Deer Hunting Regulations

Allowed Hunting Methods Vary by Season

Allowed hunting methods vary by season. Be sure to view season information and the General Hunting Regulations before you hunt.

Hunter-Orange Requirement

Hunter orange is required during the firearms deer season. Read all the hunter-orange requirements before hunting.

Baiting Regulations


Use of bait — which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to attract deer or turkeys — while hunting is illegal.

An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait.

A hunter can be in violation if they take or attempt to take a deer or turkey by the aid of bait where the hunter knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.

It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.

Mineral and salt blocks are not allowed on conservation areas.

Additional rules apply in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zones.


Doe urine and other scents, such as apple, acorn, and persimmon, may be used to attract deer while hunting, as long as the scents are not used on or with grain and other food products.

Mineral blocks, including salt, are not considered bait. However, mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited. Mineral and salt blocks are not allowed on conservation areas.

It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.

Manipulating crops, such as mowing or knocking them down, is not considered baiting for deer and turkeys.


Check your permit and hunting season for information about limits. Also check to determine if antler point restrictions apply to the area where you are hunting.

Antlered Deer Limits

  • You may take only two antlered deer during the archery and firearms deer hunting seasons combined.
  • Archery hunters may take only one antlered deer before the November portion of firearms deer hunting season.
  • Only one antlered deer may be taken during firearms deer hunting season (all portions combined).
  • If you are drawn to participate in a managed hunt, you may take as many antlered deer as allowed at that specific hunt. Deer taken at a managed hunt do not count toward your firearms or archery season limits.

Chronic Wasting Disease

If you hunt in Adair, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Boone, Caldwell, Camden, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Hickory, Howard, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ray, Ripley, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Vernon, Warren, Washington, and Webster counties, you are in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone. Learn the best practices for harvesting deer in these counties.

Audrain, Boone, Cole, Dent, Douglas, Howard, Lewis, Maries, Monroe, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Randolph, Saline, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, and Webster counties are new additions to the CWD Management Zone.

Assisting Other Deer Hunters

During the youth portions of firearms deer season, adults who accompany youth hunters do not need a deer hunting permit. The adult must be 18 or older and be hunter-education certified or born before Jan. 1, 1967.

At all other times, mentors must possess a valid hunting permit for the appropriate season or be exempt. In the case of deer and turkey permits, the mentor’s permit can be filled or unfilled.

Tree Stands Placed on Conservation Department Areas

Portable tree stands may be placed or used only between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31 on Conservation Department areas. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on durable material with your full name and address, or Conservation number. You may not use nails, screw-in steps, or any material that would damage the tree. Tree stands must be removed from the area before Feb. 1.

Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program

Special rules apply on areas enrolled in the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP). For example, on MRAP areas you must remove your tree stand when you leave each day. When hunting on an MRAP area, it is your responsibility to read and follow the rules that are posted at the area.

Retrieval of Game

If you kill or injure a deer, you must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and include the animal in your season limit. However, this does not authorize trespass. It is illegal to leave or abandon commonly edible portions of game.

Use of Dogs to Hunt and Recover Game

Using dogs to recover game does not authorize trespass.

Read regulations on hunting with dogs.

Keep Deer Carcasses Out of Streams and Lakes

It is illegal to place a deer carcass or any of its parts into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, stream, pond, or lake.

Possession and Sale

Properly checked deer and turkeys may be possessed by anyone if labeled with the taker’s full name, address, date taken, and Telecheck confirmation number. The Telecheck confirmation number must remain attached to the carcass until a meat processor begins working on the animal.

Deer left at commercial processing or cold storage plants must be claimed by May 1 following the season taken.

Legally obtained deer heads, antlers, hides, and feet may be sold by the taker as long as the taker provides a bill of sale that shows:

  • The taker’s full name and address,
  • The species and number of parts, and
  • The full name and address of the buyer.

For deer heads and/or antlers attached to skull plates, a dated bill of sale identifying the seller must be retained while the heads or antlers are in the buyer’s possession.

Any person who finds a dead deer with antlers still attached to the skull plate may take the antlers, but must report the find to a conservation agent within 24 hours to receive authorization to possess the antlers.

No authorization is needed to possess, buy, or sell shed antlers not attached to the skull plate.

Read general regulations about giving away, possessing, storing and selling wildlife.