Missouri Department of Conservation announces COVID-19 procedural levels for waterfowl managed hunts

Duck and Waterfowl

Earlier this year, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) made the decision to modify the 2020-2021 waterfowl managed hunt process to assure the safety of hunters and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the first managed hunt application period set to open on Oct. 20, MDC has determined procedural levels for the start of the season for each conservation area. MDC also encourages hunters to review the process throughout the entire waterfowl season as procedural levels may change due to COVID-19 considerations.

MDC is committed to providing hunting opportunities on managed waterfowl areas throughout the season. In order to be more agile during this pandemic, including ensuring the safety of hunters and staff across the state, there was no pre-season application period or draw for the 2020-2021 waterfowl season, as well as no youth season draws.

All reservations, including ADA blinds, will be allocated through the weekly in-season draw. The first application period opens Oct. 20 and results will be announced Oct. 27. The weekly application period opens every Tuesday at 8 a.m. and closes the following Monday at 3 p.m.

Throughout the entire season, hunters will be asked to follow precautionary guidelines to assure the safety of everyone at the conservation area during the morning draw. The guidelines range from red level, which is the most restrictive, to green level, which is the least restrictive.

Throughout the season, procedures could change with limited time to notify hunters. To receive updates as quickly as possible, hunters should subscribe to the “Waterfowl” email update list at THIS LINK.  

The following list is of conservation areas, procedural levels for the season start, and county health departments:

  • K. Leach                     Yellow             Lincoln
  • Bob Brown                  *                     
  • Columbia Bottom        Orange           Saint Louis
  • Duck Creek                 Yellow             Stoddard
  • Eagle Bluffs                 Yellow             Boone
  • Fountain Grove           Green              Livingston
  • Four Rivers                  Green             Vernon
  • Grand Pass                  Green             Saline
  • Marais Temps Clair      Orange           Saint Charles
  • Montrose                      Green             Henry
  • Nodaway Valley           Green              Holt
  • Otter Slough                Yellow              Stoddard
  • Schell-Osage               *         
  • Ted Shanks                  Green              Pike
  • Ten Mile Pond             Yellow               Mississippi

* Bob Brown and Schell-Osage: No morning draw due to construction. The waterfowl hunting only areas will be open for opportunistic waterfowl hunting through self-registration.

Each conservation area’s procedural level is based on input from the county health department and the status of COVID-19 cases in the county. Throughout the season, MDC staff will work with county health departments to ensure areas are using the appropriate restriction level.

Get more details on the procedure at THIS LINK.

Red Level (most restrictive)

  • No staff-hunter contact.
  • No facility use.
  • 100% reservation allocation for residents only through in-season draw.
  • Hunt positions will be pre-assigned.
  • No poor line or vacancy filling.

Orange Level

  • Limited facility use with masks and social distancing employed.
  • 100% reservation allocation for residents only through in-season draw.
  • Hunt parties will be able to select hunt location.
  • No poor line or vacancy filling.

Yellow Level

  • Limited facility use with masks and social distancing employed.
  • 100% reservation allocation for residents only through an in-season draw.
  • Hunt parties will be able to select hunt locations.
  • Poor line only for reservation no-shows.
  • Vacancies remaining after the conclusion of morning drawing will be administered through a self-check system, following procedures used in previous years.

Green Level (least restrictive)

  • Limited facility use with masks and social distancing employed.
  • 50% reservation allocation through in-season.
  • Hunt parties will be able to select hunt locations.
  • Poor line for no-shows and 50% of hunt positions.
  • Vacancies remaining after the conclusion of morning drawing will be administered through a self-check system, following procedures used in previous years.

Hunters can also refer to the MDC website at THIS LINK

MDC has designated the following staff to answer questions hunters may have about the changes to this year’s waterfowl season:

  • Statewide — Joel Porath at 573-522-4115 ext. 3188
  • North Zone — Chris Freeman at (660) 646-6122, Craig Crisler at (660) 446-3371, or Mike Flaspohler at (573) 248-2530
  • Middle Zone — Luke Wehmhoff at 573-624-5821 ext. 4662, Gary Calvert at 636-441-4554 ext. 4180
  • South Zone — Joel Porath at 573-522-4115 ext. 3188