Letter to the Editor

New hunting drawings questioned

To the editor:

Beginning Friday, the Missouri Department of Conservation will begin a new drawing procedure at Otter Slough and Eagle Bluffs. This experimental procedure will give all folks who wish to hunt ducks and geese a chance to draw for a hunting spot. Up till now, only one person from each party has been allowed to draw. Hunting parties typically range from one to four people.

The MDC says it wants to encourage larger hunter groups so more folks can take advantage of hunting conditions. What it's likely to do, however, is make it twice as difficult for single- or two-party hunters to draw a decent number.

Hypothetically, if a one-party hunter pulls a low number, he has a good chance to hunt. If on the same morning four other guys go together and one of them draws a lower number while his buddies all chose higher numbers, they have four times as many chances to get it right than the lone waterfowler. It's hard enough for one or two hunters to get a six-duck limit. Why make it even more difficult by adding more people to a party? Having a four-party group is probably what it will take if a guy wants to hunt under this new procedure.

Why were Missouri's waterfowl hunters not surveyed before the state implemented this new procedure? It's our conservation dollars providing habitat for our hunts in the first place.

STEVEN BENDER, Cape Girardeau