MDC’s Busch Shooting Range holds pheasant hunts for beginning hunters in February

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

DEFIANCE, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is creating an opportunity for newcomers to discover upland gamebird hunting.  The staff at MDC’s August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is hosting two mentored Beginning Pheasant Hunts in February. One is geared for adults age 16 and up, and the other for youths age 11-15.  They will each be preceded by a mandatory Upland Bird Hunting clinic to help lay the groundwork.

The hunts and clinics are free of charge, but advanced online registration is required to attend.  The following are the hunt and clinic dates, including direct registration links:

  • Adult Pheasant Hunt,
    • Clinic date—Tuesday, Feb. 8 from 6-7:30 p.m.
    • Hunt date—Saturday, Feb. 12 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Youth Pheasant Hunt,
    • Clinic date—Tuesday, Feb. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m.
    • Hunt date—Saturday, Feb. 19 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The clinics will teach the basics of upland hunting with emphasis on ring-necked pheasants.  “We’ll also cover some biology, firearm handling, and how to clean the birds.  We’ll even give participants some recipes to help them prepare the pheasants for eating,” said MDC Busch Outdoor Education Center Manager, Bryant Hertel. 

Attending the respective clinics are mandatory to participate in the hunts, and attendees must be hunter education certified.  Hunters should also be comfortable with handling a shotgun.  The hunt and clinic are only open to those who have not hunted or purchased a small game permit in the past.

The in-classroom clinic portion will be held at the Busch Shooting Range classroom in Defiance, located at 3550 Route D, approximately five miles west of Highway 94.

Both pheasant hunts will take place at the Missouri Gun and Quail Club located in Wright City.  “These guided hunts are an excellent chance for anyone who wants to get started in upland bird hunting to do it in a supportive, safe and controlled environment,” Hertel said.

MDC asks all visitors observe current local COVID-19 social distancing and masking guidelines.  Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate.

Program registrants should note that families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own which will streamline the program registration process.  Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children to an event without having to logoff and login for each person.  This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members to an event at the same time.

Stay informed of MDC latest programs by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at