Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area, which is located in the far southeast corner of Missouri, has become a popular location for hunters across the Midwest. Its location along the Mississippi River makes it a great place for birds to utilize on their way south. In more recent years, hunters from Arkansas frequent this place because of its close proximity and the amount of birds that use the habitat later in the year. If you are a Missouri resident and looking to extend your season until later in January, Ten Mile Pond is the place to be.
Reservations at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area
Pre-season reservations at Ten Mile Pond
Hunters apply for preseason reservations at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area from the beginning of September to mid September through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online application. 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 Ten Mile Pond
Quick draw reservations at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area 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 a quick draw reservation at Ten Mile Pond, which makes your chances of being awarded a reservation low. Only Missouri residents are eligible for a quick draw reservation.
Poor line at Ten Mile Pond
The poor line is available to hunters at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area the morning of the hunt. The poor line requires one member of each party to “draw” a number (or multiple numbers) from a box. Numbers 1-10 drawn from the box will typically guarantee you and your party a hunt at a desired location for the day. At Ten Mile Pond, 30-40 parties drawing for 20-25 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. All hunters, regardless of where they are from, are eligible to draw in the poor line.
2021/2022 Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area Draw Times
|Nov. 25 – Nov. 28||4:00 AM|
|Dec. 07 – Dec. 20||4:15 AM|
|Dec. 21 – Dec. 24||4:30 AM|
|Dec. 26 – Jan. 10||4:30 AM|
|Jan. 10 – Jan. 31||4:45 AM|
These draw times are from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.
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Where to hunt at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area
Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area Map
Pool C at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area is popular among hunters because of its close proximity to the refuge. Located just south of where thousands of ducks roost, this pool is great when birds are moving throughout the day. When the weather cooperates, a mixture of corn and moist soil vegetation is planted here. Concealment is a challenge for hunters in this pool. There are drainage ditches throughout the pool, so bringing a boat is useful for navigating. Also, a boat blind or a layout boat are both good options for this pool.
The G3 pool at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area is another great place to hunt. It is a smaller pool located along the southern boundary of the refuge. Since it is a smaller pool, there are typically fewer parties of hunters in the pool at the same time. This creates less competition and pressure on the birds using the area. Layout boats are recommended in this pool for navigation and concealment purposes.
K East and West
The K East and West pools at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area can be exceptional throughout the year. Although not located as close to the refuge, these pools still produce results. A boat is recommended for these pools as well, as it makes getting around much easier and safer. Many ducks use these pools throughout the year and hunters have a lot of success here year after year.
What to expect when hunting Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area
Using a boat
A boat is not required to hunt each location at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area. That said, using a boat can certainly make it easier to navigate in some areas. Many of the pools have boat ramps for hunters to launch their boats. Also, some pools have deep drainage ditches running through them. Without a boat, it is hard to cross these and hunters should use caution when around them.
In wet years, flooding can become problematic at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area. Since the area is located along the Mississippi River Bottoms, it is susceptible to flash floods that do damage to the area. If a major storm has moved through the area, be sure to call the area headquarters before heading out to hunt. You do not want to show up to a flooded area the morning of your hunt.
Figuring out what the ducks are doing at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area can often be challenging. Since the season is open until the end of January (as of 2021/2022), the birds can be stale and start pairing up for spring breeding. This creates challenges for hunters, as the birds become more challenging to decoy and unresponsive to calls. They also quickly figure out where the refuge is and learn where it is safe. But do not be discouraged. When you notice these things happening, it is time to adjust. Devote time to scouting, create a realistic setup, and make sure you are hidden. When you change your approach to imitate exactly what the birds are doing, you are much more likely to have success at Ten Mile Pond.
Like any other public duck hunting location, other hunters can create problems at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area. They set up too close, call too often, and skybust at birds way too high. Many of these problems cannot be eliminated and must be tolerated. However, I have found the staff at Ten Mile Pond does their best to make these issues minimal.
The staff at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area is very helpful when it comes to asking questions about the area and what the ducks are doing. If you have questions before the hunt or the morning of, be sure to ask.
The article does not serve as guidance surrounding laws and regulations for duck hunting at Ten Mile Pond. Please see the links above for more specific information surrounding rules, laws, and regulations.
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