Wildlife Collector FAQ

What is considered "wildlife" in regards to this permit?

Collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crayfish, mollusks, and some other forms of wildlife are subject to the provisions of the Wildlife Collector’s Permit.  This includes all life stages (even eggs and nests), along with tissue, blood, and other body parts.  A permit is not required for collection of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates unless they are a Species of Conservation Concern, collections occur on MDC property, or are otherwise specified (crayfish and mollusks require a permit). A permit is not required to collect naturally shed deer or elk antlers, as long as the shed antlers are not attached to the skull plate. Please contact MDC if you are unsure if you need a permit.

Does the Missouri Wildlife Collector’s Permit allow me to collect species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act, or Migratory Bird Treaty Act?

Not necessarily.  Permit holders must ensure they are in compliance with other Federal, State, and local requirements.  Applications to collect federally listed species or any migratory bird species will not be approved at the state level without proof of a current federal permit.

Does the Missouri Wildlife Collector’s Permit allow me to collect anywhere in the state, including on other publicly owned lands and private lands?

Not necessarily.  Many lands owned by other public resource agencies require additional permissions and/or permitting.  Permit holders may sample wildlife on private land, but it is the responsibility of the collector to receive permission from landowners in advance.  

I need to start collecting wildlife as soon as possible.  Can I expedite the application and approval process?

You may ask for expedited approval, but there is no guarantee the permit can be processed more quickly. We ask that collectors plan ahead and allow at least 6 weeks for application processing and permit issuance.  The best way to shorten the approval process is to submit a complete and detailed application, including payment, and a collectors report (if applicable). Communicating with MDC staff prior to submission of the application may result in faster processing.

I’m not sure where I will need to sample. How do I fill out that section of the application?

Permits are rarely approved for regional or statewide areas.  Specific sampling location details are required.  Permits can also be amended after the initial issuance, so collectors can update the spatial extent of sampling as details become available.  Please be advised that amendments take time to process as well, although usually less time than the initial application. 

I plan to sample in a lot of different counties.  Is there some way I can note this on the application without listing each of them individually?

Yes.  We ask that applicants list the counties in which they will collect so we can notify the conservation agents and other regional staff in the most effective way.  When your permit is issued, it lists the geographical extent in which you can legally collect.  However, there are options that cover larger spatial extents.  In Section 4 (Location) of the application, you can enter “Statewide,” one of the MDC regions (Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Ozarks, Central, Saint Louis, or Kansas City), “Counties that border Missouri River,” “Counties that border Mississippi River,” or individual counties.  If you plan to sample in a specific river or watershed that is not otherwise covered above, then you still need to list individual county names.  Applications for regional or statewide permission require additional justification.

I intend to sample for one type of fauna, but may catch other non-target fauna while sampling.  Do I need to include that faunal group in Section 6 of the application?

Perhaps.  If your sampling methods will likely cause mortality of the by-catch organisms, they must be included on the application.  If you are not targeting, collecting data on, or likely to kill individuals of the non-target faunal groups, then you do not need to request collection of that faunal group in Section 6 of the application.  For example, if you intend to seine for fish in small rivers, you do not need to indicate crayfish or other aquatic invertebrates despite the high likelihood that you will catch those organisms as by-catch.

I don’t yet know all of my sampling plans for the year.  Can I request an amendment to the permit if my sampling needs change?

Yes.  You can request an amendment to an existing permit to cover new species, change numbers of organisms collected, add collection locations, or add or change methods.  However, please attempt to include all information on your original application and avoid the need for amendments, if at all possible.  Requests for amendments will be reviewed and there is no guarantee they will be approved.  Amendments do not require additional payment. 

I would like to collect plants or parts of plants (leaves, roots, seeds, etc.) on a conservation area.  Who should I contact?

A letter of authorization for plant collecting is required to collect plants or parts thereof besides fruits, nuts, berries, or edible greens for personal consumption on lands owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation. To request a letter of authorization for plant collecting, contact:

Malissa Briggler
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-522-4115 ext. 3200

I have additional questions. Who can I contact?

Please email Collector.permit@mdc.mo.gov or send written inquiries to

Missouri Department of Conservation
Attn: Wildlife Collector’s Permits
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180


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 or reduced-cost landowner permit.

See if you qualify for landowner permits.


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 Conservation Permit Card

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

Permit Auto-Renewal

Learn more about how to enroll in the Permit Auto-Renewal Service.

Permit Auto-Renewal