Missouri hunting licenses are required for all hunters planning on taking wildlife from public hunting areas located throughout the state. Without a valid hunting permit, hunters caught hunting will be charged with poaching and subsequently levied various fines and penalties. Applicants should buy hunting licenses prior to embarking on any hunting trips in Missouri to avoid these legal ramifications. Licenses to hunt are regulated and issued to residents and non residents alike by Missouri’s wildlife department, formally known as the Department of Conservation. Factors that affect the category of each hunting license include the applicant’s age, residency status, the type of animal the hunter plans on catching and the length of the license’s validity period prior to expiration. Prior to buying hunting licenses, hunters must first complete all hunting education program requirements set by the state wildlife department. MO hunter education courses are taught by wildlife experts in a classroom or online setting and teach students about a variety of topics including hunting ethics, wildlife management, survival skills and firearm safety. Once the course is completed, hunters can finish the hunting license application process and buy hunting licenses from the wildlife department. Options for buying hunting licenses include online, in-person and by-phone submissions. For more information on how to get hunting licenses in Missouri, read the sections outlined below:
- Types of hunting licenses in Missouri
- How to buy hunting licenses in Missouri
- Hunter education in Missouri
- Children’s hunter education in Missouri
- Replacing Missouri hunting licenses
What types of hunting licenses are available in Missouri?
Various types of hunting licenses are offered to both Missouri residents and nonresidents. Hunting licenses in Missouri are classified based on a number of factors including the type of game the applicant plans to hunt while out in Missouri’s wilderness, as well as the length of the license’s validity. One of the popular hunting license options in MO is the big game hunting license, which gives the licensee the right to hunt animals such as elk, cow, bull, deer, moose, pronghorn, buck, doe and bear. Another license is the waterfowl/small game hunting license, which gives licensees the right to hunt animals such as small game birds (i.e. pigeon, partridge, crow, dove, sparrow, prairie-chicken, grouse, pheasant, quail and more), small game animals (i.e. squirrels, beavers, bobcats, snapping turtle, jackrabbit, coyote, marmot, prairie dog, rattlesnake and more) and small game hawks/falcons. The department also offers turkey hunting licenses. For big and small game hunting licenses, the fees and seasons vary based on the particular type of animal the applicant plans on hunting.
How do I purchase hunting licenses in Missouri?
Hunting licenses can be purchased online, over the phone or in person through the Department of Conservation. To buy hunting licenses online, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Total Licensing System. To buy hunting licenses over the phone, call the wildlife department’s licensing hotline. To buy hunting licenses in person, visit one of the hundreds of licensed retailers located throughout Missouri.
Before buying a hunting license, hunters must first purchase a Missouri Wildlife Habitat Stamp (also available in a lifetime habitat stamp for those who do not want to buy a new stamp each year). Online submissions require hunters to enter personal identification information and their residency status. For licensing purposes, the year runs from the first day of April to the last day of the following March. Licenses purchased by phone or online will be mailed to the applicant within 10 days of purchase. Hunters must sign the back of the license once it is received for the license to be valid.
Am I required to take any hunting classes in Missouri to be eligible for hunting license purchases?
All hunting license applicants born on or after January 1, 1949 are required by the Missouri Department of Conservation to pass a hunter education course. Hunter education courses must be approved by the wildlife department and led by a certified volunteer or wildlife department staff hunting instructor. Courses are offered regularly throughout the year and cover topics such as hunting ethics, firearm safety and survival skills.
Where can I find educational hunting material for kids?
Missouri’s Department of Conservation offers a youth hunting program for children who are interested in eventually buying hunting licenses in the state. Focuses in the youth hunting program include safe hunting practices, learning the details about wildlife (including habitats, how to look for tracks and how to hunt in groups), ethics of hunting, conservation techniques and outdoor living strategies.
Eligible applicants for the youth hunting program must meet a few requirements, including being a Missouri resident, being 10 years of age or older (minimum 12 years of age for big game hunting), being younger than 17 years of age and accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
The Missouri youth hunting program offers three different types of hunting expeditions for apprentice hunters. Expeditions include big game (ages 12 through 17), upland game (ages 10 through 17), and waterfowl (ages 10 through 17).
How do I replace Missouri hunting licenses?
In the event of a lost, stolen or damaged hunting license, hunters can request a replacement license to hunt online, by mail or in person at a local Missouri Department of Conservation office. To purchase online, visit the wildlife department’s Total Licensing System. To purchase a replacement in person or by mail, print and complete a Request for Duplicate License form, and mail it to the address listed on the form. Replacement cards are available for a fee equal to 50 percent of the cost of the original hunting license fee.