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Waterfowl Hunting Scouting Day

October 7, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting a waterfowl hunting scouting day on Saturday October 7th from 9 AM to 5 PM.  During this time hunters will be able to access all of the waterfowl hunting units and have questions answered at the Refuge Visitor Center by the Refuge Manager.
We are going to be utilizing the online draw system as in the past two years but with some changes.  The draw will be conducted with a new partner known as RecAccess. 
To apply for the online draw hunters will need to set up a RecAccess account.  Once an account is set up hunters will be able to log into the system with their username and password to apply for hunts and purchase permits. 
Accounts can be set up any time at the Swan Lake draw site located at https://swanlake.recaccess.com/
Draw Changes for 2017
Following are some definitions of terms used for the hunt program that will be important to understand.
Hunting Unit:  The blind or walk in unit open to hunting.
Hunting Slot:  A specific hunting unit on a particular day (example Nov 5, S1).
Swan Lake Waterfowl Permit:  The Permit that authorizes a particular hunter to hunt in a particular Hunting Slot. Up to four permits can be purchased for a Hunting Slot.  The permit can be purchased by the successful applicant of the draw for the hunting slot awarded through the draw.  Those Hunting Slots not filled in the draw or not purchased by the draw deadline can be purchased on a first come basis on the Rec Access website or at Cooney’s General Store in Sumner, MO.
Waterfowl Draw Schedule:  The draw schedule identifies all the dates and times for draw applications, permit purchases, etc.  The Draw Schedule can be downloaded on the draw website listed above.  
As in the past there will be four draws throughout the waterfowl season at Swan Lake NWR.  The application process will begin on October 1, 2017.  Hunters can set up their RecAccess account anytime at the website listed above.  We suggest that hunters do it ahead of time to get familiar with the new system. 
Draws will not be conducted as parties like in the past but as individuals.  
Each individual that is successfully drawn can then purchase up to four permits and bring up to three other hunters with them on their assigned Hunting Slot awarded through the draw.  The permit will have the successful applicants (purchaser) name on it with an indication of how many they will have in their party.  So the other 1-3 will be filled with anyone they want to bring the day of the hunt so long as they have their required hunting licenses, stamps, and permits and are accompanied by the person who purchased the permit.
RecAccess will oversee the draws and the morning check in.   To cover these costs there will be a $2 lottery application fee and an $8.50 permit fee for each hunter that gets a permit through the lottery, online purchase, or morning check in for vacant units.  Since the fees go to cover the cost of the permitting system there will be no refunds for any reason including hunting unit closures due to weather or flooding.  
Hunters may apply for the hunt by applying for the Youth Mentor Draw or the Open Draw.
To participate in the Youth Mentor Draw hunters must be age 18 or older and certify that there will be at least one youth, age 15 or under, that will be in their hunting party.  Hunters issued a Youth Mentor Permit will not be able to hunt on the day of the hunt if one of their party is not a youth age 15 or younger.
The first eight Hunting Slots for each draw will be filled in the Youth Mentor.  After the Youth Mentor Draw is completed all remaining Hunting Slots will be filled through the Open Draw.   If an applicant for the Youth Mentor Draw is not drawn in that draw they will automatically be put in the Open Draw.
When applying for the draw each hunter will be able to prioritize up to five dates and five units for each draw period. 
For each draw, successful applicants will have a deadline to purchase their permits for their awarded Hunting Slots.  Any Hunting Slots left over and not filled by the deadline will be available for purchase on the site on a first come basis.   Leftover permits purchased online will be just as other permits.  The purchaser can purchase one to four permits for the available Hunting Slot and bring up to three other hunters with them on the day of the hunt.   Hunters that do not have computer access will be able to purchase any leftover Hunting Slots not filled through the draw at Cooneys General Store in Sumner, MO up until the evening before the hunt day.
Once a hunter purchases a permit for a hunting slot that slot is held for them and they can come back and purchase additional permits up to the limit of four including themselves up to the deadline to purchase permits.
Hunters will be required to check in at the Hunter Check Station between 4-7 AM each day.  Any available Hunting Slots can be obtained at Cooneys General Store up to the evening before the hunt.  Available hunting slots may be purchased online up to 7 PM the evening before the hunt date.  You must be checked in by 7 AM.  There is no computer access at the hunter check station.   The Hunter Check Station number is (660) 856-3343.  Any Hunting Slots not checked in by 7 AM on the day of the hunt will be filled by hunters present at the Check Station.   Those units filled at the Check Station the morning of the hunt will be subject to the $8.50 permit fee.  Checks will be the only payment method accepted at the Check In Station.
The Draw Application Schedule will be as follows:
                   Application Period
Draw 1       October 1 – Oct 20 @ 7 PM
Draw 2                 October 1 – Nov 5 @ 7 PM
Draw 3                 October 1 – Nov 17 @ 7 PM
Draw 4                 October 1 – Dec 8  @ 7 PM
A complete draw schedule can be downloaded on the draw website.
The accessible A7 Blind can be reserved by individuals with a disability by contacting the Refuge Office at 660-856-3323 ext 13 or 16.  Days that A7 is not reserved by disabled hunters it will be filled at the check station at 7 AM along with any other vacant units.
If you have any questions feel free to email the Refuge Manager at steve_whitson@fws.gov or give him a call at 660-856-3323 ext 13.
Swan Lake NWR is located one mile south of Sumner, MO and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  The USFWS is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for continuing benefit of the American people.


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October 7, 2017
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category: