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MDC announces COVID-19 procedural levels for waterfowl managed hunts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – 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 public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MODC/subscriber/topics.

The following list is of conservation areas, procedural levels for 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 huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/waterfowl/waterfowl-managed-hunts/2020-2021-waterfowl-draw-procedures.

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 in-season draw.
Hunt parties will be able to select hunt location.
Poor line only for reservation no-shows.
Vacancies remaining after 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 location.
Poor line for no-shows and 50% of hunt positions.
Vacancies remaining after 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 huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/waterfowl/waterfowl-managed-hunts.

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