Duck Zones and Season Dates

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Options for Duck Zones and Split Seasons

Duck zones are used to provide the best season dates for private and public land. Missouri has the opportunity to revise zones every five years, with possible options including the following:

  • A statewide season with no zones or splits
  • Four zones and no splits
  • Three zones with potential for one split (two open segments) in each zone
  • Two zones with potential for two splits (three open segments) in each zone
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A split season refers to a season that is open for a period of time, closes, and then reopens for a second period of time.

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Zone Boundaries Represent a Compromise

Given the range of hunter preferences, not all hunters will be completely satisfied with season dates and zone boundaries. Our aim is to accommodate at least a portion of most hunters’ desires.

Whether or not changes are recommended for a given five-year period will depend primarily upon hunter input. If most hunters from a particular region prefer a different season structure (zones and splits) or season dates, a change will likely be recommended. Otherwise, we will not recommend change just for the sake of change. Regardless, we appreciate hunters' time and effort, which help us develop the best possible recommendations for Missouri duck hunters.

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Duck Zone Boundaries Map

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2021-2025 Zone Boundaries

North Zone:  That portion of Missouri north of a line running west from the Illinois border at I-70; west on I-70 to U.S. Hwy 65; north on U.S. Hwy 65 to MO Hwy 41, north on MO Hwy 41 to U.S. Hwy 24; west on U.S. Hwy 24 to MO Hwy 10, west on MO Hwy 10 to U.S. Hwy 69,  north on U.S. Hwy 69 to MO Hwy 116, west on MO Hwy 116 to U.S. Hwy 59, south on U.S. Hwy 59 to the Kansas border.

Middle Zone:  The remainder of Missouri not included in other zones.

South Zone:  That portion of Missouri south of a line running west from the Illinois border on MO Hwy 74 to MO Hwy 25; south on MO Hwy 25 to U.S. Hwy 62; west on U.S. Hwy 62 to MO Hwy 53; north on MO Hwy 53 to MO Hwy 51; north on MO Hwy 51 to U.S. Hwy 60; west on U.S. Hwy 60 to MO Hwy 21; north on MO Hwy 21 to MO Hwy 72; west on MO Hwy 72 to MO Hwy 32; west on MO Hwy 32 to U.S. Hwy 65; north on U.S. Hwy 65 to U.S. Hwy 54; west on U.S. Hwy 54 to the Kansas border.

Hunters help establish seasons and zones every five years

The Missouri Department of Conservation hosted 13 public workshops to gather hunter input about duck season dates and zone boundary locations. Participants had the opportunity to review long-term data about weather, migration, habitat use, harvest, and hunter opinions, and to discuss their season date and zone preferences with other hunters and Conservation staff. Hunter input gathered through theses workshops, combined with input received through surveys, was used to establish Missouri’s duck season dates and zones for the 2021-2025 duck seasons.

Zone Liberal (60 Days) Moderate (45 Days) /Restrictive (30 Days)
North
  • Opens on the Saturday nearest October 31
No formula - season dates established after USFWS announces moderate or restrictive packages.
Middle
  • Opens on the first Saturday in November for nine days
  • Closes for five days
  • Opens again for 51 days
South
  • Opens on Thanksgiving Day for four days
  • Closes
  • Opens December 7 through January 31 (as late as the federal framework allows)

Each year’s regulation recommendation is based on the status of the mallard breeding population and the condition of prairie ponds in Canada. A three-tiered package of open seasons includes liberal (60 days), moderate (45 days), and restrictive (30 days) options. For more information, see the USFWS Adaptive Harvest Management.

 

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