MDC invites first-time youth deer hunters to free mentored hunt in Callaway County

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites new youth deer hunters to apply for a free mentored deer hunt in Callaway County Oct. 31–Nov. 1.

Participants will learn about deer biology and habitat, hunting safety, use of camouflage, ammunition and firearm selection, how to improve hunting and shooting skills, as well as regulations, and methods.

Saturday morning, prior to hunting, participants will have a chance to spend time on the range together to work on safe firearm handling, equipment familiarization, identification, and sighting-in their rifles.

Each youth participant must be accompanied at the hunt by a parent or adult guardian who will hunt together with an experienced hunting mentor provided by MDC. MDC will provide firearms and ammunition, but participants are welcome to bring their own cased and unloaded firearms if they wish.

“This is a great opportunity for new youth hunters to learn and experience deer hunting in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere,” said MDC Conservation Educator Rhys McCracken. “Missouri is a great place to hunt and participating youth will have a great chance at harvesting their first white-tail deer. Deer hunting is a lifelong activity and something you can share with friends and family, as well as putting great food on the table.”

Youth must complete their hunter education certification and purchase a Resident or Nonresident Managed Deer Hunting Permit to be eligible for this hunt. Participation in the hunt is limited to youths age 11-15 years old at the time of the hunt, who have never Telechecked a deer.

Space is limited for this mentored hunting opportunity. To attend, participants must apply no later than Oct. 14. To apply, contact McCracken by email at and request an application form.  

Scheduled plans are subject to change according to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. To ensure public safety, all participants must practice physical distancing of at least six feet from anyone who does not live in the same household, and wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when maintaining six-foot distancing is not possible.

MDC Discover Nature programs, such as this workshop, aim to help Missourians explore nature and master outdoor skills together.  To learn more about other Discover Nature programs, visit For more information about this youth deer clinic and mentored hunt, contact McCracken at (573) 815-7901, ext. 2866.