Quick Draw application period approaching

News from the region
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.–Missouri residents can apply for hunting spots at Grand Pass, Eagle Bluffs, and Otter Slough conservation areas (CAs) under the Quick Draw system starting a week before the season opener.

The Missouri Department of Conservation uses Quick Draw to make hunting at these three state-managed wetlands more convenient and accessible to more hunters. The system reserves one-quarter of all hunting spots for hunters without reservations. In practice, however, significantly more spots are available to hunters who use this “poor line” option, because not all reservation holders show up to use them.

Hunters can register for the first drawing at Grand Pass CA starting at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 17 and closing at 3 p.m. Oct. 20. The initial registration period for hunting at Eagle Bluffs and Otter Slough CAs opens at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 24 and closes at 3 p.m. Oct. 27.

After the initial drawing in each zone, applications will be open from 12:01 a.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Monday for reservations on the following Friday through Monday. Applications will be open from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday through 3 p.m. Thursday for reservations the following Tuesday through Thursday.

All three areas under Quick Draw will use the system to assign ADA-accessible blinds. Drawings for the youth waterfowl season will be handled as in the past.

The Quick Draw registration form, drawing results, and detailed information about the system are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/9532. Successful applicants who provide email contact information can receive notification of Quick Draw results at 8 p.m. the day of the drawing. Results are available online at 12:01 a.m. the morning following the drawing.

Hunters without reservations compete for available hunting spots by taking part in drawings at the three Quick Draw areas each morning. Hunters who participate in this drawing, popularly known as the “poor line,” compete for one-quarter of all hunting spots, plus the spots of any successful Quick Draw applicants who do not show up. Historically, poor-line hunters have received more than 50 percent of hunting spots, thanks to reservation holder no-shows.

The traditional waterfowl hunting reservation system is in effect at the Conservation Department’s 12 other managed wetland areas. The application deadline for that system has passed. Results are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/9632.

Quick Draw is designed to encourage new hunters to visit state-managed wetland areas. It also allows hunters to plan visits to these areas based on changing weather conditions and reduces wasted driving time and expense.

The three Quick Draw areas offer walk-in hunting opportunities, which makes duck hunting possible with minimal investment in equipment. All a hunter needs is a shotgun, waders, a few decoys, and the necessary permits and duck stamp. Practical tips for beginning duck hunters are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/7030.