Regulations

Hunting

General Hunting Regulations

Methods

Seasons, permits, and species have specific rules governing the type of firearm, bow, atlatl, and slingshot which may be used to hunt. Review the information in those areas before hunting.

Fully automatic weapons are prohibited for all hunting.

Firearm restrictions during deer firearms season

Except for the urban and alternative methods portions, other wildlife may be hunted only with a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4 or a .22 or smaller caliber rimfire rifle. This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, or to landowners on their land.

Poisons, tranquilizing drugs, chemicals, and explosives

Poisons, tranquilizing drugs, chemicals, and explosives may not be used to take wildlife.

Motor driven transportation

Motor driven transportation may not be used to take, drive or molest wildlife.

A motorboat may be used to hunt wildlife, except deer, if the motor is shut off and the boat’s forward progress has stopped.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

It is illegal for anyone (except landowners and lessees on land they own or lease and certain agricultural workers) to drive all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Missouri’s streams and rivers unless the ATV is on a crossing that is part of the highway system. Violators could lose their fishing and hunting privileges.

With limited exceptions, all-terrain vehicle use is prohibited on conservation areas. Other vehicles are restricted to graveled and paved roads and established parking areas, unless otherwise posted.

Artificial lights

Artificial lights may be used to hunt:

  • bullfrogs
  • green frogs
  • raccoons and other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs

Landowners and lessees may use artificial lights on their property, but while doing so may not be in possession of — or be in the company of someone who possesses — a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

Artificial lights may not be used to search for, spot, illuminate, harass, or disturb other wildlife than the above.

You may not possess night vision or thermal imagery equipment while carrying a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

Calls

Mouth and hand calls may be used any time.

Electronic calls or electronically activated calls may be used to pursue and take crows and furbearers. They may also be used to take light geese during the Conservation Order. Electronic calls may not be used with artificial light or night-vision equipment.

Dogs

Dogs may be used in hunting wildlife -- except deer, turkey, muskrat, mink, river otter, and beaver. Learn more about the rules for hunting with dogs.

During a hunt

Hunter orange

For your safety, you are urged to wear hunter orange whenever you are hunting. You are required to wear hunter orange at certain times and locations. Learn more about the hunter orange rules.

Hunting near flood waters or fire

Wildlife, except waterfowl, may not be pursued or taken while trapped or surrounded by floodwaters or while fleeing from floodwaters or fire.

Hunting and trapping on public roadways

You may not take any wildlife from or across a public roadway with a firearm, bow or crossbow. A Conibear-type trap may be used adjacent to public roadways only if set underwater in permanent waters.

After a successful hunt

Excessive waste

It is illegal to intentionally leave or abandon any portion of any wildlife that is commonly used as human food.

Possessing, transporting, and storing wildlife

You must keep any wildlife you take separate or identifiable from that of any other hunter.

You can possess and transport wildlife as part of your personal baggage. It may be stored at your home, camp, place of lodging or in a commercial establishment.

Proper labeling

When storing deer and turkey, it must have the hunter's:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date taken
  • Telecheck confirmation number

When storing wildlife other than deer or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Permit number
  • Species
  • Date it was placed in storage

When transporting wildlife other than deer or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Permit number
  • Date it was taken

Buying and selling pelts, feathers, and other parts

Unless federal regulations prohibit, you may buy, sell or barter:

  • feathers
  • squirrel pelts
  • rabbit pelts
  • groundhog pelts
  • turkey bones
  • turkey heads
  • deer heads
  • antlers
  • hides
  • feet

They must be accompanied by a bill of sale showing:

  • the seller’s full name, address
  • the number and species of the parts
  • the full name and address of the buyer

Wildlife and wildlife parts, after mounting or tanning, also may be bought and sold.

People who receive or purchase deer heads or antlers attached to the skull plate must keep the bill of sale as long as the heads or antlers are in their possession. The bill of sale must include the transaction date and a signed statement from the sellers attesting that the deer heads and antlers were, to their knowledge, taken legally.

Giving away wildlife

You may give wildlife to another person, but it will continue to be a part of your daily limit for the day when taken. Wildlife received as a gift will be included in the possession limit of the person you give it to.

Deer and turkey must be properly labeled as outlined above.

All other wildlife being given away must be labeled with:

  • your full name
  • address
  • permit number
  • species
  • date taken

Trapping Regulations

General Provisions

  • The homes, nests or dens of furbearers must not be molested or destroyed.
  • No person shall accept payment for furbearers taken by another.
  • Wildlife held in traps, snares, or cable restraint devices may be killed or removed only by the user.
  • Bobcats and otters or their pelts must be delivered to an agent of the Conservation Department for registration or tagging before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting by April 10. Tagged bobcats, otters or their pelts may be possessed by the taker throughout the year and may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, tanners or fur dealers. It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged bobcats, otters or their pelts. Tagging tip: To make it easier to tag a pelt without damaging it, put a pencil or stick through the upper lip and eye socket before freezing the skin. The tag can be easily placed in those holes when the pelt is registered.
  • Restrictions on possession do not apply to tanned pelts, mounted specimens or manufactured products.
  • Skinned carcasses of legally taken furbearers may be sold throughout the year.

Special-Use Permit Required to Trap on Conservation Areas

Trapping with dog-proof style and other traps is allowed on many conservation areas. A Special Use Permit is required and these must be applied for at least 30 days before trapping begins. Contact the area manager at the regional office to see what opportunities are available in your area.

Traps

  • May be placed and set for furbearers at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 15 and must be removed by midnight of the last day of trapping season
  • Must have smooth or rubber jaws only, and may include foot-hold, Conibear, or other killing-type, foot-enclosing-type, cage-type, colony traps with openings no greater than 6 inches in height and 6 inches wide, snares set underwater only, and cable restraint devices.
  • Must be plainly labeled on durable material with the user’s full name and address or Conservation Number.
  • Wildlife must be removed or released from traps daily, except for colony and killing-type traps, which must be checked every 48 hours.
  • May not be set in paths made or used by people or domestic animals. Killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways, except underwater in permanent waters. Within communities having 10,000 or more inhabitants, only cage-type or foot-enclosing-type traps may be set within 150 feet of any residence or occupied building
  • May be used in conjunction with electronic calls

Conibear or Killing-type traps must comply with the following:

  • With a jaw spread greater than 5 inches, may be set underwater, but not in any dry land set
  • With a jaw spread not greater than 8 inches, may be set 6 feet or more above ground level in buildings

Snares must comply with the following:

  • Be set underwater
  • Have a loop 15 inches or less in diameter when set
  • Have a stop device that prevents the snare from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter
  • Be made with cable that is between 5/64 inch and 1/8 inch in diameter
  • Have a mechanical lock and anchor swivel

Cable Restraint Regulations

When used correctly, cable restraint devices hold animals alive and allow trappers to release non-target animals unharmed.

The devices can be used to take furbearers from November 15 through January 31 by trappers who have successfully completed a cable restraint training course, validated by a certified instructor. For information on the training course, see the links below and contact a regional office.

Cable restraint devices MUST:

  • Be made of stranded steel cable, not greater than 5 feet long (not including extension, with a diameter of not less than 5/64 inch and equipped with a commercially manufactured breakaway rated at 350 pounds or less, a relaxing-type lock, a stop device that prevents it from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and an anchor swivel. Note: Compression-type chokes and other mechanically powered springs are prohibited.
  • Have a loop size of 12 inches diameter or smaller when set
  • Have the bottom of the cable loop set at least 6 inches or greater above the ground
  • Be anchored solidly or staked in a location not allowing entanglement
  • Be checked daily.

Cable restraint devices must NOT be:

  • Capable of extending to within 12 inches of a fence
  • Set using a drag
  • Set with a kill-pole
  • Used within 150 feet of any dwelling or driveway leading to a dwelling.

Note: Trappers may not possess live coyotes, red fox, and gray fox after March 15.

Hunter-Orange Requirement

For your safety, you are urged to wear hunter orange whenever you are hunting.

When Hunter Orange is Required

You must wear hunter orange if:

  • You are hunting any species of game during firearms deer season. Some exceptions are allowed. See below.
  • You are hunting on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
  • You are serving as a mentor to another hunter during firearms deer season or on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.

To satisfy this rule, you must wear both a hunter-orange hat and a hunter-orange shirt, vest, or coat. The hunter-orange color must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange does not satisfy this rule.

When Hunter Orange Is Not Required

You don’t have to wear hunter orange during firearms deer season or on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt if:

  • You are hunting migratory game birds.
  • You are archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.
  • You are hunting on federal or state land where deer hunting is restricted to archery or crossbow methods.
  • You are archery hunting during the alternative methods portion.
  • You are hunting in a county that is closed during the urban zones and antlerless portions.
  • You are hunting small game or furbearers during the alternative methods portion.

Qualifications for Resident Permits

If you meet any of the conditions below, you can apply for hunting and fishing permits as a Missouri resident.

Have you lived in Missouri for at least 30 days?

Any person who does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, and whose actual residence and legal permanent home address are both in Missouri, and have been for at least 30 days before applying for the permit. Owning real estate or attending a Missouri school does not in itself make you a legal resident.

Are you military personnel, a veteran, or a federal employee?

All members of the U.S. armed forces stationed and residing in Missouri on permanent change of station status and immediate family members residing with them.

Any honorably discharged military veteran having a service-related disability of 60 percent or greater, or who was a prisoner of war during military service; must carry certified statement of eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs while hunting or purchasing permits.

Any member of the U.S. military currently assigned as a patient to a Warrior Transition Brigade, Warrior Transition Unit or a military medical center; must carry orders showing assignment to a Warrior Transition Brigade or Warrior Transition Unit, or admissions verification to a military medical center while hunting or purchasing permits.

Missouri residents employed by the United States in the District of Columbia or serving in the U.S. armed forces. (Immediate family members who reside with them also may purchase resident permits.)

Are you a student?

Nonresidents who are registered students attending a public or private secondary, post secondary, or vocational school in Missouri and who live in Missouri while attending school; must carry evidence of a Missouri residence and student status while hunting. Note: Nonresident students who qualify for resident permits must purchase them at Conservation Department offices.

Are you a Resident Legal Alien?

Immigrants who possess an I-551 Resident Alien Card and who do not claim resident privileges in another state or country, and whose actual residence and legal permanent home address are both in Missouri, and have been for at least 30 days before applying for the permit.

Qualifications for Resident Landowner Permits

All deer and turkey hunters, including landowners and lessees, must have valid deer and/or turkey hunting permits. Resident landowners and lessees who meet the qualifications may obtain the no-cost resident landowner permits listed below.

Do I qualify for a landowner/lessee permit?

If you meet one of the conditions below, you can get no-cost resident landowner permits.

  • Any Missouri resident who owns at least 5 continuous acres, and his or her immediate household members age 6 or older. Note: Landowners do not need to live on their land to qualify for landowner permits; they must, however, be Missouri residents.
  • Any Missouri resident who leases and lives on at least 5 continuous acres owned by others, and his or her immediate household members age 6 or older. Note: Participation in a hunting lease alone does not qualify an individual for landowner permits.
  • Any Missouri resident who is a general partner of a partnership, an officer of a resident or foreign corporation, an officer or managing member of a resident limited liability company, or an officer of a benevolent association organized pursuant to Chapter 352 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri when the before-mentioned organization owns at least 5 continuous acres. In the case of corporate ownerships, all registered officers of a corporation can qualify, and they are not required to reside on the land. People who own stock in a corporation (shareholders) do not qualify.

Immediate household member is defined as anyone, related or unrelated, whose legal residence is the same as the qualifying landowner or lessee for at least the last 30 days. Family members whose legal residence is elsewhere do not qualify.

Which permits can I get?

Qualifying resident landowners and lessees who have at least 5 acres, and all members of their immediate household age 6 or older, may each receive:

  • One Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • One Resident Landowner Fall Firearms Turkey Hunting Permit
  • One Resident Landowner Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit
  • One Resident Landowner Archer’s Hunting Permit
  • Two Resident Landowner Archery Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits depending upon county availability

Qualifying resident landowners and lessees who have 75 or more acres located in a single county or at least 75 continuous acres bisected by a county boundary, and all members of their immediate household age 6 or older, may each receive:

  • All of the landowner permits listed above
  • Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits depending upon county availability
Map showing Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Permits allowed
One permit allowed in blue counties. Two permits allowed in all other counties.
Missouri Department of Conservation

What do I need to apply?

  • Your Conservation ID number, Heritage Card number, Social Security number, or driver’s license number
  • The county or counties where your land is located
  • The number of acres you own or lease and reside on 

Note: Landowners may be required to submit proof of ownership if it cannot be verified through county plat books.

How do I obtain Landowner Permits?

You may obtain your no-cost resident landowner permits using any of the methods below.

  1. Over the counter from any permit vendor. Go early to avoid long lines. No surcharges will be assessed.
  2. Online anytime using the e-Permits System at mdc.mo.gov/epermits. Use your credit card to pay a $1 surcharge. Print your permit at home and have it in hand immediately.
  3. By telephone at 800-392-4115. Use your credit card to pay a $2 surcharge. Allow 10 days for delivery.

Are there special rules for landowners/lessees?

Qualifying landowners and lessees:

  • Must abide by season dates, methods, limits, and tagging/checking requirements.
  • Must use landowner permits only on their qualifying property. To hunt on other land, landowners and lessees must purchase regular permits.
  • May use their landowner permits to take deer on their land during archery deer season and all portions of the firearms season including the urban zones and antlerless portions (if their property is located in one of the open areas.
  • With 75 or more acres in more than one county must comply with landowner antlerless deer limits for each county.
  • May fill a Firearms Any-Deer Permit and a purchased any-deer permit. However, each hunter may take only one antlered deer during the firearms deer hunting season. Therefore, landowners and lessees who take an antlered deer on one any-deer permit must take an antlerless deer on the other any-deer permit. Deer taken on a managed deer hunting permit or in accordance with the archery deer hunting season do not count toward this limit.
  • May fill their no-cost landowner antlerless permits and also purchase and fill additional antlerless permits according to county limits.

Deer Hunting Regulations

Allowed hunting methods vary by season

Allowed hunting methods vary by season. Be sure to view season information and the General Hunting Regulations before you hunt.

Hunter-orange requirement

Hunter orange is required during the firearms deer season. Read all the hunter-orange requirements before hunting.

Baiting regulations

Prohibited

Use of bait — which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to attract deer or turkeys — while hunting is illegal.

An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait. 

A hunter can be in violation if they take or attempt to take a deer or turkey by the aid of bait where the hunter knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.

It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.

Additional rules apply in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zones.

Allowed

Doe urine and other scents, such as apple, acorn, and persimmon, may be used to attract deer while hunting, as long as the scents are not used on or with grain and other food products.

Mineral blocks, including salt, are not considered bait. However, mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited.

It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.

Manipulating crops, such as mowing or knocking them down, is not considered baiting for deer and turkeys.

Limits

Check your permit and hunting season for information about limits. Also check to determine if antler point restrictions apply to the area where you are hunting.

Chronic Wasting Disease

If you hunt in Adair, Boone, Callaway, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Knox, Linn, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, or Sullivan counties, you are in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zones. Learn the best practices for harvesting deer in these counties. 

Assisting other deer hunters

You must have a filled or unfilled deer hunting permit to assist others in taking deer, which includes participating in deer drives or enticing deer with calls or rattling antlers. It is illegal to shoot or take a deer for another hunter. Party hunting where hunters pool their tags is prohibited.

Tree stands placed on Conservation Department areas

Portable tree stands may be placed or used only between Sepember 1 and January 31 on Conservation Department areas. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on durable material with your full name and address, or Conservation ID number. You may not use nails, screw-in steps, or any material that would damage the tree. Tree stands must be removed from the area before February 1.

Retrieval of game

If you kill or injure a deer, you must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and include the animal in your season limit. However, this does not authorize trespass. It is illegal to leave or abandon commonly edible portions of game.

Use of dogs to hunt and recover game

Dogs may not be used to hunt deer. However, you may use leashed dogs to track and recover mortally wounded deer, provided you:

  • Have exhausted other reasonable means of finding the animal,
  • Contact a conservation agent,
  • Do not possess firearms or bows during dog-tracking activities, and
  • Maintain control of the leashed dog at all times.

Using dogs to recover game does not authorize trespass.

Read regulations on hunting with dogs.

Keep deer carcasses out of streams and lakes

It is illegal to place a deer carcass or any of its parts into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, stream, pond, or lake.

Possession and sale

Properly checked deer and turkeys may be possessed by anyone if labeled with the taker’s full name, address, date taken, and Telecheck confirmation number. The Telecheck confirmation number must remain attached to the carcass until a meat processor begins working on the animal.

Deer left at commercial processing or cold storage plants must be claimed by May 1 following the season taken.

Any person who finds a dead deer with antlers still attached to the skull plate may take the antlers, but must report the find to a conservation agent within 24 hours to receive authorization to possess the antlers.

No authorization is needed to possess, buy, or sell shed antlers not attached to the skull plate.

Read general regulations about giving away, possessing, storing and selling wildlife.

Turkey Hunting Regulations

Check permits and seasons for hunting dates and allowed methods

You can find dates, allowed methods and valid permits on the turkey hunting seasons section.

Assisting other turkey hunters

You must have a filled or unfilled turkey hunting permit to call turkeys for another hunter.

Baiting regulations

  • Use of bait - which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered as to attract turkeys – while hunting is illegal.
  • An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait.
  • A hunter can be in violation if they take or attempt to take a turkey by the aid of bait where the hunter knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.
  • It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.
  • Mineral blocks, including salt, are not considered bait, but mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited.
  • It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is illegal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.
  • Manipulating crops, such as mowing or knocking them down, is not considered baiting for turkeys.

Voiding permits

Hunters who harvest a turkey must void their permit immediately by notching the month and day of harvest.

Tagging and checking

As long as you stay with your harvested turkey, you don't need to attach your notched permit to the bird, but you must keep your permit on hand. If you leave your turkey, you must attach your permit to the turkey's leg. Visit the Telecheck pages for more information on how to properly tag and check your bird. The Telecheck process varies slightly by season, see Fall Telecheck or Spring Telecheck.

Hunter Ethics

All hunters should treat the outdoors with respect and follow ethical hunting practices. These include:

  • If you hunt on private land, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner and respect his or her property as if it were your own. Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.
  • If you do not kill your game instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land.
  • Clean and care for your game properly.
  • Pick up all litter, including spent ammunition. Leaving an area better than the way you found it is a sign of thanks for the privilege of hunting.
  • Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff as soon as possible.
  • If you are involved in a firearms-related accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance; failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Develop your skills and knowledge, and share them with others.
  • Know and obey all wildlife laws.
  • Know and follow the rules of gun safety.
  • Respect the rights of hunters, nonhunters and landowners.
  • Make every effort to retrieve and use all game.
  • Respect the land and all wildlife.
  • Be sensitive to others when displaying harvested game.
  • Remember, hunting is not a competitive sport.

Urban Deer Hunting Zones and Maps

St. Louis urban zone

  • All of St. Charles and St. Louis counties
  • Portion of Franklin County north and east of a line from Highway 47 south to Highway 50, east to Interstate 44, east to Highway O, east to Highway NN, south on NN to the Jefferson County line
  • Portion of Jefferson County north of a line from Highway NN to Highway 30, east to Highway MM, east to Highway M, east to U.S. 61, south to Glaize Creek, east to the Mississippi River
st_louis_urban.png

Kansas City urban zone

  • Portion of Platte County south of Hwy 92
  • Portion of Cass County north of Route 2
  • All portions of Clay and Jackson counties
kc_urban_zone-1.png

Springfield urban zone

All of Greene County

springfield_urban-2014.png

 Check local ordinances before you hunt

Before hunting in an urban area, search the Web for that city's local ordinances, which are usually found in the weapons section of a city’s municipal code. Key words to look for are discharging a firearm or projectile weapon, hunting, bow and arrow, archery, or crossbow.

If you have questions about an ordinance, contact the city's police department. Also, individual neighborhoods may have rules regarding hunting activity within a subdivision. Check with the neighborhood board of trustees for rules that may restrict the use of hunting equipment.

When allowed, most cities limit hunting methods to archery only. In some areas, however, certain firearms methods (such as muzzleloaders) may also be allowed, but sometimes with restrictions on lot size or acreage.

If you live in a community with abundant deer but local ordinances prohibit the use of hunting equipment, let your city officials know that you would like the ordinances to be changed. Missouri Department of Conservation staff are available to assist city leaders in drafting an ordinance to allow for the use of hunting equipment.

Questions? Contact our regional offices

Central Region
3500 East Gans Road
Columbia, MO 65201
573-815-7900

Kansas City Region
12405 SE Ranson Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64082
816-622-0900

Northeast Region
3500 S. Baltimore
Kirksville, MO 63501
660-785-2420

Northwest Region
701 James McCarthy Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507
816-271-3100

Ozark Region
551 Joe Jones Blvd.
West Plains, MO 65775
417-256-7161

Southeast Region
2302 County Park Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-290-5730

Southwest Region
2630 N. Mayfair
Springfield, MO 65803
417-895-6880

St. Louis Region
2360 Highway D
St. Charles, MO 63304
636-441-4554
 

Antler Point Restrictions

What are antler point restrictions?

In Missouri counties with antler restrictions, an antlered deer must have at least four points on one side to be taken.

How to count antler points

antler diagram

Each of the following counts as a point:

  1. The end of the main beam
  2. An antler point, if it is at least 1 inch long
  3. Any broken tine that is at least 1 inch long
  4. The brow tine, if it is at least 1 inch long

Tines, main beams and brow tines all count as a point if they are at least 1-inch long. A buck with seven points is a legal deer in counties with antler-point restrictions.

Counties with a 4 antler point minimum

Counties with a 4 antler point minimum

These counties require that bucks you harvest have at least four antler points on one side of their rack. This rule applies to both the archery and firearms deer hunting seasons. It does not apply to youth hunts.

  • Andrew
  • Atchison
  • Audrain
  • Barton
  • Bates
  • Benton 
  • Buchanan
  • Caldwell
  • Camden
  • Carroll
  • Cedar
  • Clark
  • Clinton
  • Daviess 
  • DeKalb
  • Gasconade
  • Gentry
  • Grundy
  • Harrison
  • Henry
  • Hickory
  • Holt
  • Howard
  • Johnson
  • Lafayette
  • Lewis
  • Lincoln 
  • Livingston
  • Maries 
  • Marion
  • Mercer
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Nodaway
  • Pettis
  • Phelps
  • Pike 
  • Pulaski
  • Ralls
  • Ray
  • Saline 
  • St. Clair
  • Vernon
  • Warren
  • Worth

This rule also applies to the portions of Cass, Franklin, Jefferson, and Platte counties NOT included in the urban zones.

Counties without antler point restrictions

  • Adair
  • Barry
  • Bollinger
  • Boone
  • Butler
  • Callaway
  • Cape Girardeau
  • Carter
  • Cass County (in Urban Zone)
  • Chariton
  • Christian
  • Clay
  • Cole
  • Cooper
  • Crawford
  • Dade
  • Dallas
  • Dent
  • Douglas
  • Dunklin
  • Franklin County (in Urban Zone)
  • Greene
  • Howell
  • Iron
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson County (in Urban Zone)
  • Knox
  • Laclede
  • Lawrence
  • Linn
  • Macon
  • Madison
  • McDonald
  • Miller
  • Moniteau
  • Mississippi
  • Morgan
  • New Madrid
  • Newton
  • Oregon
  • Osage
  • Ozark
  • Pemiscot
  • Perry
  • Platte County (in Urban Zone)
  • Polk
  • Putnam
  • Randolph
  • Reynolds
  • Ripley
  • Schuyler
  • Scotland
  • Scott
  • Shannon
  • Shelby
  • St. Charles
  • St. Francois
  • St. Louis
  • Ste. Genevieve
  • Stoddard
  • Stone
  • Sullivan
  • Taney
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wayne
  • Webster
  • Wright

Legal

Legal buck heads

Does, button bucks and bucks with spikes less than 3 inches are legal to take on Antlerless or Any-Deer Permits; but for deer management, it is better to take does.

Protected

buck head
3-point buck head: protected

Protected deer include all antlered deer (defined as having at least one antler 3 inches or longer) that do not have a minimum of at least four points on one side.

 

County Restrictions on Antlerless Deer Hunting

Antlerless Permits

Archery antlerless permits can be used during the archery deer season in open counties. Firearm antlerless permits can be used during all portions of firearms deer season. However, some areas are closed to firearms hunting during the urban zones and antlerless portions.

How many ARCHERY Antlerless Permits can you fill?

Hunters may purchase and fill any number of Archery Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits during the archery deer season in all counties BUT: Butler, Dunklin, Iron, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Reynolds, and Scott counties.

Missouri counties where any number of archery antlerless deer permits can be used. anterless archery permit map

How Many FIREARMS Antlerless Permits Can You Fill?

You may purchase as many antlerless permits as you want, but each county or county section has a limit on the number of antlerless permits you may fill. Resident landowners and lessees with at least 75 acres may harvest additional antlerless deer using no-cost Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits.

Anterless Permit Map

Firearms Antlerless Permits Map

  • These counties or county sections are closed to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion (shaded in gray): Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Scott. Stoddard, and Wayne.
  • You may fill two firearms antlerless deer hunting permits in these counties during firearms deer season (all portions combined): Adair, Barton, Boone, Callaway, Chariton, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Greene, Howell, Jackson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Oregon, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Louis, and Sullivan. You may fill two firearms antlerless deer hunting permits in parts of these counties during firearms deer season (all portions combined): Cass, Franklin, Jefferson, and Platte. Resident landowners and lessees with at least 75 acres may harvest additional antlerless deer using no-cost Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits.
  • You may fill one firearms antlerless deer hunting permit in all other counties or county sections during firearms deer season (all portions combined). Resident landowners and lessees with at least 75 acres may harvest additional antlerless deer using no-cost Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits.

ANTLERLESS PORTION OF THE FIREARMS SEASON

Firearms hunting is allowed only in counties or county sections shaded blue or orange in the map below. Areas in white are closed to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion.

Antlerless Portion 2015

Firearms Antlerless Portion Permits Map

These counties are closed to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion: Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Crawford, Dade, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Webster, and Wright.

Parts of these counties are also closed to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion: Franklin and Jefferson.

You can fill two firearms antlerless deer permits in these counties (marked in orange on the map): Adair, Boone, Callaway, Chariton, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Greene, Jackson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Louis County, and Sullivan.

You can fill two firearms antlerless deer permits in parts of these counties (marked in orange on the map): Cass, Franklin, Jefferson and Platte. 

You can fill one permit in all other counties or portions of counties.

Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zones

Since 2001, the Conservation Department has tested more than 43,000 deer across the state for chronic wasting disease (CWD). As of June 2015, CWD has been detected in 26 free-ranging deer in Macon (19), Adair (6), and Cole (1) counties, and 11 captive deer in Linn (1) and Macon (10) counties.

CWD Management zones

CWD Containment Zone
CWD Management Zones

To slow the spread of CWD, special regulations and guidelines apply in Adair, Boone, Callaway, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Knox, Linn, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, and Sullivan counties.

Avoid Deer attractants

Attracting deer using grain, salt, or minerals artificially concentrates many deer in a small area. This increases the chance of spreading CWD from one deer to another or from the environment to a deer.

In Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph, and Sullivan counties, grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable products used to attract deer are prohibited year-round.

However, the following exceptions are allowed:

  • Feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building
  • Feed placed in a manner that excludes access by deer
  • Feed and minerals used solely for normal agricultural, forest management, or wildlife food plot production practices

Hunters in Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Knox, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Shelby counties are strongly encouraged to avoid using deer attractants.

Don't Move Deer carcasses

Deer hunters throughout the state are encouraged to avoid moving deer carcasses to help prevent the spread of CWD. Minimize the risk of spreading CWD by moving only these deer parts:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped
  • Meat that has been boned out
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spine or head attached
  • Hides or capes from which all excess tissue has been removed
  • Antlers, including antlers attached to skull plates or skulls cleaned of all muscle and brain tissue
  • Finished taxidermy products

Transporting meat out of the Zones

If you harvest deer in the CWD Management Zones, you are strongly encouraged to avoid taking out of the Zone whole deer carcasses or parts containing brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, or lymph nodes. Items that are safe to transport include:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped
  • Meat that has been boned out
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spine or head attached
  • Hides or capes from which all excess tissue has been removed
  • Antlers, including antlers attached to skull plates or skulls cleaned of all muscle and brain tissue
  • Finished taxidermy products

Report Sick Deer

If you see a sick deer, please call your local conservation agent or your regional Conservation Department office.

Donate a tissue sample from your deer

If you harvest a deer from within the CWD Management Zones, please consider donating tissue samples from your deer to help the Conservation Department monitor CWD. Removing a tissue sample is free and takes little time. Just take your deer to one of the participating locations. Test results are available online in 3-4 weeks. Have your Conservation ID number handy when you check test results.

Telecheck - Fall

All deer and turkey must be checked by telephone or on the Internet. No in-person checking stations are available.

You don't need to call Telecheck immediately after taking the game. You have until 10 p.m. on the day of harvest to check your deer or turkey.

After you’ve reported to Telecheck, your deer or turkey may be processed, stored, or transported by anyone as long as it is labeled with your full name, address, date taken, and Telecheck confirmation number. You may now transport your deer or turkey out of state.

Telecheck with the MO Hunting app

Step 1: Select your notched permit from the list.
Step 2: Tap “Telecheck.”
Step 3: Follow the prompts on the screen.
Telecheck will upload a confirmation number to your mobile device.

Telecheck using a phone or internet

Step 1: Collect the following information, which you will be asked when you use Telecheck.

If checking a turkey, you will need:

  1. Your Telecheck ID number (if you have more than one permit, be sure you give the number of the permit you want to use)
  2. County where turkey was taken
  3. Turkey type:
  • adult gobbler
  • adult hen
  • juvenile gobbler
  • juvenile hen

If checking a deer, you will need:

  1. Your Telecheck ID number (if you have more than one permit, be sure you give the number of the permit you want to use)
  2. County where deer was taken
  3. Deer type: doe, button buck, or antlered buck
  4. Count the total number of points 1 inch or longer. Record the harvest of a buck as 0 points if the buck has one of the following:
  • shed its antlers
  • small antlers with both beams shorter than 3 inches
  • broken antlers off less than 3 inches from their base

Note: If you harvested deer in Boone, Cass, Christian, Cole, Franklin, Jefferson or Platte counties, you will be asked: Did you harvest a deer within an urban zone?

Step 2: Grab a pen, then call or log into Telecheck

Go online to check your deer or turkey, or use a phone to dial 1-800-314-6828, then follow the instructions. If you use the phone, speak clearly and slowly. You can call between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Step 3: Write the confirmation number on your permit

After you have provided the required information, you will receive an eight-digit confirmation number that verifies you have legally checked your game. Write this number on the permit.

You have now completed checking your game and can process your deer or turkey.

Troubleshooting

The most common reason hunters are unable to complete their Telecheck is because of a poor cell phone reception. Wait until you are out of the woods and receive a clear, strong cell phone connection before placing your Telecheck call. Once you’ve notched the month and day of harvest on your permit, you have until 10 p.m. on the day of harvest to check the animal.

Telecheck - Spring

If you harvest a turkey, you must log you harvest in Telecheck either online or by phone. No in-person checking stations are available.

You don't need to call Telecheck immediately after taking the game. You have until 10 p.m. on the day of harvest to check your turkey. You can transport unchecked game within the state as long as the transportation tag is attached to the leg. 

Telecheck with the MO Hunting app

Step 1: Select your notched permit from the list.
Step 2: Tap “Telecheck.”
Step 3: Follow the prompts on the screen.
Telecheck will upload a confirmation number to your mobile device.

Telecheck using a phone or internet

Step 1: Collect harvest information

You will be asked for the following information when you use Telecheck.

  1. Your Telecheck ID number (if you have more than one permit, be sure you give the number of the permit you want to use)
  2. County where turkey was taken
  3. Turkey type: Do you have a hen or gobbler?
  4. Spur length (gobblers only): Is the spur length shorter than 1 inch or longer than 1 inch?
  5. Beard length: Is the beard longer than 6 inches or shorter than 6 inches?

Step 2: Grab a pen, then call or log into Telecheck

Go online or use a phone to dial 1-800-314-6828, then follow the instructions. If you use the phone, speak clearly and slowly. You can call between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Step 3: Write the confirmation number on your permit

After you have provided the required information, you will receive an eight-digit confirmation number that verifies you have legally checked your game. Write this number on the permit.

You have now completed checking your game and can process your turkey.

Troubleshooting

The most common reason hunters are unable to complete their Telecheck is because of a poor cell phone reception. Wait until you are out of the woods and receive a clear, strong cell phone connection before placing your Telecheck call. Once you’ve attached the temporary transportation tag to your deer or turkey, you have until 10 p.m. on the day of harvest to check the animal.

How to tell a hen from a gobbler

How to tell gobbler from hen illustrations

Large size, black body and long beard are marks of the gobbler. Hens sometimes have beards, but color, size and behavior distinguish them from gobblers. Hens are smaller, brown birds with blue heads. Bearded hens produce young and help increase the turkey population. They should not be killed, but any turkey with a clearly visible beard is legal in Missouri. Hens without beards are illegal and must not be killed. The future of our wild turkey hunting depends on you.

Use your permit to measure length of beard and spur

2011 turkey permit illustrations

  • Your permit is 6 inches long.
  • The signature line on your permit is 2 inches long (1-inch mark in the middle).

How to measure spurs

turkey spur illustration

Spur length measurements help biologists keep track of the age structure of the adult population. Please accurately measure your turkey’s spur before Telechecking your turkey. If you don’t have a ruler, use the signature line of your permit, which is 2 inches long—with a 1-inch mark in the middle.

Start at the outside center from the point at which the spur protrudes from the leg scales, and measure to the tip of the spur. Juvenile gobblers have spurs less than ½ inch long and a beard less than 6 inches long.

Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit and Stamp Requirements

To pursue, take, possess, and transport ducks, coots, and geese in Missouri, except during the Conservation Order, you must possess and carry the following, unless exempt:

1) a Missouri permit to hunt small game is required of:

  • Missouri residents age 16 through 64
  • Nonresidents age 16 and older

An annual permit is available to residents for $10 and to nonresidents for $80 from any permit vendor. A daily permit is also available to nonresidents from any permit vendor for $11 per day.

Exemption: Missouri resident landowners hunting on their own land do not need a Missouri small game hunting permit, but the Migratory Bird Hunting Permit and Duck Stamp are required (see below).

2) Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit is required of:

  • Residents and nonresidents age 16 and over.

This permit is available for $6 from any permit vendor. Purchase of this permit satisfies requirements for Migratory Game Bird Harvest Registration.

3) Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is required of: Residents and nonresidents age 16 and over. To be valid, the federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (duck stamp) must be signed in ink across the face.

Stamps are available for $25 at some U.S. Post Offices, MDC regional offices, nature centers, and visitor’s centers, but not at permit vendors or waterfowl hunting conservation areas.

Duck stamps are also available online at the Buy e-Permits link below or at Missouri permit vendors. The electronic duck stamp, or e-Stamp, allows customers to purchase the Federal Duck Stamp online and use it immediately. The e-Stamp costs $28.50 and is valid for 45 days from the date of purchase. Within that time, a physical duck stamp will be mailed to the customer. After 45 days, the customer must carry their Federal Duck Stamp while hunting. Retail vendors will still be able to process e-Stamp transactions for hunters.

Permit Requirements for Hunters Younger Than 16

Resident and nonresident hunters age 15 and younger are not required to purchase any permits to hunt ducks, coots or geese in Missouri. However, they must have in their possession a valid Hunter Education Certificate Card while hunting or be in the immediate presence of an adult age 18 or older who possesses a Missouri small game hunting permit and is hunter education certified or born before Jan. 1, 1967.

Permit Requirement for Light-Goose Conservation Order

During the Conservation Order, Feb. 1–April 30, residents and nonresidents age 16 and older only need a Conservation Order Permit to chase, pursue and take snow, blue and Ross’s geese. This permit costs $5 for residents and $40 for nonresidents. Hunters with either a Resident Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit or a Resident Lifetime Small Game Hunting Permit do not need to purchase a Conservation Order Permit to hunt light geese during the Conservation Order.

Hunters 15 years old and younger do not need a Conservation Order Permit, but must possess a valid hunter-education certificate card or hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult 18 years old or older who is hunter-education certified or was born before January 1, 1967.

Note: A Missouri small game hunting permit, Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit and Federal Duck Stamp are not required during the Conservation Order.

Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Hunting Methods

Firearms

Only shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, are allowed for hunting migratory game birds.

If a shotgun can hold more than three shells, it must be plugged with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

Concealment devices

You can't use a sink box or anything else that conceals you below the surface of the water.

Motorized transportation

Hunting from a motor vehicle, including aircraft, is not allowed. Paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs are exempted from this regulation.

Motorized vehicles, including aircraft, or motor boats or sailboats may not be used to round up migratory birds.

You can't hunt from a motorboat or sailboat unless the motor is off or sails furled.

Decoys and calls

Live decoys are prohibited. All tame or captive ducks and geese must be removed 10 days prior to hunting. All tame or captive ducks and geese must be kept where migratory waterfowl cannot see them and their calls are quieted.

Recorded or amplified bird calls or amplified imitations of bird calls are not allowed.

Baiting

You can't bait your hunting area. All bait must be removed 10 days prior to hunting.

Hunting over freshly planted food plots is prohibited.

Possession and Transportation

Wanton Waste

All hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve any bird killed or crippled while hunting. The bird must be in the hunter's custody until it is brought back to the hunter's lodging or a taxidermist.

Opening Day Of A Season

On the opening day of the season, no person shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit.

Field Possession Limit

No person shall have more than the daily bag limit of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (a) one’s automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) one’s personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

Tagging Requirements

All hunters must tag migratory birds before giving the bird to another person for processing, storage, or for taxidermy. The tag will have the hunter's address, number and species of birds, and the date the birds were killed, and be signed by the hunter.

All birds must be tagged before the hunter gives the birds as a gift, or are transported by another person. If the birds are mailed or shipped, the box must have the tagging information.

Species Identification Requirement

All waterfowl must have the head or one fully-feathered wing attached while the bird is in transit to the hunter's home or taxidermist.

Youth Waterfowl Regulations

Each year, there are two youth-only waterfowl hunting days in each zone for ducks, geese and coots. Youth hunters must be:

  • age 15 or younger
  • accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older who is not allowed to hunt ducks but who can participate in other open seasons.

No permits are required for youth hunters. If the youth possesses a valid hunter-education certificate card, the accompanying adult does not need a permit or hunter-ed certification. However, if the youth is not hunter-ed certified, the accompanying adult must be hunter-ed certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967, and possess a Missouri permit to hunt small game or be exempt.

Shooting hours and limits are the same as the regular duck, goose, and coot seasons.

Nontoxic Shot Regulations

When is Nontoxic shot required?

  • All waterfowl hunting (ducks, geese, teal, and coots)
  • Hunting dove, rails, snipe, and woodcock on public areas with nontoxic shot requirement posted.
  • Hunting with a shotgun (including dove, turkey, quail, rabbit, squirrel) on twenty-one conservation areas.

Waterfowl hunters in Missouri have used nontoxic shot since 1991.

Approved types of nontoxic shot

These shot types have been approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (as of January 2014):

  • Bismuth-tin
  • Iron (steel)
  • Iron-tungsten
  • Iron-tungsten-nickel
  • Copper-clad iron
  • Tungsten-bronze (two types)
  • Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel
  • Tungsten-iron-polymer
  • Tungsten-matrix
  • Tungsten-polymer
  • Tungsten-tin-bismuth
  • Tungsten-tin-iron
  • Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel

Nontoxic shot is required on 21 Conservation Areas

Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited for hunting on the Conservation Areas listed below. These are larger wetlands where waterfowl and shorebirds concentrate in the fall and spring.

  • Bob Brown Conservation Area
  • Black Island Conservation Area
  • Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
  • Cooley Lake Conservation Area
  • Coon Island Conservation Area
  • Duck Creek Conservation Area
  • Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
  • Fountain Grove Conservation Area
  • Four Rivers Conservation Area
  • Grand Pass Conservation Area
  • B. K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area
  • Little Bean Marsh Conservation Area
  • Little River Conservation Area
  • Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area
  • Montrose Conservation Area
  • Nodaway Valley Conservation Area
  • Otter Slough Conservation Area
  • Schell-Osage Conservation Area
  • Settle’s Ford Conservation Area
  • Ted Shanks Conservation Area
  • Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area

Nontoxic shot is safer for wildlife and people

The nontoxic shot regulation reduces incidence of lead shot ingestion, which is often fatal to all vertebrates, waterfowl, doves, and scavenging birds, like eagles, which feed on waterfowl with lead shot in the carcass. Mounting evidence points to lead poisoning occurring in more than 134 species, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Don't Shoot a Swan

Trumpeter swans are protected by federal and state laws and may not be shot. Trumpeter swans are twice the size of Canada geese and four times the size of snow geese. Young swans are gray.

Identification tips:

image of Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan

  • All white plumage
  • Long white neck
  • Length: 4 ft.
  • Wingspan: 7 ft.
  • Weight: 20-30 lbs.

image of Canada Goose

Canada Goose

  • Gray and white body and wings
  • Black head and neck with white chin strap
  • Length: 2 ft.
  • Wingspan: 5 ft.
  • Weight: 10-12 lbs.

image of Snow Goose

Snow Goose

  • White, with black wing tips
  • Short neck
  • Length: 1 1/2 ft.
  • Wingspan: 3 1/2 ft.
  • Weight: 5-6 lbs.

Related Content

Hunting with Dogs

Hunters may use dogs to take and retrieve game, but there are restrictions by species, times, and locations.

When Dogs are Illegal to Use

Dogs are prohibited when hunting deer and turkey.

Dogs can not be used to harvest muskrat, mink, river otter, and beaver. 

Dogs are prohibited when hunting furbearers (badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk) during daylight hours from Nov.1 through the close of the November portion of the firearms deer season and in counties that have an antlerless portion of the deer season.

Dogs are prohibited when hunting squirrels and rabbits during daylight hours of the November portion of the firearms deer season in the following counties:

  • Butler
  • Carter
  • Dent
  • Iron
  • Madison
  • Oregon
  • Reynolds
  • Ripley
  • Shannon
  • Wayne

Dogs must wear ID

While hunting, all dogs, except for those used by waterfowl and game bird hunters, must wear a collar with the owner’s full name and address, Conservation Number or complete telephone number.

Training Dogs

During training, dogs may chase but not take wildlife that can be hunted with dogs. You will need a hunting permit appropriate for the wildlife or exception when training dogs that are chasing wildlife.

Only a pistol with blank ammunition may be used during daylight hours to train dogs during closed seasons.

Additional Bobcat Regulations

Notification Requirement

Bobcats or their pelts must be delivered to an agent of the Conservation Department for registration or tagging before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting by April 10. Tagged bobcats or their pelts may be possessed by the taker throughout the year and may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, tanners or fur dealers. It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged bobcats or their pelts.

Additional Coyote Regulations

Coyotes may NOT be hunted during daylight hours from April 1 through April 19.

During spring turkey season, coyotes may be taken using only methods allowed for spring turkey, and hunters must have an unfilled turkey permit and a permit to hunt small game.

Dogs may not be used to hunt coyotes during daylight hours statewide from November 1 to the close of the November portion of the firearms deer season and during the antlerless portions in open counties.

Additional Dove Regulations

Nontoxic shot required on posted public areas and conservation areas.

Additional Groundhog Regulations

Groundhog pelts can be possessed and sold throughout the year. Cage-type traps may be used if the trap is:

  • Labeled with your name and address or your conservation number 
  • Is attended daily
  • Has an opening 144 square inches or smaller

Additional Otter and Muskrat Regulations

Otter pelts must be registered or tagged by a conservation agent before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting by April 10.

Tagged otter pelts may be possessed by the taker throughout the year and may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, tanners, or fur dealers.

It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged otters or their pelts.

Additional Pheasant Regulations

Only male pheasants may be taken.

A foot or fully feathered head must be left attached to pheasants during transportation and storage.

Additional Rabbit Regulations

Only cottontail and swamp rabbits may be hunted. Jackrabbits are protected at all times and may not be hunted or trapped.

During Deer Season

During daylight hours of the November portion of the firearms deer hunting season, rabbits may not be chased, pursued or taken with the aid of dogs in Butler, Carter, Dent, Iron, Madison, Oregon, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon or Wayne counties.

During the November and antlerless portions (in areas where open) of the firearms deer season, rabbits may be hunted only with a .22 caliber or smaller rim-fire or a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4. This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, or to landowners on their land.

Use of Cage-type Traps

In addition to prescribed hunting methods, you may take rabbits with a cage-type trap at any hour during the open hunting season if you possess a hunting permit.

The cage-type trap must:

  • be labeled with your full name and address
  • be attended daily, and
  • have an opening 144 square inches or smaller

Additional Snipe Regulations

Shotguns only.

Nontoxic shot required on posted public areas and conservation areas.

Prohibited Methods:

  • Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, unless plugged
  • Hunting from a motor vehicle or motorboat
  • Using live birds as decoys
  • Using recorded or amplified calls
  • Baiting

Birds must be tagged (with the taker's signature, address, total number and species of birds, and the date that the birds were killed), if left any place other than the hunter's home.

Additional Sora and Virginia Rails Regulations

Shotguns only.

Nontoxic shot required on posted public areas and conservation areas.

Prohibited Methods:

  • Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, unless plugged
  • Hunting from a motor vehicle or motorboat
  • Using live birds as decoys
  • Using recorded or amplified calls
  • Baiting

Birds must be tagged (with the taker's signature, address, total number and species of birds, and the date that the birds were killed), if left any place other than the hunter's home.

Additional Squirrel Regulations

During Deer Season

During daylight hours of the November portion of the firearms deer hunting season, squirrels may not be chased, pursued or taken with the aid of dogs in Butler, Carter, Dent, Iron, Madison, Oregon, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon or Wayne counties.

During the November and antlerless portions (in areas where open) of the firearms deer season, squirrels may be hunted only with a .22 caliber or smaller rim-fire or a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4. This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, or to landowners on their land.

Use of Cage-type Traps

In addition to prescribed hunting methods, you may take squirrels with a cage-type trap at any hour during the open hunting season if you possess a hunting permit.

The cage-type trap must:

  • be labeled with your full name and address
  • be attended daily, and
  • have an opening 144 square inches or smaller

Additional Woodcock Regulations

Shotguns only.

Nontoxic shot required on posted public areas and conservation areas.

Prohibited Methods:

  • Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, unless plugged
  • Hunting from a motor vehicle or motorboat
  • Using live birds as decoys
  • Using recorded or amplified calls
  • Baiting

Birds must be tagged (with the taker's signature, address, total number and species of birds, and the date that the birds were killed), if left any place other than the hunter's home.

Conservation Area Regulations

Search the Atlas for Conservation Area-specific information before hunting.

Search Atlas

Check the Code

This is NOT a legal document. Regulations are subject to revision during the current year.
Refer to the Wildlife Code.

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We welcome your comments on all our regulations. Learn more.

Regulations and Permits Definitions

Knowing regulations and permits definitions helps you abide by the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
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Cover of Fall Deer and Turkey Regulations and Information

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