Lincoln County conservation agent offers guidance for goose hunting season

News from the region
Saint Louis
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St. LOUIS, Mo.—Duck hunting in the North Zone may be closed, but waterfowl hunters still have a reason to take to the marshes and wetlands with their shotguns.  Hunting geese provides yet another challenge for waterfowl hunters that extends into the spring.

“Goose hunting ensures hunters can continue enjoying time afield,” said Lincoln County Conservation Agent, Christine Hibler.  “With the unseasonably warm weather this year, geese will be migrating later than normal, hopefully providing ample opportunity to late season goose hunters,” she said.

Missouri’s goose season runs until Feb. 6.  Following that, the 2024 Federal Light Goose Conservation Order will open on Feb. 7 and run until April 30.  This offers hunters almost three additional months of waterfowl hunting opportunity.  Species open to hunting in Missouri include Canada, greater white-fronted geese, and snow and Ross’s geese.

“Those wishing to hunt geese during the remainder of the season should be aware of and follow all current regulations,” Agent Hibler reminded hunters.

Hibler said hunters will need to possess a current Missouri small game hunting permit, a migratory bird permit, and a federal waterfowl stamp. Hunters should remember that federal waterfowl stamps must be signed to be valid for hunting. If purchasing an electronic federal stamp, hunters will also need to note the expiration date of that electronic stamp.  Once the stamp has expired, they will be required to carry the signed physical stamp which they should have received in the mail.

Hunters will also need to heed the current limits for geese.  “The daily limit for Canada geese is three with a possession limit of nine, for greater white fronted geese the daily limit is two with a possession limit of six, for light geese prior to the conservation order the daily limit is 20 with a possession limit of 60,” Agent Hibler explained. 

As with duck hunting, hunters should note that lead shot is prohibited, and non-toxic shot must be used. If a hunter successfully harvests a goose, the bird must have a fully feathered wing or head attached until the hunter arrives at their domicile. For a more detailed look at waterfowl regulations consult the 2023-2024 Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest

“This booklet is available either online for viewing and download at, or anywhere permits are sold,” said Agent Hibler.

The St. Louis region is home to numerous areas that offer public goose hunting opportunities, Agent Hibler said.  She recommends BK Leach and Prairie Slough Conservation Areas in Lincoln County.  For St. Charles County Hibler suggested Marais Temps Clair or Weldon Spring Conservation Areas.  Each area is open to walk in goose hunting. Before heading to an area to hunt, hunters should consult the area brochure for special regulations.

“MDC encourages waterfowl hunters to take advantage of these plentiful hunting opportunities,” said Agent Hibler. 

“Just take some time to become familiar with the limits and regulations.  And above all, practice safety first,” she said.