COLUMBIA — Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) promotes safe, knowledgeable, ethical and responsible hunting through its Hunter Education program and training.
“Since autumn brings a new round of hunting seasons, the Hunter Education classes fill up quickly,” said MDC Outdoors Skills Specialist and Hunter-Ed instructor Brian Flowers. “New hunters who need to be Hunter-Ed certified should take the course early to avoid the fall rush.”
Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and who are 16 or older, must successfully complete an approved Hunter Education course to qualify to buy firearms hunting permits.
MDC recently revised the Hunter-Ed course for student convenience and to emphasize hands-on training. The new, more flexible program is divided into two parts.
Students can take the first part as an online course, or with a printed manual, or by signing up for a four-hour classroom session. The second part is a mandatory, four-hour, hands-on skills session and a 35-question multiple-choice exam.
Students completing the course receive a temporary certificate so they can immediately start hunting while their Hunter Education Certification card is being processed.
For more information on Hunter Education visit www.mdc.mo.gov/node/3095 or contact your local MDC office.
Youths 6 through 15 may hunt without Hunter Education certification when accompanied by a qualified adult mentor. Mentors are required to be Hunter-Education certified, unless exempt by age. MDC recommends that youth begin hunting with an adult mentor to become familiar with hunting and terminology before taking the course. Hunters who have completed an approved Hunter-Education course in another state are not required to take Missouri’s Hunter Education course.
MDC also offers an Apprentice Hunter Authorization to let people 16 years of age and older try hunting without requiring certification as long as they hunt with an adult mentor who certified in Hunter Education, unless exempt by age.
MDC began providing Hunter Education in 1957 and has trained more than 1.1 million students. Since hunter education became mandatory in 1987, there has been a reduction of hunting incidents by more than 70 percent. Missouri is among the top five states in annual hunter education graduate numbers.