Schell-Osage Conservation Area, located in Vernon County, is a well managed and popular place to duck hunt in Missouri. Its location along the Osage River system makes it a well suited area for ducks to stop at during their fall migration. This place is also special because it is close to Four Rivers Conservation Area, which is another well managed duck hunting area in Missouri. Schell-Osage has many blinds to hunt and offers hunters the opportunity to chase a variety of ducks each season. Keep reading for information, tips, and area maps.
Reservations at Schell-Osage Conservation Area
Hunters apply for preseason reservations at Schell-Osage Conservation Area from the beginning of September to mid September through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online application. Only Missouri residents may apply.
Quick draw reservations at Schell-Osage 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 Schell-Osage, which makes your chances of being awarded a reservation low. Only Missouri residents are eligible for a quick draw reservation.
The poor line is available to hunters at Schell-Osage 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 1-15 drawn from the box will typically guarantee you and your party a hunt at a desired location for the day. 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.
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Where to hunt at Schell-Osage Conservation Area
Schell-Osage Conservation Area Map
Schell Osage Conservation Area Map – H and G Pools
The H and G pools are located on the far west end of Schell-Osage Conservation Area. These pools, like many of the others, are full of moist soil vegetation for birds to utilize during the migration. As the season wares on, cover in this pool can become sparse and birds can recognize where the blinds are. If you have the chance, grab some extra brush or camouflage before heading out into this pool. This will help tremendously when the birds are pressured and wary of the blinds.
Schell-Osage Conservation Area Map – F Pool
The F pool at Schell-Osage Conservation area is located toward the middle of the area. The pool extends to the north toward the Osage River. Many blinds are scattered throughout this pool, which can make competition for birds intense. From what I have experienced, the closer you are to the middle of the pool, the better off you will be. Also a handicap blind, F1, is located at the southern end of this pool.
Schell-Osage Conservation Area Map – B and C Pools
The B and C pools at Schell-Osage Conservation Area are popular among hunters. These blinds always seem to have good results throughout the year. The blinds are close together, which can be frustrating if several blinds are working the same bunch of ducks. Creating a more realistic spread compared to the other blinds around you will help when this happens. Make sure your boat is well hidden, use realistic decoys, and use your call to sound like a real mallard hen. This will help when the competition level gets high. Also, blind B2 is located in this pool which is also a handicap blind.
What to expect when duck hunting Schell-Osage Conservation Area
Bring a boat
Bringing a boat is nearly required in order to hunt at Schell-Osage Conservation Area. Many of the pools and blinds require you to follow a boat lane or cross a boat lane at some point. Also, some hunters believe the area has always been pumped to a high water level. Therefore, using a boat can not only be helpful when heading to the blind, but also when setting decoys as well. Hiding your boat can be a challenge. If you are able, bring a camouflage boat cover to cover your boat while hunting.
The blinds at Schell-Osage Conservation Area provide good cover for hunters early in the season. As the season goes on, much of the brush gets knocked off of them and they become very noticeable to ducks. Once you notice this, it is time to grab some of your own brush and spruce up your blind. How well your blind is covered will have a large impact on how successful you are at Schell-Osage.
Many hunting locations
There are many hunting locations to choose from at Schell-Osage Conservation Area. Many of them are blinds spread out throughout the area. By providing so many places to hunt, hunters are able to try out many different locations and decide where they like to be the most. Also, by having so many places to choose from, there are typically fewer parties turned away during the morning draw when compared to other managed areas in the state.
The Osage River, which runs along the north side of Schell-Osage Conservation Area, is a common route for ducks to take when moving throughout the day. Birds flying up and down the river system commute between Four Rivers Conservation, private wetlands, and Schell-Osage.
This article is not comprehensive regarding rules, regulations, and laws. Please refer to the links above for more specific information on the area.
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