Duck blind pre-seaosn work installing rippy grass as the blind's camouflage on a grain crop field prior to flooding.
Duck Hunting the entire season from multiple private duck blinds and over several wetlands.
Duck hunt your own style be it large or small decoy spreads, a lot or little calling. Each may employ his own duck hunting skills, techniques and equipment as he sees fit to achieve as much success as possible. We provide the private wetlands resource, a telephone reservation system that reserves blinds and wade-in areas and the do it yourself hunter does the rest.
As a private wetlands that does not include public lands type competitiveness of skybusting, stealing flights or confusion over which duck which dog retrieved does not happen. Our hunts are as early in the morning as elsewhere, however once setup the hunts are far more leisurely allowing all to enjoy the day.
Also, do not confuse our private wetlands approach with liberated duck club hunts. All hunts are on wild birds.
All of our wetlands that we plant, flood and post blinds are in Missouri under the Mississippi Flyway. In Kansas under the Central Flyway we have watershed lake and farm pond duck hunts without blinds.
A flock of mallards rafted in open water surrounded with ice.
A blue sky background really magnifies the green heads on mallard drakes. The whistle of their wings as they come in is a sound that can only be appreciated by those that have heard it.
Several wetlands such as this are almost impossible to plant Milo, corn or beans so we drain as much as possible and spread Japanese Millet over the mud flats from the back of a 4-wheeler or from a hand seeder as a last resort.
The millet combined with volunteer smart weed are a great food source for the ducks and geese in the fall. This wetlands photo was taken after moving water from a holding reservoir before the regular duck season.
Our best duck hunting is in Missouri over large natural and manmade water structure.
The Association hunter with duck hunting as his primary interest is composed of two not very surprising major groups, the resident and non-resident duck hunter. And, amongst all waterfowl hunters it is duck hunting over that of goose hunts that is the drawing card.
The other facet that distinguishes between self guided duck hunters and all the other membership hunt disciplines is that waterfowl hunters as a group are on par with our archery deer hunters for having the highest renewal rate.
It appears that waterfowl and archery deer hunters are the most seasoned of all hunters through the high failure rate of their disciplines of choice.
That level of seasoning has the additional effect that once those hunters experience our approach to DIY hunts and in this case our Missouri wetlands and duck blinds they return for years of enjoyment of making their own self guided duck hunts. These hunters return due to the quality of the wetlands habitat and the chances for successful duck hunts are higher than any other duck hunting option that exists.
These characteristics in the most general of terms are the traits that define our duck hunting and hunter members.
Waterfowl Hunter Success
Highlighted in this series of pictures is a group of four members that joined in succession with each being sponsored into the Association by a current member. This is the most common method (90+%) of entry. The hunter applying for membership without sponsorship is the minority largely due to our not widely advertising our existence. These hunters are also typical of most as they hunt by themselves or in any combination up to four. After four hunters per party it becomes difficulty to coordinate actions.
One twist these group of hunters enjoy is to have a friendly competition as to who can harvest a banded leg and or neck snow goose.
Al is also passing on to the next generation the value of a hunt for a recreational activity making for a more rounded adult. Another neck band snow goose. These came from Missouri.
Partner , Bob S., in close second on the band count.
Of our resident waterfowl primary interest members most will hunt the wetlands that have the shortest driving distance rather than selection of wetlands by habitat type (flooded crop, timber, mash, open water).
For these members their season is strongest at the first half especially that part before Kansas pheasant season opens. After that, waterfowl reservations follow the strength of the migration that is easily detected through casual observation. Peak migration may see as many as half the blinds occupied and lows finding most duck hunters out in the pheasant fields.
A slight diversion of the local waterfowl enthusiast is the small group that find their fun on the watershed lakes and farm ponds rather than on the wetlands. While the effort may be focused on duck hunting other opportunities exist for goose and upland bird on the same property as the water body.
These hunts are unstructured in terms of no numbered duck blinds or wade-in areas.
On farm pond duck hunts these hunters reserve the entire pond, setup as they see fit with quick to erect or no blinds and a dog or canoe for retrieving.
These hunters while most concentrate of ducks also seem to collect the most geese during the season as well. This is through hunting on the farm ponds surrounded by large crop fields with both located just outside of one of the many waterfowl refuges that dot the Missouri River Basin portion of the Mississippi Flyway.
By now our approach to duck hunting should be clearly established as self guided duck hunts for the do it yourself hunter. However, we will not let the new to the Association duck hunter flounder. We will get him to the wetlands habitat of choice and provide the local lodging options. And, that is as far as we take it. We get him to where he needs to park his truck, the duck blinds, wade-in or layout boat area and once there the rest is up to the duck hunter.
Amongst non resident duck hunting members that also have a strong secondary interest they will pick where to duck hunt based on the secondary interest most notably be it upland bird with a preference for pheasant. Again, this decision is not based, as we cited earlier under other conditions such as wetlands habitat type. An approach along the lines of getting as much bang for the buck so to speak from each trip through combining a pheasant and duck hunting trip.
These dual interest duck hunters find that their retriever will work as a pheasant flushing dog the best within the tall prairie grass regions. This thick grass has influence over the flushing dog to work closer to the hunter and make for a more enjoyable hunt.
For those that travel our way only to waterfowl hunt they select a wetlands based on habitat type and either our northern or southern wetlands dependent on water conditions. These hunters concentrate on ducks and goose typically as a sideline.
The most frequently heard comment from these do it yourself duck hunters is that in their home state they are limited a smaller number of hunt location choices more often than not returning to the same spot and water each time out. These hunters find the many options we offer to be a reward in itself being able to be in a different duck blind or on a different wetlands type each time on a hunt.
We do have another category amongst duck hunting non-resident members and they are the Mississippi Flyway hunter, or the duck hunter that follows the migration. This group is largely composed of northern state hunters who after duck hunting their home state take on the average two trips a season to a southern region based on what wetlands they have experience with, where the peak of the migration has progressed to and when they plan to take vacation time.
A recent development has been the southern Mississippi Flyway hunter traveling north to extend his season and to have a better duck hunt. The feedback has been that migration peaks and season dates are better aligned in Missouri than the gulf states.
Waterfowl hunters seen in these terms has a flavor other than what some may have considered. Amongst all hunters, it is those that pursue whitetail deer and duck hunting that are most willing to travel for the better hunts.
Of all the traveling hunters it is the group that waterfowl hunts (primarily for ducks) that seems to take the more leisurely approach as there are always ducks to be found with the difference only in numbers. We just though we would pass these observation on.
Early season teal above one of our wetlands, we had our camera, not our guns.
Highlighted on this page is one group of hunters with a short series of snapshots into their hunts. In this case these members are primarily interested in duck hunting and when they goose hunt they take on the additional challenge of seeing who can harvest the most bands rather that filling a limit. This illustrates the more leisurely approach to waterfowl hunting that our members may have. This is achieved after rising above the attitude of must get ducks and more onto enjoying the hunt for the challenge of the hunt. A subtly not experienced by the public wetlands duck hunter that shoots all ducks as any seen may be the only ones seen during the season.
Self Guided Duck Hunts
Kansas City Duck Clubs
Missouri Duck Hunting