Hunter Education Requirement
Who must become hunter-education certified?
If you plan to purchase a Missouri firearms permit or you are acting as an adult mentor, you MUST first complete an approved hunter-education certification program and provide proof of completion UNLESS:
- You are 15 years or younger and will be hunting with a properly licensed adult mentor 18 years of age or older.
- You were born before Jan. 1, 1967.
- You enrolled in a hunter-education course but failed to pass the certification tests due to a developmental disability, and you received an exemption from MDC’s Protection Division.
- You are 16 or older and have purchased an Apprentice Hunter Authorization and will be hunting with a properly licensed adult mentor 18 years of age or older.
- You are the landowner or lessee hunting on land you own or upon which you reside.
NOTE: If you can prove you completed an approved hunter-education course in another state, you are not required to take Missouri’s Hunter Education Course.
Will I have to present proof of my certification when I purchase firearms permits?
If certification can be verified electronically, which will usually be the case, you will not need to present proof (your hunter-education card or number) when you purchase permits (either in person or online). If electronic verification is not possible, you MUST provide proof of hunter-education certification. Once you’re in our database, you won’t have to submit this information again.
Why does Missouri require hunter education?
Our Hunter Education Certification Program provides a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It instills responsibility, improves skills and knowledge, and it encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters.
Most of all, it has reduced hunting accidents and deaths over the decades. For this reason, we recommend all hunters become hunter-education certified.
What does the Missouri Hunter Education Course cover?
- Hunter responsibility and ethics
- How firearms work and firearm safety
- Wildlife identification, game care, survival, and first aid skills
- Firearm handling skills and hunting techniques
- Awareness about wildlife conservation and management
- Rules and information unique to Missouri
How long does it take to complete the course?
- Typically takes 12-16 total hours to complete
- Includes two or three sessions of classroom training plus additional time for testing, practical exercises, videos, and other classroom discussion
- Requires a written examination at the end
- Lets you study at your own pace from any computer or mobile device
- Requires one in-person, four-hour skills session, ending in a written exam
What is a passing score?
- You must score at least 80 percent to pass the course.
- Most students pass the test on their first attempt.
Who can take the course and be certified?
Anyone age 11 or above who has good reading and comprehension skills is welcome to take the course. Study materials and tests are written to a ninth-grade reading level, and they include many higher-level technical and hunting-specific terms. We recommend students visit our Online Hunter Education Course to pre-study, take the reviews, and practice tests for free before attending. Students age 15 or younger must bring a birth certificate or other proof of age to the skills session.
Can kids try hunting without becoming hunter-education certified?
Yes! MDC recommends that youth begin hunting with an adult mentor to become familiar with hunting and terminology before taking the course. Youths younger than 16 years of age DO NOT need hunter education to hunt any game species in Missouri until they are ready to hunt alone.
Can adults try hunting without becoming hunter-education certified?
Yes! Our Apprentice Hunter Authorization lets people 16 years of age and older try hunting as long as they hunt with an adult (18 or older) mentor who is properly licensed.