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.
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 may not be used to take wildlife.
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.
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 may be used to hunt:
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.
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 may be used in hunting wildlife -- except deer, turkey, muskrat, mink, river otter, and beaver. Learn more about the rules for hunting with dogs.
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.
Wildlife, except waterfowl, may not be pursued or taken while trapped or surrounded by floodwaters or while fleeing from floodwaters or fire.
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.
It is illegal to intentionally leave or abandon any portion of any wildlife that is commonly used as human food.
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.
When storing deer and turkey, it must have the hunter's:
When storing wildlife other than deer or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:
When transporting wildlife other than deer or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:
Unless federal regulations prohibit, you may buy, sell or barter:
They must be accompanied by a bill of sale showing:
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.
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:
For your safety, you are urged to wear hunter orange whenever you are hunting.
You must wear hunter orange if:
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.
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:
Hunter orange is required during the firearms deer season. Read all the hunter-orange requirements before hunting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dogs may not be used to hunt deer. However, you may use leashed dogs to track and recover mortally wounded deer, provided you:
Using dogs to recover game does not authorize trespass.
Read regulations on hunting with dogs.
It is illegal to place a deer carcass or any of its parts into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, stream, pond, or lake.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
If you see a sick deer, please call your local conservation agent or your regional Conservation Department office.
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.
In Missouri counties with antler restrictions, an antlered deer must have at least four points on one side to be taken.
Each of the following counts as a point:
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.
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.
This rule also applies to the portions of Cass, Franklin, Jefferson, and Platte counties NOT included in the urban zones.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Firearms Antlerless Permits Map
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.
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.
All of Greene County
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.
3500 East Gans Road
Columbia, MO 65201
Kansas City Region
12405 SE Ranson Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64082
3500 S. Baltimore
Kirksville, MO 63501
701 James McCarthy Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507
551 Joe Jones Blvd.
West Plains, MO 65775
2302 County Park Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
2630 N. Mayfair
Springfield, MO 65803
St. Louis Region
2360 Highway D
St. Charles, MO 63304
Hunters may use dogs to take and retrieve game, but there are restrictions by species, times, and locations.
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:
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.
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.
If you meet any of the conditions below, you can apply for hunting and fishing permits as a Missouri resident.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
If you meet one of the conditions below, you can get no-cost resident landowner permits.
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.
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:
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:
Note: Landowners may be required to submit proof of ownership if it cannot be verified through county plat books.
You may obtain your no-cost resident landowner permits using any of the methods below.
Qualifying landowners and lessees: