate the order hunting parties select their hunting locations on the area. The lower the number, the sooner hunting parties get to select their hunting location.
“This will let reservation holders know before they leave their homes if their randomly generated number will enable them to be one of the first, middle, or last parties to pick their hunting location,” said Porath.
Only one member from each hunting party will be allowed to have a staff member pull a pill for their respective party. Residents and nonresidents can hunt with a reservation holder, but hunting parties are limited to a maximum of four people.
Hunters with disabilities can apply to use ADA hunting blinds through the online reservation system during the same timeframe as the pre-season application period. ADA blinds that are not selected and allocated during the pre-season drawing will be placed in the weekly in-season draws.
“As with last season, MDC is prepared to use COVID-19 modifications implemented in the 2020–2021 waterfowl managed hunt process to assure the safety of hunters and staff if COVID conditions this season warrant these steps,” Porath added. “These steps include staff working to implement plans to allocate hunting locations this season for vacant positions so hunting spots don’t go unused.”
For more information, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Zj5 or get a copy of the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2021–2022, available online and where permits are sold.
MDC Welcomes Margy Eckelkamp to Conservation Commission
The Missouri Conservation Commission and MDC welcome Margaret “Margy” F. Eckelkamp of Washington as the newest member of the four-person commission. The Franklin County resident was appointed by Governor Mike Parson July 30 to serve a six-year term expiring June 30, 2027. The appointment is pending confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
Eckelkamp replaces Don Bedell of Sikeston, whose second six-year term as a commissioner expired June 30. As a commissioner, Eckelkamp joins Commission Chair Barry Orscheln of Columbia, Commission Vice Chair Mark McHenry of Kansas City, and Commission Secretary Dr. Steven Harrison of Rolla.
“We’re elated with Governor Parson’s choice to appoint Margy to the Missouri Department of Conservation Commission,” said Commission Chair Barry Orscheln. “Her background in agriculture, and as a journalist, complements our mission to protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state and to facilitate and provide opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. She will be a great asset for conservation, and we look forward to working with her.”
Born in Columbia, Eckelkamp moved with her family to South Carolina as a child. She returned to Missouri in 2002 and lives in Washington with her husband, William Jr., and their two children, 6-year-old William III and 2-year-old Lucille.
Eckelkamp enjoys hiking, wildlife watching, and fishing on the family pond. Her husband is an avid hunter and angler and takes every opportunity to introduce their children to the outdoors.
“I am very honored and humbled to be able to serve as a conservation commissioner,” Eckelkamp said. “I look forward to bringing my personal passion for conservation as well as my professional background in agriculture and communications to help the commission and MDC in the work we do.”
She added, “The driving goal of conservation is to ensure the next generation has the same or better opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. As a mother of two young children, it is also personally important for me to make sure we conserve nature for future generations. Missouri is rich in opportunities for all citizens to be outside and appreciate the natural resources and wildlife the state has to offer.” Eckelkamp is a 2006 graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism with a minor in agricultural economics.
She is the editor of The Scoop for the Farm Journal. She also serves as a mentor and network member for AgLaunch, a technology accelerator, and for Missouri State University’s Missouri Small Business Development Center.
The Missouri Conservation Commission consists of four members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve six-year terms with no salary or other compensation with not more than two allowed from the same political party. Their responsibilities include appointing the MDC director, serving as MDC policy makers, approving regulations of the Wildlife Code of Missouri, strategic planning, and budget development and major expenditure decisions. For more on the commission, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov/commissioners.
Corporal Marc Bagley,
Large flocks of blue-winged teal are among the earliest ducks to migrate south during fall, flying in during wet, cool fronts. If you are hunting during teal season, Sept. 11–26, scouting is key. Get out and seek places you might find birds. Teal are opportunistic waterbirds that land wherever they can find water. Three things to remember before hunting this season. First, don’t shoot too early. Shoot time is at sunrise. Second, be sure of your bird ID. Teal are often confused with shovelnose, pintails, and wood ducks. Third, you must have a Small Game Hunting Permit, a Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, and a Federal Duck Stamp. For more information, refer to the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2020–2021 at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZVp.
Zebra Swallowtail Egg
A female zebra swallowtail butterfly deposits her eggs on leaves one at a time, which provides two advantages. First, less competition for food among emerging caterpillars. Second, reduced risk of a female’s entire brood being attacked by a predator or a parasite. Zebra swallowtail caterpillars depend on the foliage from pawpaw trees, so they are usually found in the same habitat as their food plants, which in this case, is bottomland forests.
This Issue's Staff
Angie Daly Morfeld