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.
During the November and antlerless 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.
If you are hunting furbearers during daylight hours during firearms deer season, only deer hunting methods may be used.
During the firearms portion of the elk hunting season in open counties, 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 bear, deer and elk, 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 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, except:
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, except when hunting coyotes from February 1 – March 31 in conjunction with other legal hunting methods.
The dens or nests of furbearers shall not be molested or destroyed.
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 bear, deer, elk, and turkey, it must have the hunter's:
When storing wildlife other than bear, deer, elk, or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:
When transporting wildlife other than bear, deer, elk, or turkey, it must have the hunter’s:
Unless federal regulations prohibit, you may buy, sell or barter legally obtained:
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 or elk 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 or elk heads and antlers were, to their knowledge, taken legally.
You may give wildlife (excluding bear gall bladders) 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.
Bear, deer, elk, 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, on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt, or during the firearms portion of the elk season 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.
Mineral and salt blocks are not allowed on conservation areas.
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. Mineral and salt blocks are not allowed on conservation areas.
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, Barry, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington, you are in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zones. Learn the best practices for harvesting deer in these counties.
New! During the youth portions of firearms deer season, adults who accompany youth hunters do not need a deer hunting permit. The adult must be 18 or older and be hunter-education certified or born before January 1, 1967.
At all other times, mentors must possess a valid hunting permit for the appropriate season or be exempt. In the case of deer and turkey permits, the mentor’s permit can be filled or unfilled.
Portable tree stands may be placed or used only between September 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 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.
Special rules apply on areas enrolled in the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP). For example, on MRAP areas you must remove your tree stand when you leave each day. When hunting on an MRAP area, it is your responsibility to read and follow the rules that are posted at the area.
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.
Legally obtained deer heads, antlers, hides, and feet may be sold by the taker as long as the taker provides a bill of sale that shows:
For deer heads and/or antlers attached to skull plates, a dated bill of sale identifying the seller must be retained while the heads or antlers are in the buyer’s possession.
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.
The CWD Management Zone includes counties within approximately 10 miles of CWD detections. Special regulations apply in these counties.
For the 2020–2021 deer seasons, the CWD Management Zone includes Adair, Barry, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington counties.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related public health concerns, mandatory CWD sampling requirements for hunters in CWD Management Zone counties on Nov. 14th & 15th have been suspended. Note, tracking and managing CWD remains a priority, and sampling stations will remain open for hunters who voluntarily choose to participate in this critical surveillance effort.
New! Special regulations are in place to slow the spread of CWD. Whole carcasses, heads, and certain other parts of deer harvested from the CWD Management Zone can be removed from the county of harvest only if they are delivered to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 48 hours of leaving the county of harvest. This rule does not apply to the following parts:
Deer harvested within the CWD Management Zone must be reported through the Telecheck Harvest Reporting System before leaving the county of harvest. Whole carcasses of deer harvested in these counties that are being delivered to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist must be delivered within 48 hours of leaving the county of harvest.
Grain, salt products, minerals and other consumable products used to attract deer are prohibited year-round within CWD Management Zone counties. The following exceptions are allowed:
Surveillance suggests that CWD is relatively rare in Missouri. There is hope that we can minimize the long-term impacts of the disease if we slow its spread. You can help by:
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 portions of the firearms deer season.
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: Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, and Pemiscot counties.
Missouri counties (in tan 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 with at least 75 acres may harvest additional antlerless deer using no-cost Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits.
Firearms Antlerless Permits Map
You may fill two firearms antlerless deer hunting permits in parts of these counties during firearms deer season (all portions combined): Cass and Platte.
Resident landowners with at least 75 acres may harvest additional antlerless deer using no-cost Resident Landowner Firearms Antlerless Deer Hunting Permits.
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 Map
Counties closed to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion: Andrew, Atchison, Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Holt, Iron, Mississippi, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Scott, Stoddard, and Wayne.
All other counties (shaded orange in the map above) are open to firearms hunting during the antlerless portion.
Kansas City Region
12405 SE Ranson Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64082
Hunters may use dogs to take and retrieve game, but there are restrictions by species, times, and locations.
Dogs are prohibited when hunting bear, deer, elk, and turkey.
Dogs cannot 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 during the antlerless portion of firearms deer season in counties that are open during this season portion.
Dogs are prohibited when hunting squirrels and rabbits during daylight hours of the November portion of the firearms deer season in the following counties:
Dogs are prohibited when hunting squirrels, rabbits, and furbearers (badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk) during daylight hours during the firearms portion of the elk hunting 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.
During spring turkey and fall deer and turkey seasons, you cannot take wildlife, except waterfowl, when river levels exceed specified limits on local river gauges in certain flood-prone areas in southeast Missouri.
This map shows in real-time which areas are open or closed to hunting. Check it before heading out on your turkey or deer hunt.
For a complete listing of this rule, see 3 CSR 10-7.405 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
Numbers on the map refer to zones referenced in the regulation.
For a larger version of the map SE Regulatory Flood Zone
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 35 feet on the Thebes, IL gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 43 feet on the Cairo, IL gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey season when the Mississippi River is at or above 34 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 34 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 36 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 40 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 32 feet on the Caruthersville, MO gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the St. Francis River is at or above 21 feet on the St. Francis, AR gauge.
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the St. Francis River is at or above 15.5 feet on the Holly Island, AR gauge.