Waterfowl hunting looking good by the numbers, but habitat and weather are wild cards
While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the number of North American ducks to be at a record high of 49.5 million for fall hunting, experts with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) cautioned that local habitat conditions, weather, and migration timing were main factors affecting Missouri’s upcoming 60-day duck season.
“Wetlands should have plenty of water going into fall, but extensive and repeated flooding over the summer will mean food and cover could be patchy,” explained MDC Resource Scientist Andy Raedeke.
“Moist-soil seed production will be excellent in wetlands that benefitted from a wet spring and early summer but did not have late-summer flooding. Those that did experience late flooding will likely have poor moist-soil seed production and limited vegetation for cover. Due to flooding, food provided by crops, such as corn, will likely be well below average.”