By Jim Low
JEFFERSON CITY — Hunters who want to pursue ducks or geese on wetland areas managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) can start applying for reservations Sept. 1.
All waterfowl hunting applications are handled exclusively online. Hunters have from Sept. 1 through 18 to apply for reservations.
MDC managed wetland areas are identified in the 2013-2014 Waterfowl Hunting Digest. The digest is available from permit vendors statewide, at Conservation Department offices and nature centers, or at mdc.mo.gov.
To apply, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3806. Drawing results will be available Oct. 1 at the same website.
Hunting opportunities at Otter Slough, Eagle Bluffs, and Grand Pass conservation areas will be handled through the Quick Draw system again this year, but with one change.
Instead of allocating one in five hunting spots through the daily “poor-line” drawing, one in four hunting spots will go to “poor-line” hunters.
Quick Draw applications are made a few days before the hunting period. Reservations at the Conservation Department’s other 12 managed wetlands are assigned in September for the entire hunting season.
Whether applying through the traditional reservation system or Quick Draw, hunters need the nine-digit identification number found at the top of hunting permits or next to the bar code on Conservation Heritage Cards.
To apply for reservations under Quick Draw, hunters over age 15 and under age 65 need a small-game hunting and a migratory bird permit.
Hunters under age 16 only need a Conservation Identification Number.
Disabled hunters may apply for disabled-accessible blinds through Quick Draw. For non-Quick Draw areas, hunters may apply by calling the area office on or after Oct. 1.
To qualify for a disabled-accessible blind, you must submit a hunting-method exemption form. These are available at mdc.mo.gov/node/9631 or by calling any MDC Regional Office.
Neither Quick Draw nor the traditional system allows nonresidents to apply for reservations. However, resident hunters who draw reservations can include nonresidents in their hunting parties.
Nonresidents also can take part in the daily, on-site “poor-line” drawings under both systems.
Unclaimed reservations under both the Quick Draw and traditional draw system are added to those available in the “poor line,” where hunters without reservations can draw for a chance to hunt.
Flooding and unusually wet summer weather will affect the availability of hunting spots and the quality of hunting at some areas.
Hunters can use the phone numbers for each area listed in the Waterfowl Hunting Digest to check on hunting conditions before applying for reservations.