Option #1: Two-Step Format for Ages 11 and Older
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- No matter how you complete the knowledge session you MUST register for and attend a four-hour skills session.
- You MUST bring your student manual with all chapter reviews completed or the online skills session qualifier certificate to gain entry.
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.
Option #2: All Online for Ages 16 and Older
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.
Who Must Become Hunter-Education Certified?
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.
Will I Have to Show Proof of My Certification When I Purchase Firearms Permits?
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.
Why Does Missouri Require Hunter Education?
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.
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
Who Can Take The Course and Be Certified?
Anyone 11 or older is eligible to take the course and exam.
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 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.