MDC offers hunter education skills session in Branson on March 29

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BRANSON, Mo. – Many people are preparing for Missouri’s upcoming hunting seasons. If taking a hunter education skills session is something you need to do to enjoy firearms hunting opportunities this year, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has an upcoming course scheduled in the Branson area.

Individuals born on or 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. The knowledge portion provides information to participants on all aspects of hunter education and can be taken online (ages 11-15 only), through a free self-study guide, or in a classroom setting. Participants 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. Participants must complete and pass both portions to earn certification.

For individuals participating in the blended format, a skills session will be taught from 5:30-9:30 p.m. March 29 at MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center in Branson. The Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center is part of MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and is located at 483 Hatchery Road on the west end of Lake Taneycomo near Branson. People can register for the March 29 skills session at:

COVID measures will be practiced at this program. To get information about skills sessions in other parts of the state or to learn more about Missouri’s hunter education program, visit

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 who has hunter education certification
  • Hunters who are landowners hunting on land they own
  • Hunters who can prove completion of an approved hunter education course in another state