Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

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Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby knockemdeadd » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:33 pm

I'll go first, since I kinda did, already :biggrin:

I can only speak for the Middle Zone, since thats where I hunt.

Nov....Jan December closed, since we only get 60 days

Reason: Tired of being covered up in ducks after the current season closes, while we're huntin honks.



Other ideas are definitely welcomed, lets here em please?!
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby swampchicken » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:07 pm

Season is fine just the way it is. If you cant kill ducks during the dates they are now how do you think your going to kill more during the dates you want?
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby 870shooter » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:28 pm

I would be for it, I have seen places in the middle zone load up with ducks after the season is closed. The only downfall I could see would be the possibility of it being froze up more in Jan. But then that happens in Dec too so who's to say. Missouri weather. Two days ago it was 70 degrees and I drove home from work today in a heavy snowfall. :lol3:
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby golden6432 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:30 am

I just think they need to move the start and finish days back. Dont start the season till the 2nd week in Nov. and run it till the end of Jan. Plus have goose and duck open at the same time. We have more ducks around here right now then i have seen all year. We had 1500 mallards come land right in our face 2 weeks ago while goose hunting. with the warm weather, I think just puching the season back would work better.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby talltimber » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:11 am

I like it fine like it is. I hunt middle and south zones.
You guys think maybe the reason you see ducks after middle closes is because, well, it's closed??
I don't understand how it's that hard to understand. Ducks do what they do.
You move the season end forward two weeks and it'll be the same thing. Pressure sends the ducks to unpressured areas. Hunt the south zone on the line during ar split, it don't take a week for them to figure it out. Mo closes and guess what, the field you hunted a week ago in mo are stacked.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby golden6432 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:53 am

I hunt the north zone. The first 2 weeks are about pointless unless you go hunt a duck park. Everyone knows that crap gets old. We did ok this year. Either way we all know no matter what they do we will all still be out there trying our luck.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby CuivreDog » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:41 am

talltimber wrote:You guys think maybe the reason you see ducks after middle closes is because, well, it's closed??
I don't understand how it's that hard to understand. Ducks do what they do.
You move the season end forward two weeks and it'll be the same thing. Pressure sends the ducks to unpressured areas. Hunt the south zone on the line during ar split, it don't take a week for them to figure it out. Mo closes and guess what, the field you hunted a week ago in mo are stacked.


And that right there says it all! Finally, a voice of reason! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

BTW - I may also add that there is a thing called "reverse migration" Ducks follow the freeze line when migrating either south or north. You think maybe the reason you all are seeing all these ducks while out goose hunting lately is that there is no pressure due to season closure and open water due to warm temps? Some of these ducks you are seeing right now aren't just getting here from the north but rather traveling back up from the south due to lack of hunting pressure/open water.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby swampcrawler » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:39 pm

If the season is moved back for the middle zone does that effect the pair bonding that is already occuring .After the first of the year pair bonding begins .Do you move the south zone back also because that could really affect pair bonding.thus possible affecting the breeding and hatch.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby knockemdeadd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:49 pm

talltimber wrote:I like it fine like it is. I hunt middle and south zones.
You guys think maybe the reason you see ducks after middle closes is because, well, it's closed??
I don't understand how it's that hard to understand. Ducks do what they do.
You move the season end forward two weeks and it'll be the same thing. Pressure sends the ducks to unpressured areas. Hunt the south zone on the line during ar split, it don't take a week for them to figure it out. Mo closes and guess what, the field you hunted a week ago in mo are stacked.


Which leads me to this thought...right after the Middle Zone closed, SPatrick heard from the guys who do the duck counts. Case in point, the infamous Quivre Club. We hunt adjacent to it. They counted 800K-1.1 MILLION ducks, lodging at the Quivre Club. Where did these ducks come from? Did they all the sudden come out of "hiding" and figure out that they wouldnt get shot there? Come on now, those ducks were migrating, AFTER our season closed. Like I said before, yesterday I witnessed huge amounts of pintails, and mallards, much more than seen before. No comparison. True, now, they were flying around more due to lack of pressure. But I dont think you can ignore the influx, post-season.

Maybe Shaun can get us some historical data. I could be wrong, has happened once before, but Imma thinkin those birds were migrating, later...hence, the request to keep make the season, when the birds are there. I guess we need more Mallard Tracking.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby talltimber » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:50 pm

Swamp, I assume that's why all seasons end no later than 1/31. I think that's what they were looking at. Just a guess on my part though.

CD, I intentionally didn't mention the freeze line movements as we've already been through that beat-down on here a while back.

Ked, I think you'll see variations year to year. We do down here. We'll have a few ducks around, teal mostly, before the middle to last part of October. I've seen a bunch of ducks on the 20 of oct some years, and very few on nov 15. I think what happens is some just fly over us. Just depends on conditions I think. No data to back that up, just what I've seen. Ducks don't necessarily move a little south at a time. We have had very few, while searcy/bald knob has been covered up, early in the season. I don't know what you're conditions were during that time. Maybe you had a freeze line movement or maybe a rain that moved ducks back off the river?
Last edited by talltimber on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby knockemdeadd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:52 pm

knockemdeadd wrote:
talltimber wrote:I like it fine like it is. I hunt middle and south zones.
You guys think maybe the reason you see ducks after middle closes is because, well, it's closed??
I don't understand how it's that hard to understand. Ducks do what they do.
You move the season end forward two weeks and it'll be the same thing. Pressure sends the ducks to unpressured areas. Hunt the south zone on the line during ar split, it don't take a week for them to figure it out. Mo closes and guess what, the field you hunted a week ago in mo are stacked.


Which leads me to this thought...right after the Middle Zone closed, SPatrick heard from the guys who do the duck counts. Case in point, the infamous Quivre Club. We hunt adjacent to it. They counted 800K-1.1 MILLION ducks, lodging at the Quivre Club. Where did these ducks come from? Did they all the sudden come out of "hiding" and figure out that they wouldnt get shot there? Come on now, those ducks were migrating, AFTER our season closed. Like I said before, yesterday I witnessed huge amounts of pintails, and mallards, much more than seen before. No comparison. True, now, they were flying around more due to lack of pressure. But I dont think you can ignore the influx, post-season.

Maybe Shaun can get us some historical data. I could be wrong, has happened once before, but Imma thinkin those birds were migrating, later...hence, the request to keep make the season, when the birds are there. I guess we need more Mallard Tracking.


And I realize, that MDC is not managing for the hunter, they do it for the ducks. Hunting is a bi-product, but lets face it, if it werent for us hunters, they wouldnt have the funds to do anything....
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby swampcrawler » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:05 pm

Correct me if i'm wrong but os had 70000 ducks early in the season then lost 30 to 35000 mallards midway through and never did see high numbers the rest of the season.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby CuivreDog » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:31 pm

knockemdeadd wrote:Maybe Shaun can get us some historical data. I could be wrong, has happened once before, but Imma thinkin those birds were migrating, later...hence, the request to keep make the season, when the birds are there. I guess we need more Mallard Tracking.


I'm not Shaun but maybe this data will help you out some in your decision making.

These are the waterfowl counts at Cannon Refuge and Delair Refuge the two closest refuges to where I do the majority of my hunting in the north zone. You tell me when we reached "the peak" of the migration!

Cannon Refuge

10/10/12 476
10/16/12 3,990
10/22/12 17,249
10/29/12 69,401
11/06/12 93,075
11/13/12 181,770
11/20/12 219,782
11/27/12 218,325
12/02/12 218,400
12/13/12 141,227
12/27/12 15,103

Delair Refuge

10/12/12 4,150
10/17/12 2,063
10/29/12 36,807
11/08/12 13,638
11/26/12 53,287
12/14/12 50,967
12/26/12 17,496


Granted this is this year only but from what I see here I would say the "peak" of the migration in central Missouri occurred the week of November 20-27th just as it has for centuries. I've got the three previous years data as well and says the same thing. I think everyone on here would agree that if you had to pick a week to go on vacation to duck hunt it would be Thanksgiving week!
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby talltimber » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Yes, OS was reporting a large number early this year and then lost some ducks. We had an event but I can't remember now what it was, a t-storm, or just a strong front with a little skim ice for a few days, I can't remember for sure. The early high number I'm assuming, was from lack of water in other areas. There never really was a bunch of mallards, compared to other years, that I saw. Lots of gadwalls and shovelers though at times.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby swampcrawler » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:19 pm

When i hunted with kevin brunke he said they had lost 30 to 35000 ducks most of them mallards
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby talltimber » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:30 pm

Well I meant in the other areas I hunt. I only hunted OS maybe 5 times at the most. He would know. I saw a bigger proportion of odd ducks to mallards than usual his year, myself.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby 2Longgone » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:44 pm

talltimber wrote:I like it fine like it is. I hunt middle and south zones.
You guys think maybe the reason you see ducks after middle closes is because, well, it's closed??
I don't understand how it's that hard to understand. Ducks do what they do.
You move the season end forward two weeks and it'll be the same thing. Pressure sends the ducks to unpressured areas. Hunt the south zone on the line during ar split, it don't take a week for them to figure it out. Mo closes and guess what, the field you hunted a week ago in mo are stacked.


My sentiments exactly. :thumbsup:
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby Cliner » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:52 pm

I'd like to see the north zone start and end with the middle zone. I'd rather hunt fields in January than swat mosquitos in October. Although, this year on opening day there was frost all over the ground. Weird year though.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby SPatrick » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:23 pm

@KED, the theory on why there were so many ducks there, is that it was the same time that Cannon lost all their ducks, my buddy who did the count, who is also one of the biologists at Cannon, said it was kind of a perfect storm if you will. Ducks moved to corn and got off the moist soil foods and it basically just snow balled with other ducks moving to that area. A lot of the birds you are seeing around right now are from a reverse migration. Not saying that means you can't shoot them, some of my best hunts over at Carlyle when I was living in IL, were on days in January where we would have birds moving back to the area. I know that the reason we are not allowed to shoot ducks after the 1st is because of pair bonding, however IMO I think that claim is a bit inflated, same as the voluntary restraint deal on hens, but thats for a whole nother can of worms. Also one thing to remember is that if you are going to split, most likely you will have to drop a zone. For me cut the state at 70 or maybe a bit further south. Most of my experience in this state is in the north zone so I can't really give a good start date for the south, But I would start the North around first weekend of November, cut off around 1st week of december, start up again last week of december then hunt till mid to late January, this is just a ball park, my numbers probably don't add up. Like I said earlier, I don't have tons of experience here, only 5 years, but based on my observations I think that would be a good season. Things are always subject to change, and you can never hit the nail directly on the head...just one idiots idea.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby kdog » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:27 pm

Those ducks on quivre trade back and forth from dardeene and busch's place ..they were there toward the end of the season ...You guys cant see most of them come out at nite from your club....they dont migrate or feed your way ...they head east and filter out
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby SPatrick » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:42 pm

I would say you are right there KDog, I know they have to trade back and forth, however for about 2 or 3 weeks quiver held the mother load. I would guess that a lot of those birds also pushed back north due to pressure in the south.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby Sprigs68 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:07 pm

From a north zone perspective I'm not sure what a split season would accomplish with a 60 day season. You would surely miss some prime migrations if you were sitting at home in the month of December. You would also run a better than even chance of being iced out in the month of January. With the exception of the past 2 years, duck hunting in the north zone is pretty much over by the third week in December.

In the North Zone the last week of October typically provides a significant migration push. Only a few years ago this flight coincided with Halloween almost to the day for about 4 years in a row. So, I would also not be in favor of moving the season opener much past the first of November.

I want to be hunting ducks in the peak of the migration without a split. November and December is for hunting ducks, leave January for the geese.
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby SPatrick » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:40 pm

True but we also fall into a lull about mid december usually, I would give up that time, in return for being able to hunt a possible reverse, if you have never hunted birds coming back, it makes for some great hunts.

and what are geese, they actually move off retention ponds :huh: :yes:
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby CuivreDog » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:52 pm

SPatrick wrote:and what are geese, they actually move off retention ponds :huh: :yes:


My sentiments exactly - geese are for folks who wish they could be duck hunting! :yes: :yes: :yes:
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Re: Should Missouri have a split duck season and why?

Postby Sprigs68 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:23 am

SPatrick wrote:True but we also fall into a lull about mid december usually, I would give up that time, in return for being able to hunt a possible reverse, if you have never hunted birds coming back, it makes for some great hunts.

and what are geese, they actually move off retention ponds :huh: :yes:


Says the guy with a honker avitar. I too have almost forgotten what a goose looks like over the past couple of years.

Haven't hunted too many reverse migrators in the north, though I think you may have had a shot the last couple of years. Hunted Christmas Day (last day of season) on the river this past season and the mallards were rafted up in the channel and staging to move-out. They moved out the next day and would have been tough to access for the next 2 weeks.
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