Everything You Need to Know About Missouri Duck Hunting

Last updated on February 15th, 2023 at 07:04 am.

missouri duck hunting guides

Waterfowl Hunting In Missouri

As the Waterfowl season draws nearer, duck hunting enthusiasts are on the lookout for the best areas for waterfowl hunts. And that’s just the start of their worries. That’s because Waterfowl hunters have to take care of several other factors as well. These include guns, gear, time, permits, and alternative locations.

Your ideal duck hunting location should have a reliable waterfowl habitat and should be included within the flyway, aka the ‘bird migration route.’

Missouri Duck Hunting

missouri duck season

The good news is that Missouri is an important part of this flyway as over 14 million ducks pass through here, providing some amazing North American hunting opportunities to duck hunters. But this route is also the preferred migration channel for waterfowls and several other kinds of birds, including Mallards and Wood Ducks.

This is why Missouri is the perfect place to go for duck hunting. It has all the components needed to help hunters find an abundance of waterfowls with ease.

Let’s explore Missouri waterfowl hunting opportunities in detail, with tips to help first-timers get around the system and experience the thrill of shooting these migratory birds.

Can I Go Duck Hunting In The State Of Missouri?

Of course! Missouri has set up 15 conservation areas for this purpose, and you are more than welcome to help yourself. Granted, you have the right permits and hunting arsenal at hand.

That makes Missouri one of the best destinations for duck hunting. From the large agricultural fields to Wetlands in the North, Missouri has various locations and acres upon acres of land only for you to hunt ducks.

Additionally, you’ll be amazed by the fantastic variety of migratory birds that go through here, making it a truly great experience for midwest duck hunting.

All in all, Missouri is one of the best areas within the Mississippi Flyway to offer goose and duck hunting. Missouri duck hunts provide excellent opportunities to find swarms of widgeon, pintails, teal, gadwall, mallards, Canada Geese and Specks. In addition, you can find Snow Geese in abundance around the Mound City area.

When Can You Duck Hunt In Missouri in 2022?

Waterfowl season is Missouri is as follows:

Middle Zone: Nov. 11, 2022 – Feb. 6, 2023.

You can only start shooting half an hour before sunrise, and hunting goes on till sunset.

missouri duck season

So, the Missouri waterfowl hunting season starts around Thanksgiving till the end of Jan, which makes Christmas the perfect time to go hunting. However, weather patterns are expected to get quite unpredictable around this time, and there is no saying if the weather will be ideal for waterfowl hunting.

It’d be a good idea to arrive prepared for inclement weather.

The Best Duck Hunting Areas In Missouri

Missouri duck hunting location

Hunting zones have been divided between Southern, Central, and Northern Missouri.

And, as mentioned earlier, the state intensively manages 15 properties for Missouri Waterfowl hunting. Blinds for 6 of these can be allocated via a reservation system, and you can apply for these early in September.

Next, hunters who show up for a draw every morning can claim the blinds for 6 of the remaining properties.

And finally, the three remaining places are essentially quick draw areas that allocate no more than 75% of blinds in advance. Hunts are held Tuesday through Thursday and Friday through Monday.

Missouri has several public hunting opportunities for everyone else, so be sure to ask about them when getting permits.

One of the best areas for public hunting is the Upper Mississippi Conservation Area, along with pools 26, 25, and 24 of the Big Muddy. There are also good hunting spots at Mingo NWR and Swan Lake NWR, but you may have to scour for available hunting spots.

The Missouri Confluence Area counties St. Charles and Lincoln are a great waterfowl hunting grounds with over 200 duck clubs, many of which were established over 200 years ago. This area spans over 40,000 acres on state conversation areas, tracts, and national wildlife refuges.

Most properties on this land provide Missouri residents and non-residents with good opportunities to hunt Waterfowl.

How Good Is Missouri For Duck Hunting?

The Mississippi River runs along the eastern half of this state. It cuts through central Missouri before entering the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, making it the ideal route for Waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Waterfowl are also growing in number because the winters are warmer the past few decades, helping retain the waterfowl habitat.

A study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated that in 2015, waterfowl hunters hunted over 400,000 ducks, with more than 200,000 being mallards. Due to the Mississippi flyway, ducks stop by during their migration, making it a prime destination for waterfowl hunters.

What Ducks Are Off-Limits To Hunters In Missouri?

You do need to be careful during Missouri waterfowl hunting because certain types of ducks are completely off-limits. For example, the wood, northern pintail, and northern shoveler ducks are illegal to hunt. But they look a lot like the very legal green-winged, blue-winged, and cinnamon teal ducks, and they all have similar plumage.

So be careful and know your duck before you go duck hunting.

What Flyway Does Missouri Come Under?

Birds have specific migration routes. Mississippi happens to have migration patterns or Flyway known as the Mississippi Flyway, which includes fourteen states, starting from North: Minnesota to Michigan and ending in the South: Louisiana to Alabama.

More than half of the U.S’s waterfowl hunters live within the Mississippi Flyway. Missouri comes in the Mississippi Flyway, a route following Mississippi, Missouri, and the Lower Ohio Rivers in the U.S across the Great Lakes in the west, to the Hudson Bay and Mackenzie River in Canada.

What Licenses Or Permits Do You Need For Missouri Waterfowl Hunting?

There are several legalities you should be aware of before venturing out on great hunts. Firstly, there is a limit to the number of ducks and geese you get to harvest per day. The general possession limit per hunter is six ducks in a day.

Here are some of the specific limitations on the species and their daily bag limit numbers:

duck hunting dog

·        Pintails: one

·        Mallard: four (but only two hens)

·        Scaup: three

·        Redheads: two

·        Canvasbacks: two

·        Black ducks: two

There are generally three permits required when going waterfowl hunting:

  • The Federal Duck Stamp
  • Migratory Bird Hunting Permit
  • Small Game Hunting or Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit or an equivalent

If you are coming to Missouri from out-of-state, that makes you a non-resident waterfowl hunter. You’ll need the following permits:

  • Federal Duck Stamp
  • Non-resident Small Game Hunting Permit
  • Migratory Bird Hunting Permit

You can get info on pricing at the Missouri Department Of Conservation Website.

Young hunters aged 15 and above have to be accompanied by an adult (at least 18 years old) and do not need permits for waterfowl hunting. However, suppose the youth hunter does not have certification in hunting. In that case, the accompanying adult needs to have a small game hunting permit and a hunter-education certificate (unless they were born any time before 1967.)

There is also a requirement for non-toxic shots, approved by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, shells being used or possessed during waterfowl hunting must be made up of non-toxic materials.

Waterfowl hunting lodge in SE Missouri in the famed Bootheel. Assisting waterfowl-guided duck hunts with lodging/camping.

Lodges & Resorts in the Bootheel of Missouri

Chaonia Landing Resort & Marina is the #1 Lodging in Williamsville found on TripAdvisor. The cabins are located on a narrow point between Wappapello Lake and the Chaonia Cove and are completely furnished.

Bootheel Lodge is the premier lodge in the Bootheel of Missouri & by far the most economical choice for lodging while hunting the flooded fields of SE Missouri. They are a local, family-owned lodge that is set up specifically with the waterfowl hunter in mind. From the dog kennels, mojo charging stations, ATV storage and bird cleaning stations we tried not to miss a beat for all hunters because we are hunters. It’s created with a guided duck hunt in mind.

Bootheel Bottoms Missouri Duck Club

The Missouri Duck Club operates in an area of over 10,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in the heart of prime Missouri bootheel waterfowl space including a 10-acre lake, and hundreds of acres of flooded timber.

Hunting spots include flooded timber, open water, sloughs, corn, rice, millet fields/plots. They have 200-acre reserve for ducks that have corn, beans, and rice planted in them. BBHC can offer just about any hunting experience you could ask for. They offer hunts from duck blinds, pits, skid blinds, and flooded timber duck hunts. They use a side x sides on tracks or boats for all hunting locations.

Check Missouri Duck Hunting Prices.

Gateway River Outfitters & missouri duck hunting guides

Gateway River Outfitters, offer top-quality guide service for duck and goose hunts, as well as spring turkey hunts. They are known to have the highest caliber of guides in Missouri.

You can find hunting permits and regulations at the Missouri Conservation Commission.

In Conclusion

Missouri Duck Hunting

Missouri duck hunting is a popular activity as southwest Missouri and Northwest Missouri is ideal for it. You can find a wide variety of ducks in the Show Me state and spend the holidays with your family, bonding while doing this incredibly special activity.

Don’t forget to apply for the permits well in time before the hunting season begins. Remember the possession and bird-hunting limits per day, and don’t forget to have fun. After the past two years, or so of consistent lockdowns due to Coronavirus, Missouri waterfowl hunting is a welcome hobby to partake in. 

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