Picture perfect day for duck hunting in Missouri

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Last Sunday was a day that duck hunters looked forward to, with cool and gusty south winds and an overcast sky. The ducks that had been holding up north started moving into Missouri as the cold and damp weather hit northern states pushing ducks south.

In Missouri, September through October was reported the warmest since 1963. The first frost usually occurs during the last part of October, but this year it didn't frost until late November. The abundance of waterfowl has been slow to build up. With cooler and damp weather up north, the number of ducks at Schell-Osage Wildlife Area climbed from 22,000 to more than 40,000 this last week with a lot of mallards.

It has been compared to the fall of 2001, when conditions were warm and dry with limited migrations that had not occurred until late November. A cold front near the end of the month`doubled the number of ducks in the state. Mallards had increased from 12 percent to 38 percent of the ducks on publicly managed wetlands.

As present conditions continue to change, the percent of mallards is expected to improve to 80 percent (of the ducks at present).

The north zone and middle zones have been open for several weeks while the south zone opened on Thanksgiving day. All zones have shown a big impr

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