Conservation Area Hunting Regulations
Southeast Missouri Flood Map
During spring turkey and fall deer and turkey seasons, you cannot take wildlife, except waterfowl, when river levels exceed specified limits on local river gauges in certain flood-prone areas in southeast Missouri.
This map shows in real-time which areas are open or closed to hunting. Check it before heading out on your turkey or deer hunt.
For a complete listing of this rule, see 3 CSR 10-7.405 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
Numbers on the map refer to zones referenced in the regulation.
For a larger version of the map SE Regulatory Flood Zone
1: Scott County
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 35 feet on the Thebes, IL gauge.
2: Mississippi County
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 43feet on the Cairo, IL gauge.
3: New Madrid and Mississippi Counties
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey season when the Mississippi River is at or above 34 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
3A: New Madrid and Mississippi Counties
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 34 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
3B: New Madrid and Mississippi Counties
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 36 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
3C: New Madrid and Mississippi Counties
No hunting (except waterfowl) during fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 40 feet on the New Madrid, MO gauge.
4: Pemiscot County
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the Mississippi River is at or above 32 feet on the Caruthersville, MO gauge.
5A: Dunklin County
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the St. Francis River is at or above 21 feet on the St. Francis, AR gauge.
5B: Dunklin County
No hunting (except waterfowl) during spring turkey or fall deer and turkey seasons when the St. Francis River is at or above 15.5 feet on the Holly Island, AR gauge.
All hunters should treat the outdoors with respect and follow ethical hunting practices. These include:
- If you hunt on private land, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner and respect his or her property as if it were your own. Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.
- If you do not kill your game instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land.
- Clean and care for your game properly.
- Pick up all litter, including spent ammunition. Leaving an area better than the way you found it is a sign of thanks for the privilege of hunting.
- Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff as soon as possible.
- If you are involved in a firearms-related accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance; failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Develop your skills and knowledge, and share them with others.
- Know and obey all wildlife laws.
- Know and follow the rules of gun safety.
- Respect the rights of hunters, non-hunters and landowners.
- Make every effort to retrieve and use all game.
- Respect the land and all wildlife.
- Be sensitive to others when displaying harvested game.
- Remember, hunting is not a competitive sport.
Hunting With Dogs
Hunters may use dogs to take and retrieve game, but there are restrictions by species, times, and locations.
When Dogs Are Illegal to Use
Dogs are prohibited when hunting deer, elk, and turkey.
Dogs cannot be used to harvest muskrat, mink, river otter, and beaver.
Dogs are prohibited when hunting furbearers (badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk) during daylight hours from Nov.1 through the close of the November portion of the firearms deer season and during the antlerless and CWD portions of firearms deer season in open counties.
Dogs are prohibited when hunting squirrels and rabbits during daylight hours of the November portion of the firearms deer season in the following counties:
Dogs are prohibited when hunting squirrels, rabbits, and furbearers (badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk) during daylight hours during the firearms portion of the elk hunting season in the following counties:
Dogs must wear ID
While hunting, all dogs, except for those used by waterfowl and game bird hunters, must wear a collar with the owner’s full name and address, Conservation Number or complete telephone number.
During training, dogs may chase but not take wildlife that can be hunted with dogs. You will need a hunting permit appropriate for the wildlife or exception when training dogs that are chasing wildlife.
Only a pistol with blank ammunition may be used during daylight hours to train dogs during closed seasons.
- The homes, nests or dens of furbearers must not be molested or destroyed.
- No person shall accept payment for furbearers taken by another.
- Wildlife held in traps, snares, or cable restraint devices may be killed or removed only by the user.
- Bobcats and otters or their pelts must be delivered to an agent of the Conservation Department for registration or tagging before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting by April 10. Tagged bobcats, otters or their pelts may be possessed by the taker throughout the year and may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, tanners or fur dealers. It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged bobcats, otters or their pelts. Tagging tip: To make it easier to tag a pelt without damaging it, put a pencil or stick through the upper lip and eye socket before freezing the skin. The tag can be easily placed in those holes when the pelt is registered.
- Restrictions on possession do not apply to tanned pelts, mounted specimens or manufactured products.
- Skinned carcasses of legally taken furbearers may be sold throughout the year.
Special-Use Permit Required to Trap on Conservation Areas
Trapping with dog-proof style and other traps is allowed on many conservation areas. A Special Use Permit is required and these must be applied for at least 30 days before trapping begins. Contact the area manager at the regional office to see what opportunities are available in your area.
- May be placed and set for furbearers at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 15 and must be removed by midnight of the last day of trapping season
- Must have smooth or rubber jaws only, and may include foot-hold, Conibear, or other killing-type, foot-enclosing-type, cage-type, colony traps with openings no greater than 6 inches in height and 6 inches wide, snares set underwater only, and cable restraint devices.
- Must be plainly labeled on durable material with the user’s full name and address or Conservation Number.
- Wildlife must be removed or released from traps daily, except for colony and killing-type traps, which must be checked every 48 hours.
- May not be set in paths made or used by people or domestic animals. Killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways, except underwater in permanent waters. Within communities having 10,000 or more inhabitants, only cage-type or foot-enclosing-type traps may be set within 150 feet of any residence or occupied building
- May be used in conjunction with electronic calls
Conibear or Killing-type traps must comply with the following:
- With a jaw spread greater than 5 inches, may be set underwater, but not in any dry land set
- With a jaw spread not greater than 8 inches, may be set 6 feet or more above ground level in buildings
Snares must comply with the following:
- Be set underwater
- Have a loop 15 inches or less in diameter when set
- Have a stop device that prevents the snare from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter
- Be made with cable that is between 5/64 inch and 1/8 inch in diameter
- Have a mechanical lock and anchor swivel
Cable Restraint Regulations
When used correctly, cable restraint devices hold animals alive and allow trappers to release non-target animals unharmed. The devices can be used to take furbearers from November 15 through January 31.
Cable restraint devices MUST:
- Be made of stranded steel cable, not greater than 5 feet long (not including extension, with a diameter of not less than 5/64 inch and equipped with a commercially manufactured breakaway rated at 350 pounds or less, a relaxing-type lock, a stop device that prevents it from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and an anchor swivel. Note: Compression-type chokes and other mechanically powered springs are prohibited.
- Have a loop size of 12 inches diameter or smaller when set
- Have the bottom of the cable loop set at least 6 inches or greater above the ground
- Be anchored solidly or staked in a location not allowing entanglement
- Be checked daily.
Cable restraint devices must NOT be:
- Capable of extending to within 12 inches of a fence
- Set using a drag
- Set with a kill-pole
- Used within 150 feet of any dwelling or driveway leading to a dwelling.
Note: Trappers may not possess live coyotes, red fox, and gray fox after March 15.
For your safety, you are urged to wear hunter orange whenever you are hunting.
When Hunter Orange Is Required
You must wear hunter orange if:
- You are hunting any species of game during firearms deer season. Some exceptions are allowed. See below.
- You are hunting elk or accompanying an elk hunter during the firearms portion of the elk season.
- You are hunting black bear or accompanying a black bear hunter.
- You are hunting on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
- You are serving as a mentor to another hunter during firearms deer season or on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
To satisfy this rule, you must wear both a hunter-orange hat and a hunter-orange shirt, vest, or coat. The hunter-orange color must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange does not satisfy this rule.
When Hunter Orange Is Not Required
You don’t have to wear hunter orange during firearms deer season, on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt, or during the firearms portion of the elk season if:
- You are hunting migratory game birds.
- You are archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.
- You are hunting on federal or state land where deer hunting is restricted to archery methods.
- You are using an archery permit during the alternative methods portion.
- You are archery or small game hunting during the antlerless or CWD portions in a closed county.
- You are hunting small game or furbearers during the alternative methods portion.
- You are hunting small game or furbearers during the firearms portion of the elk season.