A Complete Resource to Duck Hunting Nodaway Valley Conservation Area


Where to hunt

What to expect

Frequently asked questions

Nodaway Valley Conservation Area duck hunting map

Nodaway Valley Conservation Area is located in northwest Missouri along the Nodaway River system. The area is smaller when compared to other managed locations in the state, but that is not reflected in the amount of birds that migrate through during the season. It is popular among hunters because it is relatively easy to access and there is plenty of flooded crops for migrating waterfowl. If you get the chance to hunt here, you do not want to miss it.

Reservations at Nodaway Valley

Pre-Season Reservations at Nodaway Valley

Hunters apply for preseason reservations at Nodaway Valley from the beginning of September to mid September through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online application. All applicants not awarded a preseason reservation may apply through the “quick draw” reservation system once the season begins. Only Missouri residents may apply.

Quick Draw Reservations at Nodaway Valley

Quick draw reservations at Nodaway Valley are awarded to hunters who apply for a reservation throughout the season. Quick draw reservations may be applied for approximately one week before a hunt. Hunters from across the state apply for these, which makes your chances of being awarded one low. Only Missouri residents may apply.

Duck Migration Maps


Poor line at Nodaway Valley

The poor line is available to hunters at Nodaway Valley the morning of the hunt. The poor line requires one member of each party to “draw” a number (or several numbers) from a box. Numbers 1-10 drawn will typically guarantee you and your party a hunt at a desired location for the day. At Nodaway Valley, 30 parties drawing for 15-20 locations in the poor line is not uncommon. Additionally, reservation holders have first access to areas which leaves fewer areas available to hunters relying on the poor line to hunt.

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Where to Hunt at Nodaway Valley

Nodaway Valley Hunting Map

Nodaway Valley Conservation Area duck hunting map with legend

Nodaway Valley Waterfowl Heat Map

Nodaway Valley Conservation Area heat map indicating population of ducks
Map indicating where there is typically a concentration of ducks at Nodaway Valley. The darker the red, the more ducks.

Hunting Walk-Ins at Nodaway Valley

Redhead Slough

Redhead Slough pool at Nodaway Valley Conservation Area map

The Redhead Slough pool at Nodaway Valley is known for excellent hunting and competition for ducks. It is situated along the west side refuge, which is where there is typically a large concentration of waterfowl. Since the area is a walk-in, setting up for any type of wind is possible. A drawback to this location is the possibility of hunting with another party in the same pool as you. If you get the chance to hunt here, plan on walking 200 to 800 yards in the water to get to a secluded spot in the pool. Hunters must quit hunting this area at 1 p.m.

Hickory Creek Pool

Duck hunting map of Nodaway Valley Conservation Area

The Hickory Pool is another hunting area at Nodaway Valley that is near the west refuge. Its close proximity to the refuges and the Nodaway River make it a popular location among hunters. Hunters should plan to walk 200 to 500 yards in the water to get to a desired location. This area is closed to hunting after 1 p.m.

Killdeer Chute

Killdeer Chute at Nodaway Valley Conservation Area map

Killdeer Chute is located on the northeast side of Nodaway Valley. A refuge borders it on its south side, which makes days with a south wind phenomenal. The pool is more secluded when compared to other locations, so the birds can oftentimes be less pressured. Hunters may hunt until sunset at this location.

Hunting a Blind at Nodaway Valley

Map of the blinds hunters can hunt out of at Nodaway Valley Conservation Area

Hunting a blind at Nodaway Valley allows hunters to hunt all day in a specific location next to the refuge. Competition for ducks is intense among the blinds since they are close to one another. The staff camouflages the blinds with natural vegetation that lasts through the beginning of the season. However, to keep ducks from flaring late in the season, you should plan on brining your own natural vegetation along to add to your blind. Hunting a blind is great choice when you plan on hunting all day and are up for a challenge when it comes to competing for ducks.


What to Expect When Hunting Nodaway Valley

Hunting Among Other Parties at Nodaway Valley

Like most public hunting locations in Missouri, you will find yourself hunting among other parties that are competing for the same ducks you are. In some locations, hunters will be among others without a levy or barrier separating them. I have found that the staff at Nodaway Valley does a terrific job when it comes to directing parties and helping create a respectable distance between hunters.

Gear spotlight

Marsh seats are one of our favorite pieces of equipment for hunting walk-in units. Do not get caught in the marsh without one. Click the image for current pricing on Amazon.

Best Time of Year to Hunt Nodaway Valley

Early Season: Beginning of November to Mid-November

Early season at Nodaway Valley consists of puddle ducks, mild temperatures, and unpressured birds. Since the ducks are not as pressured, they are responsive to calls and show interest in your decoys on a regular basis. Also, there is usually a significant number of birds using the area at the beginning of the season. If you get the change to hunt during this time of year, you need to take the opportunity.

Mid-Season: Mid-November to Mid-December

Hunting during the middle of the season at Nodaway Valley has its challenges. Stale birds, unpredictable weather, and a long line of hunters waiting to try their hand. If you find yourself hunting this location during the middle of the season, try new tactics while in the marsh. Oftentimes, being different from other hunters will lead to success. This time of year can be challenging, but you will never know unless you go.

Late Season: Mid-December to End of Season

Later in the season has the potential to bring some of the best duck hunting of the year at Nodaway Valley. If you catch a cold front or a reverse migration, this location can become a hotspot for waterfowl coming down the Missouri River. That said, there is also a chance you could be hunting on 8″ of ice. If that is the case, using full body decoys on top of the ice has proven successful in the past.


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Is there flooded corn at Nodaway Valley?

In most years, Nodaway Valley will have flooded corn available for ducks and geese to eat. The amount and quality is dependent on weather and water levels.

Can you teal hunt at Nodaway Valley?

Hunters are allowed to teal hunt at Nodaway Valley during the respective teal season in Missouri. The quality of hunting is contingent upon water levels.

Do I need a boat to hunt at Nodaway Valley?

Hunters do not need a boat to waterfowl hunt at Nodaway Valley. However, boats are permitted on the area and some areas are easier to access if you use one.

When do I have to quit hunting at Nodaway Valley?

Hunters are allowed to hunt until 1 p.m. on the west side of the area, but may hunt until sunset on the east side of the area.


How many people can be in my party at Nodaway Valley?

Hunters may hunt in groups of 4 at Nodaway Valley. Parties joining up together is prohibited.

Is Nodaway Valley handicap accessible?

Nodaway Valley is handicap accessible. The area also has one ADA blind on the west side.

Can youth hunters hunt at Nodaway Valley?

Youth hunters are allowed to hunt at Nodaway Valley during Missouri’s designated youth season. Youth hunters may also hunt the area during the regular season.

Do I need a reservation to hunt at Nodaway Valley?

Hunters do not need a reservation to hunt at Nodaway Valley. The poor line is available to hunters the morning of the hunt if they do not have a reservation.

Missouri Department of Conservation: Map

Missouri Department of Conservation: Brochure

This article is not a comprehensive guide regarding laws, regulations, and area rules. Please refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation website for specific details.

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