Bowhunter Education


Missouri's bowhunter-education program is for people of all ages and skill levels who enjoy the outdoors and have an interest in conservation. The course can be an excellent refresher for veteran bowhunters.

Who Should Take the Course?

Anyone with an interest in archery and/or hunting. Kids as young as 11 years old may take the course.

What Does the Course Cover?

You will receive a minimum of eight hours of classroom training (plus additional time for testing), outdoor demonstrations, and other classroom discussions usually taught in two sessions. Topics covered include the following:

  • Modern bowhunting history and development
  • Bowhunter responsibility and ethics
  • How archery equipment works, bowhunting, and tree stand safety
  • Wildlife identification, game care, survival, and first aid skills
  • Shot placement, game recovery, trailing, and field dressing
  • Awareness of wildlife conservation and management
  • Rules and information unique to Missouri

At the end of the class you will take a written examination. You need a score of 80 percent to pass the course. Most students pass the test on their first attempt.

Why Should I Become Certified?

  • While it is not required by statewide game regulations, many cities that allow archery hunting inside their city limits require bowhunter-education certification to participate.
  • Some landowners or special corporate landholdings may require hunters to be bowhunter-education certified before hunting on their land.
  • Many other states require bowhunter education before hunters are allowed to apply for or take part in bowhunts in their state.
Option #1 Classroom Session – Free

Register and attend an eight-hour classroom session featuring lectures and videos. You MUST attend the session and pass the final exam to receive the certification.

Option #2 All Online (16 years of age or older)

Missouri residents, 16 years of age and older can complete the entire program online. Take a class online for a $30-fee (paid to online program 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.


MDC recommends that all bowhunters take bowhunter education. To learn more about the program or become an instructor, contact the outdoor skills specialist in your area.