MDC offers Introduction to Bowfishing virtual class June 7 with in person field event June 12 in St. Charles

News from the region
Saint Louis
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St. CHARLES, Mo.—The sport of bowfishing is gaining more and more popularity each year.  It’s almost like going fishing and hunting—at the same time.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to give newcomers a chance to discover the fun of this unique pursuit. 

MDC is offering a free two-part program to help beginning bow fishers get off to a solid start.  The first part is a virtual Introduction to Bowfishing class Monday, June 7 from 6-7:30 p.m.  This introductory program is for beginners who want to learn more about this exciting sport.  By using archery equipment and methods, bowfishing merges aspects of both fishing and hunting into one activity.  This program will cover how to get started in bowfishing.  Participants will learn about the equipment, safety, regulations, and what species can be taken with a bow.

The second part of the program will be an in-person Beginning Bowfishing field event Saturday, June 12 from 8 a.m.-noon.  It will be presented by the staff at MDC’s August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Defiance.  Attendees of this event will take part in a mentored bowfishing trip. The site of the program will be determined beforehand, and participants notified of the location.  Capacity for this live program is limited, and participants must have already attended the Introduction to Bowfishing class to attend.  All necessary equipment will be provided by MDC. 

Both portions are free of charge and open to ages nine and up.  Preregistration online in advance is required foe each part by using the following links:

  • Virtual Introduction to Bowfishing class June 7; Attendees will receive a WebEx invitation and program link by email the day before the program.
  • In-person Beginning Bowfishing field event June 12; MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines.  Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate. 

A valid fishing permit is required to attend this program.  Those 15 years of age or younger, or 65 years of age or older, are exempt.  For safety reasons, all participants must be able to fully draw and hold at full draw a 15-lb. draw weight compound bow.

MDC offers many free educational events and programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors.  Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at