Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations

2015 Seasons

  • Youth Season: April 11-12
  • Regular Season: April 20-May 10

What’s New for 2015

  • There are new rules for hunting coyotes during spring turkey season.
  • There are several changes to conservation area regulations and managed turkey hunts.

Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season

Who May Participate:

The youth hunter must be age 6–15 on opening day.

Season Dates:

April 11-12, 2015

Shooting Hours:

One-half hour before sunrise to sunset Central Daylight Time

Valid Permits:

Youth hunters must possess one of the three following permits:

  • Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit

Note: Landowner permits are valid only on the land for which they are issued.

Youth Season Limit:

One male turkey or turkey with visible beard.

NOTE: Youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest a second bird until April 27. This is because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.

Regular Spring Turkey Hunting Season

Season Dates:

April 20 –May 10, 2015

Shooting Hours:

One-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. Central Daylight-Saving Time

Valid Permits:

  • Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit

Season Limit:

Two male turkeys or turkeys with visible beard may be taken during the season, with the following restrictions:

  • You may only take one turkey during the first week (April 20-26).
  • If you do not take one during the first week, then you may take two during
    the second or third week (April 27-May 10), but you may not take them both on the same day.

NOTE: If you hunt during a managed hunt, season limits still apply.

Valid Permits

Permit Cost
Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit (age 16 and older)
Age 6-15
Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit no cost
Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit (age 16 and older)
Age 6-15

Youth age 6 through 15 are not required to be hunter-education certified. If the youth is hunter-education certified and hunting on a resident or nonresident spring turkey permit, he or she may hunt alone. However, if the youth is not hunter-education certified, he or she must be in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult who has a valid hunter-education certificate card or was born before Jan. 1, 1967. The adult, however, may not hunt turkeys during the youth spring turkey season.

  • “Immediate presence” means close enough for normal conversation, without shouting.
  • “Properly licensed” means a valid filled or unfilled spring turkey hunting permit.
  • “Adult” means someone age 18 or older.

Regardless of age, the youth must be capable of holding, aiming, and shooting the firearm by him or herself.

Note: Resident landowners or lessees born after Jan. 1, 1967, accompanying youths on the landowner’s property or property on which the lessee is residing must be hunter-education certified.

General Information

Methods allowed:

The following are allowed during the spring firearms turkey hunting season:

  • Shotguns with shot not larger than No. 4
  • Longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows. Hand-held string releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes, and quick point sights are allowed.
  • Crossbows
  • Atlatls

Methods prohibited:

  • Shotguns capable of holding more than 3 shells in magazine and chamber combined
  • Shot larger than No. 4 (in use or in possession)
  • Rifles, pistols, and other firearms that propel a single projectile at one discharge
  • Any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game
  • Thermal imagery equipment or night vision equipment (in use or in possession)
  • Recorded calls (in use or in possession)
  • Use of dogs or live decoys
  • Use of bait, which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to attract turkeys. An area is considered baited for 10 days even after complete removal of the bait. A hunter can be in violation even if he or she did not know an area was or is baited. It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.

Voiding the Permit:

Hunters who harvest a turkey must void their permit immediately by notching the month and day of harvest.

Tagging and Checking:

  • As long as you stay with your harvested turkey, you don’t need to attach your notched permit to the bird, but you must keep your permit on hand. If you leave your turkey, you must attach your permit to the turkey’s leg.
  • All turkeys must be checked by 10 p.m. on the day taken using the Telecheck system (see Telecheck link below).


  • Any hunter who kills or injures a turkey must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and include it in their season limit, but this does not authorize trespass.
  • It is a violation to wantonly leave, abandon, or waste commonly edible portions of game.
  • Anyone using a turkey call to assist another hunter must be properly licensed with either a filled or unfilled spring turkey hunting permit.

Hunter Education Requirement

All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and planning to hunt with a Resident or Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit must complete an approved hunter-education program and display their card before they can purchase a firearms turkey hunting permit. Visit our Hunter Education Requirement page for details and exemptions.


Coyotes may not be chased, pursued, or taken during daylight hours from April 1 through April 19. New! During the regular spring turkey season, coyotes may be taken using legal spring turkey hunting methods by hunters holding an unfilled spring turkey hunting permit and a Resident Small Game Hunting Permit or a Nonresident Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Permit.

bag it

Tagging Procedures

Using Missouri's deer- and turkey-hunting permits couldn't be easier. Just remember: Bag it. Notch it. Tag it if you leave it. Check it.

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Telecheck for Spring Turkey Season

To Telecheck a turkey, call 1-800-314-6828. All turkey must be checked by telephone or via the Internet. No in-person checking stations are available.

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