Hunters will have their say on the structure of Missouri duck seasons when the Department of Conservation holds a series of public meetings from February into early March.
Every five years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers states the option of changing boundaries of duck zones and season structure, whether it consists of continuous dates or a split season. Once selections are made, they will set in this case from 2017 to 2020.
Public input is one of the determining factors in how the season strucutre will look, wildlife officials say. That’s why they are sponsoring a series of 13 meetings across the state from Feb. 1 through March 9. All of the meetings will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and no pre-registration is required.
Among the meetings close to Kansas City:
▪ Feb. 3 in St. Joseph. At the Department of Conservation’s Northwest Regional Office, 701 James McCarthy Drive. Call 816-271-3100.
▪ Feb. 4 in Carrollton. At the Carrollton Public Library, 1 N. Folger St. Call 660-646-6122.
▪ March 8 in Harrisonville. At the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, 2501 W. Mechanic, Suite 100. Call 660-885-6981.
▪ March 9 in Blue Springs. At the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd. Call 816-622-0900.
The sites and dates for other meetings can be found atmdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-invites-duck-hunters-workshops-season-dates-and-zones.
Andy Raedeke, waterfowl biologist for the Department of Conservation, says that hunter input can make a difference.
“If most hunters from a particular region prefer a different season structure or season dates, we will likely recommend a change,” he said.” Hunter input from the last series of workshops prompted MDC to make two changes to the boundary of the south hunting zone.”
Hunting’s last hurrah
Hunters in Missouri and Kansas are heading down the stretch run.
With winter underway, there aren’t many dates left on the hunting calendar. But there still is time to get in a few more outings.
▪ In Missouri, Friday (Jan. 15) is the last chance for bow hunters to take a deer or turkey. It also is the final day of the pheasant and quail seasons.
The duck season in the Missouri south zone continues through Jan. 24, and the statewide goose seasons close Jan. 31.
▪ In Kansas, Jan. 31 is the finish line for the quail, pheasant and prairie chicken seasons. It also marks the last day for the archery deer season and the turkey season.
Some waterfowl hunters also will see their seasons come to an end Jan. 31. It is the last day for the duck season in the Low Plains Late, Southeast and High Plains zones.
Winter trout fishing clinic
Looking for some tips on how to catch winter trout in the Kansas City area? You might want to attend a clinic put on by the Missouri Department of Conservation on Tuesday at the Bass Pro Shops in Independence.
The clinic, which will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will feature tips on what tackle, lures and bait work best to catch winter trout. Department of Conservation staff also will demonstrate how to clean and prepare trout for cooking.
The Department of Conservation stocks trout at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit, Chaumiere Lake in Kansas City North and the lakes at the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex in Liberty.
Space for the clinic is limited. To reserve a spot, call 816-622-0900.
Bass fishing great dies
The bass fishing world is mourning the loss of one of its legends, Ken Cook.
Cook, 68, passed away Jan. 8 of an apparent heart attack. He will be remembered as one of the top BASS pro fishermen of all-time.
Cook, who lived in Meers, Okla., won the 1991 Bassmaster Classic and was inducted into the BASS Hall of Fame in 2010.