Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Hunting Methods


Only shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, are allowed for hunting migratory game birds.

If a shotgun can hold more than three shells, it must be plugged with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

Concealment devices

You can't use a sink box or anything else that conceals you below the surface of the water.

Motorized transportation

Hunting from a motor vehicle, including aircraft, is not allowed. Paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs are exempted from this regulation.

Motorized vehicles, including aircraft, or motor boats or sailboats may not be used to round up migratory birds.

You can't hunt from a motorboat or sailboat unless the motor is off or sails furled.

Decoys and calls

Live decoys are prohibited. All tame or captive ducks and geese must be removed 10 days prior to hunting. All tame or captive ducks and geese must be kept where migratory waterfowl cannot see them and their calls are quieted.

Recorded or amplified bird calls or amplified imitations of bird calls are not allowed.


You can't bait your hunting area. All bait must be removed 10 days prior to hunting.

Hunting over freshly planted food plots is prohibited.

Possession and Transportation

Wanton Waste

All hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve any bird killed or crippled while hunting. The bird must be in the hunter's custody until it is brought back to the hunter's lodging or a taxidermist.

Opening Day Of A Season

On the opening day of the season, no person shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit.

Field Possession Limit

No person shall have more than the daily bag limit of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (a) one’s automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) one’s personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

Tagging Requirements

All hunters must tag migratory birds before giving the bird to another person for processing, storage, or for taxidermy. The tag will have the hunter's address, number and species of birds, and the date the birds were killed, and be signed by the hunter.

All birds must be tagged before the hunter gives the birds as a gift, or are transported by another person. If the birds are mailed or shipped, the box must have the tagging information.

Species Identification Requirement

All waterfowl must have the head or one fully-feathered wing attached while the bird is in transit to the hunter's home or taxidermist.

Youth Waterfowl Regulations

Each year, there are two youth-only waterfowl hunting days in each zone for ducks, geese and coots. Youth hunters must be:

  • age 15 or younger
  • accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older who is not allowed to hunt ducks but who can participate in other open seasons.

No permits are required for youth hunters. If the youth possesses a valid hunter-education certificate card, the accompanying adult does not need a permit or hunter-ed certification. However, if the youth is not hunter-ed certified, the accompanying adult must be hunter-ed certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967, and possess a Missouri permit to hunt small game or be exempt.

Shooting hours and limits are the same as the regular duck, goose, and coot seasons.