Hunting and Fishing Permit Exemptions

Anyone who fishes, hunts, or traps must have the appropriate permit or qualify for an exemption.

Permits with NO Exemptions

Certain permits are required, without exception, based on the activity.

Trout fishing requires a trout permit if fishing outside a trout park. A daily trout fishing tag is required in trout parks.

Deer hunting requires a valid deer hunting permit.

Turkey hunting requires a valid turkey hunting permit.

Dove, snipe, woodcock, rail hunting requires a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit. In addition, a hunter will need a valid small game hunting permit unless they meet exemption qualifications below.

Waterfowl hunting requires a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit and a federal duck stamp.  A Conservation Order Permit is required for hunting light geese during the Conservation Order. In addition, a hunter will need a valid small game hunting permit unless they meet exemption qualifications below.

Permit Exemption Qualifications

Other than the permits listed above, a user may qualify for permit exemption.

Are you a Missouri resident who owns or leases land?

Resident landowners (who own five acres or more) and their immediate households may fish, trap, and hunt (except deer and turkey) on land they own.

Resident lessees and their immediate households may fish, trap, and hunt (except deer and turkey) on land they lease and live on.

Note: You must own or lease all of the land around the body of water to qualify for fishing permit exemptions.

Are you a Missouri resident age 65 or older?

Missouri residents ages 65 or older may fish and hunt (except deer and turkey) but not trap without permit.

Are you a youth age 15 or younger?

Anyone age 15 and younger (resident or nonresident) may fish* and hunt (except deer and turkey) without permit.

*Youth fishing are limited to using a pole and line, gig, bow, crossbow, snaring, grabbing, and snagging.

Youth who are not hunter education certified must hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult hunter age 18 or older who has a valid hunter-education card or was born before Jan. 1, 1967.

Missouri residents age 15 and younger may trap without permit.

Are you a veteran or Warrior in Transition?

Honorably discharged veterans or active personnel who:

  • have service-related disability of 60% or greater
  • were a prisoner of war during military service
  • are assigned as a patient to a Warrior Transition Brigade, Warrior Transition Unit, or military medical center

May fish and hunt (except deer and turkey) but not trap without permit.  When a hunting permit is required (deer, turkey, migratory bird, Conservation Order permits), nonresident veterans who meet the above requirements may purchase resident permits.  You must carry a certified statement of eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or orders showing assignment to a Warrior Transition Brigade or Warrior Transition Unit, or carry admission verification to a military medical center.

Do you have a severe medical condition?

The following exemptions apply only to fishing permits and to Missouri residents who are:

  • diagnosed with corrected vision of 20/200 or less.
  • diagnosed with 20 degree or less field of visual concentric contraction
  • permanently unable to move without the aid of a wheelchair.
  • diagnosed with cerebral palsy or mental retardation and cannot fish alone. Must be accompanied by a licensed adult angler.

You must carry a statement of eligibility from a licensed physician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist.  Ask your licensed physician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist to complete the fishing statement of eligibility form. You must carry this completed form with you when fishing.

In This Section

Fishing Permit Exemption Statement of Eligibility (pdf, 465 KB)

Missouri residents with qualifying medical conditions may fish without permit with this certified statement of eligibility signed by a physician.

Hunting Method Exemption Statement (pdf, 133 KB)

Physician's statement of eligibility that provides some exemptions for hunters and certifies eligibility to use a disabled-accessible hunting blind.

Hunter Education Exemption (pdf, 220 KB)

Individuals with developmental disabilities may apply for an exemption to taking the final test. Print this form and visit your your physician to fill it out.

Age Affidavit (pdf, 25 KB)

Age affidavit for Missouri residents age 65 or older to allow free fishing and small game hunting.

Related Content

Special Fishing and Hunting Permits

Lifetime permits, Military permits, Group permits

Qualifications for Resident Landowner Permits

Who can receive landowner permits

Qualifications for Resident Permits

Who can buy resident permits

Check the Code

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

Permit Information

Before you hunt or fish this season, make sure to buy your Missouri hunting and fishing permits.  General information about permits.

Landowner Permit Quiz

Take this simple quiz to determine if you qualify for a no-cost landowner permit.

See if you qualify for landowner permits.

Military

If you're a Missouri resident and in the National Guard or reserve forces, you may be eligible for reduced cost permits or exceptions. Learn more about military permits.

The Heritage Card

The card makes buying hunting and fishing permits easy. Learn more about the heritage card.

Apprentice Hunter Authorization

Apprentice hunters can purchase firearms hunting permits and hunt in the immediate presence of a mentor.
Learn more about apprentice hunters.