Rabbit

Species Description

Includes Eastern Cottontail and Swamp Rabbits.

Eastern Cottontail
“Cottontail” describes the characteristic appearance of this rabbit's tail: when it is raised, the white undersurface is conspicuous and resembles a fluff of cotton.

Swamp Rabbit
Larger and yellower than the eastern cottontail, the swamp rabbit is confined to swamps of Missouri’s Bootheel. As a wetland dweller, it’s a good swimmer and diver, but lack of swamp habitat is making this rabbit’s numbers decline.

Title
Seasons
Rabbit

rabbit in grass

Season Closed
  • October 1, 2021 to February 15, 2022
Hours

Sunrise to sunset

Notes

Only cottontail and swamp rabbits may be hunted. Jackrabbits are protected at all times and may not be hunted or trapped.

Methods depend on the type of permit (archery or small game hunting).

Daily limit: 6, only 2 may be swamp rabbits
Possession limit: 12, only 4 may be swamp rabbits

Small Game: Archery: Allowed Methods

Methods

Longbow, compound bow, or recurve bow of any draw weight

Atlatls, which are defined as a rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet long

Hand-held string releasing devices

Illuminated sights, scopes, and quickpoint sights

Crossbow 

Small Game: Archery: Prohibited Methods

Methods

Arrows containing any drug, poison, chemical or explosive.

Motor driven conveyances may not be used to take, drive or molest wildlife. 

Artificial lights may be used only to hunt bullfrogs and green frogs, or to hunt raccoons and other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs. Using lights to search for, spot, illuminate, harass, or disturb other wildlife is a violation of the Wildlife Code of Missouri. Landowners and lessees may use artificial lights on their property, but while doing so may not be in possession of — or be in the company of someone who possesses — a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

You may not possess night vision or thermal imagery equipment while carrying a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

Additional Info

Special Provision During the Firearms Deer Season: During the November portion statewide and antlerless portion in open counties, other wildlife may be hunted only with a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4 or a .22 or smaller caliber rimfire rifle. This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, or to landowners on their land.

Small Game: Hunting: Allowed Methods

Methods

Pistols, revolvers, and rifles propelling a single projectile at one discharge

Guns powered by spring, air, or compressed gas

Shotguns not larger than 10 gauge

Crossbows, which are classified as a firearm method

Shotguns with the magazine cut off or plugged to reduce the capacity to not more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined. This restriction does not apply during the Conservation Order for light geese.

Shotguns are the only firearm allowed for hunting game birds (except crow). Pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns may be used to hunt crow.

Bows, which include longbows, compound bows, and recurve bows, illuminated sights, scopes, quickpoint sights and hand-held string releasing mechanisms may be used

Atlatls

Slingshots

Additional Info

In addition to the hunting methods listed above, with a small game hunting permit you may take groundhogs, squirrels, and rabbits with a cage-type trap during that species' open hunting season.

Traps must:

  • be labeled with your full name and address, or Conservation Number;
  • be attended daily; and
  • have an opening of 144 square inches or smaller.

Special Provision During the Firearms Deer Season: During the November portion statewide and antlerless portion in open counties, only pistols, revolvers, rifles, or shotguns may be used to take rabbits and squirrels. These firearms must fire .22 caliber or smaller rimfire cartridges or shot no larger than No. 4. This restriction does not apply to landowners hunting on land they own.

Small Game: Hunting: Prohibited Methods

Methods

Arrows containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive.

Motor driven conveyances may not be used to take, drive or molest wildlife. Deer may not be hunted from a boat with a motor attached; however, a motorboat may be used to hunt other wildlife if the motor is shut off and the boat’s forward progress has stopped.

Artificial lights may be used only to hunt bullfrogs and green frogs, or to hunt raccoons and other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs. Using lights to search for, spot, illuminate, harass, or disturb other wildlife is a violation of the Wildlife Code of Missouri. Landowners and lessees may use artificial lights on their property, but while doing so may not be in possession of — or be in the company of someone who possesses — a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

You may not possess night vision or thermal imagery equipment while carrying a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

Additional Info

Special Provision During the Firearms Deer Season: During the November portion, dogs may not be used during daylight hours in Butler, Carter, Dent, Iron, Madison, Oregon, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, and Wayne counties.

Season Closed
  • November 15, 2021 to January 31, 2022
Notes

Jackrabbits may not be taken at any time.

Carcasses may not be sold.

You may take rabbits with a cage-type trap at any hour during the open hunting season if you possess a hunting permit. The cage-type trap must be labeled with your full name and address, or Conservation ID number; must be attended daily; and have an opening of 144 square inches or smaller. 

Daily limit: 6, only 2 may be swamp rabbits
Possession limit: 12, only 4 may be swamp rabbits

Furbearers: Trapping: Allowed Methods

Methods

Traps must have smooth or rubber jaws only

Foot-hold trap

Conibear or other killing-type trap

Foot-enclosing trap

Cage-type trap

Colony traps with openings no greater than 6 inches in height and 6 inches wide

Cable restraint devices

Snares set underwater, have a loop 15 inches or less in diameter when set, have a stop device that prevents snare from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, mad with cable that is between 5/64 inch and 1/8 inch in diameter, and have a mechanical lock and anchor swivel.

Additional Info

Within communities having 10,000 or more inhabitants, only cage-type or foot-enclosing traps, may be set within 150 feet of any residence or occupied building.

Furbearers: Trapping: Prohibited Methods

Methods

Dogs may not be used for aquatic furbearers (beaver, muskrat, mink, otter) 

Snares on land

Pitfalls

Deadfalls

Nets

Traps may not be set in paths made or used by people or domestic animals.

Killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways.

Additional Info