Just last year everyone was screaming about the slowest start in years. It was a wasted first 3 weeks of season as I recall. Every year is different.......not because of the season dates but due to the ever-changing weather. After slow start to duck migration, weather change signals push of waterfowl RACHEL DOTSON Nov 17, 2016 COLUMBIA — The slowest waterfowl migration in years was expected to get a tailwind this weekend with an influx of ducks and geese to Missouri. This fall marks the slowest start to duck season in the past 10 to 15 years, said Andy Raedeke, a waterfowl biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. A survey on Monday of public wetlands in Missouri estimated 502,743 ducks in the state, with increasing numbers of mallards compared to other species. A report released Wednesday by Frank Nelson of the Department of Conservation noted that this fall has been the warmest since 1963 and the latest count was the lowest since 2004. According to the report, "October is typically dry, but this year was drier than normal for much of the state." The report also noted that the first frost often occurs during the latter half of October, but this year it didn't occur for much of the state until Nov. 12. Clayton Light, a wildlife biologist at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area south of Columbia, said the warm weather has limited the migration and hasn't been favorable for hunters. "The ducks are traveling south from Canada, and they like to travel in big, strong cold fronts," Light said. "Winds have been very light during this season." Colder temperatures, wind and sunny skies are the best combination for waterfowl hunting, and Raedeke said the cooler weather expected this weekend is what hunters need. Dale Humburg, senior science advisor with Ducks Unlimited who lives in Columbia, said the weekend weather change signals a significant migration event. While climate affects migration patterns, Humburg said, other factors include the availability of water and food in wetlands that ducks and geese favor. Raedeke said the weather has been disappointing for hunters because public wetlands are in good condition with plenty of crops and other food for waterfowl. "Every year is different, and you never known when we will get an extended cold snap that makes hunting difficult," Raedeke said. "This weekend things should turn for hunters."