MDC seeks waterfowl hunters' input on proposed blind regulation changes for Upper Mississippi CA
St. Charles Co., Mo. — Waterfowl hunters who utilize the Upper Mississippi Conservation Area have the opportunity to submit their input to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) regarding proposed procedural changes that pertain to waterfowl hunting blinds.
In the past, hunters who were awarded blind sites through a bi-annual lottery were required to construct permanent blinds on the site. These blinds were then inspected by MDC staff to ensure they met size specifications and camouflage requirements. Passing this inspection was mandatory before hunters could use the blinds.
The Mississippi River stage fluctuates greatly and, over the last few years, the river has been above flood stage or extremely low during the waterfowl blind construction period and during waterfowl season. These extremes can cause delays in blind building and the blind inspection process. Hunters often have constructed blinds only to have them destroyed by high river stages or ice flows.
Permanent blinds can be costly for hunters to build and this investment may be lost with one flood event or ice flow. Because of such losses, an increased number of hunters have asked for the ability to use a boat blind or use a temporary blind structure.
MDC hopes to enhance hunter opportunities by allowing multiple hunting blind options, including boat blinds, temporary blinds, and permanent blinds. The agency is seeking hunter opinion of this proposed change through an online poll.
The poll can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BKGFYRG. Hunters may submit their input now through Nov. 30.
MDC anticipates the proposed change will offer waterfowl hunters the following benefits:
- Hunters selected for a blind site will have the option of hunting from a blind type of their choice, including temporary, boat, or permanent blinds.
- For hunters choosing either temporary blinds or boat blinds, the risk of blind damage associated with flooding and ice will be eliminated.
- Allowing different blind types to be used will provide hunters options for the amount of time and cost they want to invest in their site.
- Blind sites will no longer be inspected for construction or camouflage requirements and therefore, there will be no lost hunting opportunities due to blinds failing the inspection process and being closed to hunting for the season.
The Upper Mississippi Conservation Area waterfowl blinds are located in Navigation Pools 24 (Pharrs Island-C Blinds), 25 (Stag Island-W Blinds), and 26 (Dresser/West Alton-A Blinds) on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis.