One of the best duck hunting seasons in the last half-century could begin in Missouri later this month.

The Missouri Conservation Department says hunters might see the most ducks flying over the state since 19-99. Federal duck counts in the Dakotas, Canada and even Alaska indicate the one of the five biggest duck crops since 1952.

The Department’s Dave Graber says the season that opens on the 27th in part of Missouri goes through Christmas day. He says the season is long enough to satisfy hunters who like good weather for their hunting as well as hunters who prefer to go out on "nasty" days.

Graber says conditions in Missouri could dramatically change the duck numbers. He says summer flooding affected food availability in west-central Missouri. He says birds will just pass through if the food they need is not available

He says 15 to 20 species of ducks overfly Missouri but fewer than ten species make up 90 percent of the annual duck harvest. And he says duck hunters need to have some duck identification skills since there are different limits on different breeds.

download Bob Priddy’s story (:59 mp3)