Private Wetlands and Blinds
Ourr private wetlands we have developed through adding levees and in/out flow water controls to existing natural wetlands. Our land acquisition, development and annual maintenance has been an ongoing endeavor since 1981. There has been a growing segment of Association hunters that have enjoyed pond and field set hunts over both crop stubble or crop fields adjoining ponds and irrigation lakes. As a self guided hunter organization that hunter may pick his favored waterfowl spot be it marsh, flooded crop, soughs, oxbows and spend more time there. Or, that same hunter may enjoy mixing his hunts on a given trip over wet and dry sets, from different blinds on different wetlands. While being able to have choice from day to day of where to hunt may seem a small point, over time it becomes a motivator to spend more more time on the land rather than any where else.
Our Missouri wetlands, the larger piece in the center showing a mixture of open water and small sections of flooded timber. The real value of this picture is showing the large expanse of surface water through out this entire watershed. That combined with food plots brings in the waterfowl. Have a review our our Missouri wetlands aerials and water level pictures of our blinds.
We build, place and maintain our own blinds. The camouflage covering is Rippy Grass. We have relocated blinds over the years by observing how birds work any of the shooting pools, prevailing winds and changes resulting from surrounding land use. Most are placed with the goal of the best combination and that doe sometimes results in the less than desired east facing blind.
As strictly an unguided hunter organization that allows Association hunters to hunt any time during the season it is common for hunters to follow the migration south along the Mississippi Flyway from the north. Concurrently, many southern waterfowl hunters enjoy traveling north to meet the migration peak in Missouri. Hunters from the east comment frequently on the variety of species to hunt within Missouri not available in their home state. In all cases regardless of where the hunter travels from it is the ability to schedule a blind, pond, hole, field or wade-in area on the hunter's schedule that many comment on as making the hunt satisfying.
At no time will a hunter be denied a hunt. Any one hunter may not always get his first choice of blind on a given wetland, however there will be a blind open for him.
The remainder of this page discussion is focused on our exclusive use Missouri wetlands. Other unguided waterfowl hunt descriptions are available on other pages. Advance to our pond hunt discussion s one more alternative to the hunts we offer. For late season and spring season goose start with this page.
Missouri duck hunting is prime due to the large expanse of the Lower Missouri River Basin covering more than half of Missouri. All of the Association managed wetlands exist within Missouri's sub-basins. And, we are not alone. There are plenty of other private land groups out there that collectively develop a large expanse of waterfowl attracting food plots attractive to waterfowl. A well recognized advantage demonstrated by the layover of migratory birds on most seasons. In our case of this discussion it is about our wetlands with the permanent fully camouflaged blinds and water lever. A review of why the Lower Missouri River Basin supports good waterfowl numbers better than Kansas or Iowa.
Kansas duck hunting is largely pond hunts and combination field and pond sets. The Association has not developed any Kansas waterfowl areas. this is based on our strength that we are not limited to the driving distance around a lodge for our private land availability due to our not having a lodge. Hunters will lodge in local motels at their expense. This allows the Association the freedom to spend its money where the best return for the hunters is to be gained. A second order effect is without a lodge on the where we hunt there is less day to day human presence leaving Association lands for the execution of the hunt alone.
None of our Iowa land is suited for duck hunting.
Key to hunter satisfaction are the quality of our blinds and wetlands.
This satisfaction continues in the fact that no one Association hunter is limited to just one blind or waterfowl location. Each has a choice from day to day of which blind and or wetlands he would like to hunt. Some blinds are easy dry land walk up with shooting pools knee deep while others are suited for a small drag boat to carry gear and require chest waders both to access the blind and for the shooting pool.
All blinds, wade-in and layout boat areas are at a variable distance from the designated parking area. Some are easy ten minute walks, while the furthest is 2 1/2 miles. Our parking area, designated trails to the blind, wade-in or layout area allows the use of ATV's. Remember to bring a camouflaged cover when parking the ATV or other equipment. If not wanting the extra work of an ATV or a drag boat, a two wheel hand (deer) cart are also used regularly by Association hunters.
Waterfowl and something more important.
Note on the picture back: "I've killed a lot of birds in my life, but watching your son follow and really enjoy doing it, is the greatest yet."
"The prize of the year. This is the first band I've taken in ten years. My son was with me and made it even that much more special. I can't wait until he gets his first."
As a self guided duck hunting group the hunter is responsible for his own decoys. All may hunt the spread of his choice with 2 dozen to 200 being the common range.
Scheduling a hunt is easy as a telephone call and requires no long range planning.
The basis for setting a reservation is the online map library Association hunters gain access to after joining. The waterfowl maps are two pages with the first a road map showing how to travel to the wetlands. The second page is a wire diagram of the wetlands, blinds, pools, etc. That covers the 'where' to hunt. When to hunt is another choice left to the hunter when planning his self guided hunt. Read about our duck hunting reservations developed over a long time to practice for what works in terms of parity to all Association hunters.
When to hunt follows several motivators.
The first choice of when to hunt is to get an early season local bird hunt, largely woody's and some greenheads. It is typical the opening weekend of the earliest zone to open in Missouri, the north zone to see a bit of a rush of hunters seeking to get in the first hunt of the season. These hunters are mostly locals that will hunt the early season, then go after pheasant while waiting for peak migration. They will then hunt the peak hard then finish off January flushing pheasant. Those with any energy left over continue after waterfowl may continue their hunt with late goose. That would be followed by spring season snow goose capping off the spring with a turkey hunt. That is is anyone has that level of energy.
Another approach is to watch the Missouri Department Of Conservation (MDC) waterfowl reports readily available on their web style. Balancing the MDC observations against any one of the migration reporting web sites will give further definition of when to hunt. This will offer those with flexibly in their schedule to narrow down the optimum time to hunt.
For those on absolute fixed schedules a typical season will see the peak of the migration somewhere between the third week in November through the third week of December. A fixed schedule for those that have dogs will be able during the hunt itself pick and choose day to day between duck hunting and pheasant or quail. Watching the weather combined with our allowing reservation right to the day of the hunt makes this possible.
Missouri Duck Hunting
Mallard is the prime hunt. This blind shown is on one of our private Missouri waterfowl areas. This blind is surrounded by water and easily accessed with waders. A drag boat no bigger than the back of a pick up, or strong back with one bag of decoys is all that is needed to hunt this spot.
One of our many intangible benefits is that our hunters’ age structure is in the high 40’s. This more seasoned hunter desires above all else a good hunt. That is enjoyment of the day is supreme. Filled bags always bring a smile, it is however the quality of our duck hunting that brings the hunters back. That quality experience is one without close setup, limited skybusting although we would not like to see any and inability to steal flights due to separation of hunters.
And, that is what it is all about - a quality hunt for the unguided hunter. We take away the public waterfowl hunter mentality allowing all the leisure to make the duck hunting all prefer.
While the current interest may be unguided waterfowl hunts, for the same price all Association hunters may also deer, turkey or upland bird hunt the entire season as well. Not all can spend that kind of time in the field. No one has that level of energy. For those on limited time wishing to concentrate on waterfowl they will be able to do so. Read about the other upland bird, deer and turkey opportunities available to every duck hunter.
Spring Snow Goose
Late Season Goose
Duck Hunting Lease
Wade-in Area Hunts
Versatile Dog Hunters
About Us - Association Staff
Second Self Guided Hunt Viewpoint
Mississippi Flyway and Missouri Waterfowl
Why Missouri & Waterfowl
Missouri Wetlands Aerials and Blind Photos
Annual Wetlands Work