MDC to offer hunter education opportunities in upcoming weeks

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Rolla, Mo. – The calendar may still say “winter,” but many people are starting to prepare for upcoming hunting seasons. If taking hunter education is one of the things you need to do to enjoy firearms hunting opportunities this year, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has several options available.

Individuals born after Jan. 1, 1967 hunting in Missouri during a firearms season or acting as an adult mentor to another hunter must have hunter education certification unless exempt (see exemptions listed below). MDC offers two hunter education options; an all-online format and a blended format.

The all-online format may be completed by Missouri residents age 16 and older. It consists of an online course and requires a fee paid to the online course provider (not MDC). The all-online option requires the passing of a final exam; but has no skills portion.

The blended format has two parts - a knowledge portion and a skills session portion - and may be completed by Missouri residents age 11 and older. The knowledge portion provides information to participants on all aspects of hunter education and can be taken online, through a free self-study guide which is available at a number of MDC offices (including the Rolla MDC Office), or in a classroom setting. Participants choosing the free self-study guide must answer all chapter review exercises at the end of the study booklet and bring to the HED skills session, along with legal proof of date of birth.

Participants using the blended format must also complete a four-hour skills session that includes a multiple-choice final exam. The skills portion is a hands-on demonstration of skills learned by participants.

“Hunter education skills sessions fill up fast as we get closer to hunting seasons,” said MDC Hunter Education and Shooting Range Coordinator Justin McGuire. “MDC offers these classes year-round, so this is a great time of year to get your certification completed.” Participants using the blended format must complete and pass both portions to earn certification.

For individuals participating in the blended format, here is a list of skills sessions coming up in Maries, Pulaski, & Phelps counties:

February 16: 5 - 9 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall - Vienna, 206 6th St., Vienna (Maries County). Sign up for this session and get more information at:

March 12: 5 - 9 p.m., Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District Emergency Services Training Center, 25785 Red Oak Rd., Waynesville (Pulaski County). Sign up for this session and get more information at:

March 21: 5 – 9 p.m., East Central Community College – Rolla North Campus, 2303 North Bishop Avenue (Hwy 63), Rolla (Phelps County). Sign up for this session and get more information at:

To get a complete list of skills sessions being offered around the state, visit (select by entering either Zip Code or County). COVID procedures will be in place for all of the above-mentioned hunter education events.

Exemptions to Missouri’s hunter education requirements are:

  • Hunters born before Jan. 1, 1967
  • Hunters age 15 or younger who will be hunting with an adult mentor age 18 years or older who is certified in hunter education.
  • Hunters with a disability exemption from MDC
  • Hunters age 16 or older who have purchased an apprentice hunter authorization and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor age 18 or older
  • Hunters who are landowners hunting on land they own.
  • Hunters who can prove completion of an approved hunter education course in another state

More information about hunter education can be found at