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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Migration Alert: Missouri waterfowlers face stalled migration

Report Dec. 23, 2011

By Jeff Kurrus
Strong cold fronts have yet to push waterfowl through northern Central and Missippi Flyway states forcing Missouri hunters to use creative strategies.

With spotty bird numbers, hunters in Missouri are getting creative, including Avery Pro Staffer Hunter Johnson. "After our morning hunts, we'll ride around and see what everyone else is doing. Then we'll do the exact opposite."
For example, he's hunted over as few as six decoys with pull strings on three of them on a calm day, and then followed that hunt with a 150, 10-motion decoy day during a howling wind. Johnson also sets up decoys in close proximity to each other on cold days, and further apart on warmer days. "Anything that allows us to show something different, we do it."
In the northeast part of the state, Avery Pro Staffer Kyle Scott's days aren't much different. "You have to be creative when it's so warm to the north of us and we're looking at a lot of the same birds day after day." When ducks are working his fields, he uses smaller decoy spreads and then increases these spreads when birds are wanting to work nearby areas where Scott can't hunt.
Scott is also looking for the "honkers" that have yet to arrive in large numbers. But when they do, he'll hunt big watershed lakes and open water areas near the Mississippi River. So while duck numbers are hard to come by on a consistent basis these days, he still has more than a month of solid waterfowl hunting left, and a "second season" of sorts right around the corner with Canada geese. As long as Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa and the rest of the states to the north of him go ahead and get snow cover like he knows they will.

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