Hunting

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Two hunters in safety orange sit by a tree. One is taking aim at a deer.
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A successful hunting trip involves planning, scouting and patience. Missouri offers a variety of hunting opportunities to hone your skills.

If you plan to hunt with a firearm, you will need to complete a hunter education course before you can buy a permit. If you plan to bow hunt, MDC offers optional bow hunter education. 

Great Places For Hunting

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roadways overlooking lake at Montrose CA
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In the early 1950's, a utility company bought nearly 4,000 acres of land along Deepwater Creek

Events

Find events near you.
Registration period: June 1 - June 18
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021 1:30 pm - Saturday, June 19, 2021 2:30 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (families)

Archery and bow hunting continue to grow in popularity! Discover the fun of this family activity as parents and kids learn together. We will teach and practice the basics and help you perfect your stance to shoot more consistently and accurately.
Registration period: May 22 - June 21
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 6:00 pm - Tuesday, June 22, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Online only
This event will cover the safe operation, basic nomenclature, care, cleaning, marksmanship fundamentals, and hunting with a modern sporting rifle.
Registration period: April 27 - June 26
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, June 26, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 14+) The Midwest is home to many choice edible mushrooms, along with a few toxic ones. Join Alix Daniel for a presentation on how to get started with mushroom hunting, when and where to find mushrooms and how to properly ID mushrooms. There will be many specimens to observe, and maybe even some to taste!
Registration period: April 27 - June 26
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, June 26, 2021 2:00 pm
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 14+) The Midwest is home to many choice edible mushrooms, along with a few toxic ones. Join Alix Daniel for a presentation on how to get started with mushroom hunting, when and where to find mushrooms and how to properly ID mushrooms. There will be many specimens to observe, and maybe even some to taste!
Registration period: June 1 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 7:00 pm - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 9:00 pm
Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range
Are you looking for a “jumping" good time, while learning and enjoying the outdoors? Frog gigging! This program will include all you need to know to get started gigging frogs. Including topics such as; basic frog facts, legal species to harvest and their identification, seasons, limits, regulations, and methods to harvest. Participants will practice what they’ve learned on a short frog gigging trip at Bois D" Arc Conservation Area ponds. Participants will learn all the basic of cooking frog legs as well as strategies to be successful on your next frogging adventure! Participants must be at least 8 years of age; all minors will need to be accompanied by an adult with a driver’s license. Participants, not exempt, must possess a Missouri fishing or hunting permit. Participants will need to appropriate clothing and foot wear (rubber boots) for frog gigging. All equipment will be provided.
Registration period: June 2 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 8:00 pm - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 11:00 pm
Location: James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area

Join us for a frog gigging clinic at the James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area.

We'll begin the evening with an amphibian program to help participants understand the difference between the different frogs that they are likely to encounter as the search for the areas bull and green frogs.

We'll also spend a little time learning how to harvest frogs with lots of tips from local experts.

Then at about sunset we'll head out to the area lakes to try our luck harvesting some frogs. Each individual participant or family will be accompanied on the area by an MDC approved mentor.

When we are finished hunting we'll do a frog cleaning demonstration and help participants clean their frogs before they leave the clinic.

Each participant must register for this clinic separately. For assistance with registration or for additional information, please contact John Rittel 816-604-8117, john.rittel@mdc.mo.gov

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide mentors, frog gigs, flashlights and frog cleaning supplies. Feel free to bring a strong flashlight and/or a headlamp though if you have them. Wear clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting wet and muddy. Bug spray is recommended.

Clinic participants will meet at the shelter house located inside the James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area directly across from the horse trailer parking lot.

Fishing permits are not required to participate in this clinic.

All children under the age a 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Registration period: June 1 - July 5
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 8:00 am - Tuesday, July 6, 2021 4:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

If you have a youth age 11-15 and would like your child to complete a one day Hunter Education program, this class is for you. This intensive one day class will provide the mandatory knowledge and skills requirements needed to be eligible for Hunter Education certification. The knowledge portion will be provided in a lecture format in the morning. In the afternoon, students will be demonstrating the skills learned as well as participating in hunting and firearms field scenarios. Students must attend all day to be eligible for the test. Upon passing the test, students will receive immediate certification. Students may check in from 7:30am - 7:50am. The class will begin promptly at 8:00am and late arrivals will not be admitted. Adults must accompany youth to registration and bring a copy of a BIRTH CERTIFICATE for age verification and complete an emergency contact/pickup form.

Students must bring or be provided their own lunch and drinks. There are no vending machines in the Nature Center. Lunch will be from 12:00-12:45 with an OPTIONAL test review beginning at 12:30pm.

There must be 8 students enrolled in this class no later than 5pm on July 2nd or the class will be cancelled. If the course is cancelled, students will be notified by phone and email. Students who have already completed the knowledge portion will have to attend the lecture and the skills session to participate in this event. .

Please note the following COVID-19 related procedures.

a. To maximize social distancing, only those seeking Hunter Education certification will be allowed in the course room.

b. All Hunter Education instructors will be wearing face masks.

c. Non-functioning firearms will be sanitized between uses.

d. Please ensure 6 feet of social distance always.

e. If you answer yes to any of the following self-certification questions, you should not attend.

1. Do you, or a person you live with, have:

a. A temperature of 100.4°F or higher, OR

b. Two or more of the following: chills, new loss of taste or smell, or unexplained body aches, headache, or sore throat, OR

c. One or more of the following: dry, non-productive cough (new onset or worsening of chronic cough), shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?

2. If you have traveled outside of Missouri, did you have contact with anyone known to have COVID-19 or visit an area with high incident of COVID-19?

3. Have you come into contact with anyone who has been sick?

4. In the last two weeks, did you care for or have close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
Registration period: June 15 - July 8
Date: Thursday, July 8, 2021 10:00 am - Thursday, July 8, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Want to take on a new and exciting archery challenge? Runge 3D archery is here! This intermediate program is meant for honing archery skills and introducing the basics of archery hunting. We will begin with basic archery skill before heading to the woods to shoot 3D targets. Meet at the Runge outdoor pavilion. Dress for the weather with close-toed shoes. Registration Required. Ages 13-18 years.
Registration period: June 10 - July 10
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, July 10, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 9+) Primitive skills enthusiasts use atlatls as an alternative form of hunting deer, turkey and fish in Missouri. Others use this Native American hunting tool for sport, throwing for distance or accuracy. Step outside with us on this sunny summer day if you are looking to find a challenging new sport in today's modern world. Test your skill as you attempt to hit the target using this unique spear-thrower! Get ready to meet the challenge! This is an all-outdoor program so dress for the weather. You will receive an e-mail from the instructor the day prior to the event if weather conditions indicate a need to cancel the program.
Registration period: June 10 - July 10
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2021 12:30 pm - Saturday, July 10, 2021 1:30 pm
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (ages 9+) Primitive skills enthusiasts use atlatls as an alternative form of hunting deer, turkey and fish in Missouri. Others use this Native American hunting tool for sport, throwing for distance or accuracy. Step outside with us on this sunny summer day if you are looking to find a challenging new sport in today's modern world. Test your skill as you attempt to hit the target using this unique spear-thrower! Get ready to meet the challenge! This is an all-outdoor program so dress for the weather. You will receive an e-mail from the instructor the day prior to the event if weather conditions indicate a need to cancel the program.
Registration period: July 1 - July 30
Date: Friday, July 30, 2021 8:00 pm - Friday, July 30, 2021 11:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Bullfrogs and Green frogs are tasty amphibians! Learn the basics of how to gig frogs, which species you can harvest, and how to clean frogs for cooking. After an introduction to gigging, we will head to the ponds to try your hand at this outdoor skill. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet and muddy. Bring a flashlight/headlamp and water bottle. Registration required. Ages 8 and up.
Registration period: July 1 - July 26
Date: Saturday, July 31, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, July 31, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 10+, youngsters 10-15 must be accompanied by a participating adult)

Crossbows have been used since the time of ancient Greece. Their design makes for a fast, efficient hunting device and they are also fun and exciting to shoot. Come learn how to properly handle these bows and see what it takes to be on target.
Registration period: July 1 - July 26
Date: Saturday, July 31, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, July 31, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 10+, youngsters 10-15 must be accompanied by a participating adult)

Crossbows have been used since the time of ancient Greece. Their design makes for a fast, efficient hunting device and they are also fun and exciting to shoot. Come learn how to properly handle these bows and see what it takes to be on target.
Registration period: May 24 - August 6
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, August 7, 2021 4:00 pm
Location: Walker Farm

This is a free workshop that will help target shooters as well as migratory and upland bird hunters improve their hunting skills. Topics include: how to select the best ammunition and choke combination for hunting, how to improve your shooting skills, how to improve your range & distance estimation skills, and how to properly pattern your shotgun.

Participants should bring their hunting shotgun & choke tubes if applicable, non-toxic shotgun ammunition they wish to pattern, eye/ear protection, and a stool or chair. Clay targets, 12 & 20-gauge practice ammunition will be provided.
Registration period: May 3 - August 13
Date: Saturday, August 14, 2021 2:00 pm - Saturday, August 14, 2021 6:00 pm
Location: St. Patrick School

This skills session will satisfy part two of Missouri Hunter Education requirements. To enter the session, you must complete the knowledge portion and provide proof of completion by presenting either a qualifier certificate or a completed hunter education student manual the day of the event. All students must provide proof of identification and age. The final exam will be administered at the end of the skills session.

Please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before the beginning of the class to complete registration; late arrivals will not be admitted so please arrive early. In the event of a cancellation, you will be contacted by email and/or phone. Note: Students 16 and older who have successfully completed the all-online Hunter Education course do not need to attend an in-person skills session.

COVID-19 continues to impact daily operations at all MDC facilities including hunter education classes. Protocols are now in place to provide safety for students and staff including:

• Only students seeking certification and staff are allowed in the classroom

• All staff are required to wear a facemask and practice social distancing

• All students are encouraged to wear a facemask and must practice social distancing

• All students will be asked to use hand sanitizer when arriving and prior to handling firearms

Everyone will be asked self-certification questions related to COVID-19. If you answer yes to any of the following self-certification questions, you should NOT attend.

• Do you, or a person you live with, have:

o A temperature of 100.4°F or higher, OR

o Two or more of the following: chills, new loss of taste or smell, or unexplained body aches, headache, or sore throat, OR

o One or more of the following: dry, non-productive cough (new onset or worsening of chronic cough), shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?

• If you have traveled outside of Missouri, did you have contact with anyone known to have COVID-19 or visit an area with high incident of COVID-19?

• Have you come into contact with anyone who has been sick?

• In the last two weeks, did you care for or have close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

Please self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending the program and stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms.

We apologize for any inconvenience and are aware some people will have to travel farther than preferred to attend a skills session. Because of this, we encourage those 16 years or older to consider the online hunter education certification option which allows you to take the course online. There is a convenience fee of $19.95 for this online class. Please note all funds go to the web host and not MDC.

The knowledge portion requirement can easily be achieved by reading and completing the chapter review questions in the Missouri hunter education manual and bringing the completed manual with you to a skills session you have registered to attend. To receive a FREE manual, please request one online at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/hunter-education-skills-training/hunter-ed-study-guide-order-form or call the Rolla MDC Office at 573.368.2590 to arrange a time to pick up a FREE student HED manual. An online knowledge course option is also available; however, there is a charge for taking this portion online.
Registration period: August 10 - August 23
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 5:30 pm - Tuesday, August 24, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Jay Henges Shooting Range

Dove Season Warm-up

Bring your shotgun, 4 boxes of #7 steel shot, and warm-up for dove season. We’ll create typical hunting scenarios to practice your wingshooting for the September 1st opener

Registration period: June 8 - September 15
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021 6:00 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Online only
Scouting and a little "woodsman" knowledge are important for a great outdoor experience and harvest. This program will be beneficial to novice hunters interested in deer habits and scouting, deer stand placement and we will have a virtual look at acorns and browse plots.