All About Hunting In Missouri

Missouri is located in the Midwestern United States. It has a mixture of Midwest and South hunting cultures which provides hunters with expended hunting opportunities.

For hunting, Missouri is famous for white tailed deer and wild turkeys but it also provides hunting for other species as well like small game hunting species, furbearers, upland birds and waterfowl.

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1. Species To Hunt In Missouri

1.1 Coyotes

Coyotes are common in Missouri. Coyotes are wild canines with dog or wolf like features. Males are slightly heavier than the females. Males weighs about 30 pounds and female weighs 25 pounds.

Coyotes starts breeding in the month of February in southern states and in March in northern states. Coyotes

1.2 Badger

Open grasslands and prairies are home for badgers. They also live in croplands, fields, pastures, yards around homes, parklands and farms.

There is an uncertainty of badger’s status that is why there is no general management of badgers in Missouri. In Missouri, badgers are listed under “vulnerable to expiration” because of its restricted range.

1.3 Bobcat

Bobcat has got its name from its ‘bobbed’ tail, which is 4 to 6 inches long while the rest of the body may be from 2 to 4 feet long. They weigh up to 40 pounds.

These wildcats are quite adaptable and can live almost anywhere, from forests and farmlands to scrubby and arid regions, as long as there is some places to cover or to hide in.

They often rest in caves or hollow trees and under rock overhangs.

1.4 Fox

Red fox and grey fox are two of the most common species of fox found throughout regions of U.S.

Both species are found in Missouri; the grey fox is most common in the Ozarks located in Southern Missouri and the red fox is most commonly found north of the Missouri River.

1.5 Deer

White tailed deer are found in the places where there are variety of foods they like. A deer herd roaming a territory influences types of species.

To prevent illegal killing of white-tailed deer, the deer management of Missouri controls the annual harvest by the hunters, they also transplant live trapped deer to stock new ranges.

1.6 Quail

Quails are found throughout Missouri and have been favourites of landowners and hunting enthusiasts across Missouri. Quails play an important role within forest, grassland and agricultural ecosystems.

They are considered to be a desirable wildlife species for recreational hunting. The best way to study its population at a given time it is important to know the usage pattern of land, management practices and weather.

1.7 Squirrel

The most common members of the squirrel family in Missouri are the eastern gray squirrel and eastern fox squirrel.

The eastern gray squirrel is slender and smaller than the fox squirrel. They live commonly in bottom lands and rivers with a bushy understory.

The eastern fox squirrel are heavy bodied and larger than the gray squirrel in size. They commonly live in farm woodlots, along timbered fence rows.

Both species are commonly found in urban areas, especially where large oak and hickory trees are common.

1.8 Rabbit

Suitable living sites for rabbits are in urban yards where there are bushes or weedy areas close by for safety. Adult rabbits seek refuge in small shallow depression called “forms”, whereas females dig a deep hole to keep the babies.

Females are rarely seen because they visit the nest just to nurse the young ones in the early morning and at dusk.

2. Hunting Season

Hunting season starts in Missouri starts from September 1 to March 31 which provides enough time to adjust the hunting schedule which are in demand but there are many other species which can be hunted year-round.

2.1 Big Game Hunting Season

2.1.1 Coyotes

They can be hunted year-round. Hunting limitations are applied only during the month of April as hunters use the same method to hunt turkey which is shotguns.

2.1.2 Badger

They can be hunted during the end of the fall. No bag restrictions and possession limits are applied to this animal.

2.1.3 Bobcat

Season of bobcat hunting starts during the fall that is from mid- November to the end of January. If hunters want to sell, transfer or mount them then they must register all bobcat pelts by the month of April.

2.1.4 Fox

Fox hunting session starts from November till the end of January.

2.1.5 Deer

Deer hunting season varies for archery and firearm. Archery season starts from the mid of September and continues till mid of November.

Firearm season starts from the mid of November for a week and resumes again in December through the entire year.
Proposed Black Bear Hunting in Missouri

2.2 Small Game Hunting Season

2.2.1 Dove

Dove hunting season starts from 1st of September to 9th of November.

2.2.2 Quail

Quail hunting season starts from 1st of November to 15th of January. It is best to hunt in small field having tall grasses, lots of weeds and it is even better if the field is next to the crop fields.

2.2.3 Squirrel

Squirrel hunting season starts from late May to mid of February. Squirrels are most likely to have sweet feast in the month of June and nuts feast in the month of August and September because of the mulberry trees, oaks and hickories.

2.2.4 Rabbit

Rabbit hunting season starts from 1st of October till 15th of February. A good hunting period is said to be in October where the number of rabbits is higher.

3. Hunters Education

Hunter education has become mandatory since 1987 and certainly helping in reducing hunting accidents and deaths by more than 70 percent. All hunters are recommended to become hunter education certified for the above reason.

Hunter Education Program’s main motto is to provide hunters a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters.

  • Missouri’s hunters education course is for any hunter born on or after January 1,1967.
  • Those who are 11 years old or older are eligible for the Hunters education course.
  • Missouri hunters can get education certificate online. Missourians ages 16 or older can get their hunter education certification online.
Missouri Hunter Education – What to Expect

3.1 Bowhunter Education

People who are interested in bow hunting as well as kids who are eleven years old are eligible for this course. The classroom training is minimum for eight hours, which includes:

  • History of modern bow hunting and its development. Responsibilities of a bow hunter and ethics.
  • Working of archery equipment, tree stand safety. Identification of wildlife, all the safety measures, survival and first aid skills.
  • Wildlife conservation awareness and management.
  • All sorts of rules and regulations meant uniquely for Missouri.

4. Firearm Hunting

4.1 Deer Rifle

Before hunting, practice it before actually hunting with whatever rifle you have chosen. To become fully accustomed to the recoil, method of handling and for the blast one should always fire enough rounds on the shooting range.

If a bullet is placed plus its weight is adequate with a required velocity, then it will put a deer down to stay. Similarly, if the bullet is not properly placed, then the chances of losing animal will be more.

4.2 Good Scope

A very good quality of a scope is that, it gathers light which proves to be beneficial and gives advantage during hunting in dim light.

As per Missouri’s condition, addition of a two to four power scope to a deer hunting rifle is excellent and beneficial. Scopes having four power magnification are really not required.

Hunter Safety – Discover Nature (KRCG)

5. Crossbow Hunting

Crossbow hunting are now made legal in Missouri for hunting deer and turkey during fall.

Motto behind making crossbow hunting legal in Missouri by The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is to promote ample amount of hunting opportunities for all age groups, to encourage state’s youths to have access to hunting.

Authorities say that this will not only encourage the state hunters but also will attract new hunters.

Missouri is now ranked as 26th state to allow crossbow hunting.

5.1 Rules & Regulations

  • It is illegal to fire a crossbow or any archery device directing towards any individual, vehicle or school with a purpose or entering any property without having permission.
  • It is also illegal to fire a crossbow or any archery device in a public place like playgrounds, open roads or streets etc.
Bowhunting – Discover Nature (KRCG)

6. Hunting License

6.1 Age Requirement

A person who is 16 years of age or older, those who are born on or after 1 January, 1967 shall have an approved hunting education certificate card.

6.2 Types of Hunting License

6.2.1 Missouri Resident

A resident is a person who has lived in Missouri for at least 30 days. Active duty military members and non-resident students who live in Missouri and attend a school in Missouri are considered residents.

All Missouri residents ages 16 to 64 must have the appropriate resident license for hunting.

6.2.2 Non-Resident

All non-residents must have the appropriate non-resident license for hunting.

6.2.3 Youth Hunting Permit

Missouri residents who are 15 or under may hunt wildlife (except deer or turkey) without license if they have a hunter education card. Youth who don’t have a hunter education card can hunt under the supervision of a licensed adult hunter and must have a hunter education card.

6.2.4 Senior Hunting Permit

Residents who are of the age 65 or older are not required to have license to hunt (except deer or turkey) but other permits and stamps may be required.

6.2.5 Disability Permit

Missouri doesn’t offer hunting license for disabled people.

6.2.6 Military Permit

Military members who are resident of Missouri can purchase hunting license and the military members who are stationed elsewhere can also purchase a hunting license.

6.2.7 Veteran Permit

  • Honorably discharged veterans who have 60% or greater service connected disability are not required to purchase license for hunting.
  • Former prisoners of war are not required to have a hunting license.
  • Military members who are currently patients of the Warrior Transition Brigade, Warrior Transition Unit or a military medical center are not required to have a hunting license.

6.2.8 Permit Expiration

License are good from the date of purchase through the last day of February. Missouri residents are able to purchase a lifetime hunting license.

Top 5 Missouri Public Hunting Areas

7. Rules And Regulations

Poisons, tranquilizing drugs, chemicals and explosives are not allowed.

7.1 Motor Driven Transportation

Motor driven transportations are not allowed to be used for hunting and also not allowed for driving or molesting Wildlife.

A motorboat may be used to hunt wildlife except deer and elk.

7.2 All Terrain Vehicles

All-terrain vehicle should be driven on a highway crossing that is a part of highway system and it is illegal for anyone (except landowners and lessees on land they own or lease and certain agriculture workers) to drive all-terrain vehicles in Missouri’s stream.

7.3 Artificial Lights

Landowners may use artificial lights on their property, but while doing so they must not possess firearm, bow or other hunting implements.

Night vision or thermal imagery equipment are restricted while carrying a firearm, bow or other hunting implements.

7.4 Hunter Orange Requirement

It is required to wear hunter orange if hunting any species during firearm deer season, also during hunting Elk during elk firearm season.

It is also important to wear hunter orange if you are a mentor to another hunter during firearm deer season.

Wearing hunter orange is not required if you are hunting migratory birds.

If you’re hunting on federal or state land where deer hunting is restricted to archery methods and if you’re hunting in a country that is closed during the antlerless portions, then wearing hunter orange is not required.

7.5 Game Calls

Calling from mouth and hands can be used any time. This method can be used to hunt geese during the Conservation Order.

Calls which are electronically activated can be used to hunt furbearers and crows. Electronic calls may not be used with artificial light or night vision equipment.

MO Hunting Laws


Missouri provides varieties of hunting opportunities for them who seek hunting. It also provides online formats for the hunters to ease the process during the time of pandemic where they don’t have to step out to access the necessities for hunting.

One can also go to the online hunting website or brochure of Missouri to have a holistic knowledge.

For more information, please visit Missouri Department Of Conservation official website:


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