Apprentice Hunter Program


Try Hunting Before Taking Hunter Education

Missouri's Apprentice Hunter Program is great for experienced hunters who want to share the joy of hunting with a friend or relative. This program is helpful for curious people who want to try hunting before becoming hunter-education certified.

Under this program, people 16 years old or older who are not hunter-education certified are allowed to hunt with firearms as long as they satisfy the following requirements:

  • First purchase the Apprentice Hunter Authorization for $10 (Good for one year. See note below.).
  • Purchase a firearms hunting permit such as a small game permit or spring turkey permit.
  • Hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed, hunter-education certified hunter who is 18 years old or older, or who was born before Jan. 1, 1967. “Immediate presence” means close enough for normal conversation without shouting.

Missouri is a leader in hunter recruitment, and the Apprentice Hunter Authorization is just one more tool to help experienced and novice hunters continue Missouri's rich hunting tradition.


The Apprentice Hunter Authorization allows you to purchase firearms permits throughout the permit year, and you can purchase the authorization for two permit years. After the second year, you must become hunter-education certified if you want to continue hunting on a firearms permit.