Hunter Education

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Hunter Education
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Hunter Education
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Hunter Education and Certification Requirement

Missouri's hunter education course is required for any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1967. Learn what the course covers and where to take it, including online options.

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Hunter Education Requirements
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Choose from two options to complete your Missouri Hunter Education Certification.

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You must complete both steps 1 and 2 of Missouri’s Hunter Education Program to receive Missouri’s hunter education certification. We do accept complete certifications from all other states.

Step #1: The Knowledge Portion

Choose ONE of three convenient options to complete the knowledge session:

  1. Hunter Education Online - Applicable fee paid to online program provider.
    Our convenient online/mobile course is adapted to those with sight and hearing difficulties. It includes text, audio, images, graphs, videos, and interactive animation to help you complete all the chapter reviews. You MUST complete all the chapter reviews in order to receive your skills-session qualifier certificate. You MUST print a copy of the skills-session qualifier certificate or display the PDF on your mobile device to enter the skills session.
  2. Self-Study Guide - Free
    Order a study guide online or pick one up at a Missouri Department of Conservation office. Study the illustrated manual, complete all chapter review questions, and present to the instructor at the skills session.
  3. Classroom Session - Free
    Register and attend a four-hour classroom session featuring lectures and videos. You MUST attend the session, complete all student manual chapter review questions, and present to the instructor at the skills session.

Step #2: Skills Session and Final Exam

Register for a skills session and pass the exam

After successfully completing the skills session and passing a 35-question, multiple-choice final with a score of 80 percent or better, you will receive a temporary certificate so you can purchase a permit and hunt immediately.

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Missouri residents 16 years of age and older can complete the entire program online.

Take a class online for a fee paid to online course provider. Once you’ve completed the course and passed a 60-question final exam with a score of 80 percent or better, you will receive your certification. You do not have to attend a skill session.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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If you plan to hunt during a Missouri firearms season 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 or younger and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 or older.
  • You were born before Jan. 1, 1967.
  • You received a disability exemption from Missouri Department of Conservation’s Protection Division.
  • You are 16 or older and have purchased an Apprentice Hunter Authorization and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 or older.
  • You are the landowner hunting on land you own using Resident Landowner permits.

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.

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Not if we can verify your certification electronically, which will usually be the case. 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.

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Hunter education has reduced hunting accidents and deaths by more than 70 percent since it became mandatory in 1987. For this reason, we recommend all hunters become hunter-education certified.

Our Hunter Education Program provides a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It instills responsibility, improves skills and knowledge, and encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters.

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  • 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
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Anyone 11 or older is eligible to take the course and exam.

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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 DO NOT need hunter education to hunt any game species in Missouri until they are ready to hunt alone.

Youth 10 or younger may hunt during a firearms hunting season if they are in the immediate presence of an adult mentor who possesses the proper permit.

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Yes! Our Apprentice Hunter Authorization lets people 16 or older try hunting as long as they hunt with a properly permitted adult (18 or older) mentor.

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Missouri Hunter Education — What to Expect

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Skill-Building and Volunteer Opportunities
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Improve Your Skills
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Classes are available for advancing your hunting skills.
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Be a Volunteer Instructor
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Experienced hunters are encouraged to volunteer as instructors for our Hunter Education courses.