MDC reminds hunters to be safe, follow regulations before Missouri migratory bird season kickoff Sept. 1

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Ahead of Missouri’s 2021 dove and other migratory bird season beginning Sept. 1, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is reminding hunters to observe regulations – including bag limits, shooting hours, and carrying all necessary permits – while hunting safely.

Dove season in Missouri runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 29. Seasons for other migratory birds run Sept. 1 through Nov. 9 for sora and Virginia rails, Sept. 11 through Sept. 26 for teal, Sept. 1 through Dec. 16 for Wilson’s common snipe, and Oct. 15 through Nov. 28 for American woodcock.  

“Please remember to be safe when hunting migratory birds,” said Russell Duckworth, MDC Protection Regional Supervisor. “Both dove and teal fly in groups and often are in low proximity to the ground. When swinging on birds, be aware of where other hunters may be and do not shoot at low flying birds. And always have your permit with you when hunting.”

The bag limit for doves this year is 15 total. Shooting hours for doves is one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. A Small Game Hunting Permit is required to hunt doves unless a person is under 16, over 65, or a resident landowner hunting on property that they own. Migratory Bird Permits are required for all hunters aged 16 and over.

Teal season runs Sept. 11-26, with shooting hours from sunrise to sunset. The bag limit for teal is 6 total for all species. To hunt teal, a hunter is required to have a Small Game Hunting Permit, Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, and a Federal Duck Stamp.

If a hunter is under 16 years of age, they do not need any permits to hunt teal, said Duckworth.

“But they must hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult who is 18 or older who has valid hunter education, or was born prior to January 1, 1967, or the hunter under the age of 16 must have a valid hunter education card of their own,” he said.

For questions about hunting migratory birds, Duckworth said he recommends contacting your local MDC office.

Get details from MDC’s Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest for 2021 – 2022, available where permits are sold and online at

More information on hunting doves and other game-bird species is available online at

MDC notes that, due to flooding and wet weather over the previous months, some plantings on MDC dove management areas may not be fully mature for opening day. Some replanted fields might not be ready until later in the month. Check conditions of fields prior to Sept. 1. For a listing and details on MDC dove management areas, go online to

Buy Missouri hunting permits from numerous vendors around the state online at, or through MDC’s free MO Hunting app, available for download through Google Play or the App Store.