Hunting Seasons in Missouri

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: January 27, 2023
Hunting Seasons in Missouri

2024 Hunting Seasons in Missouri

Missouri is the perfect destination for hunters of all kinds. With a range of stunning landscapes, diverse hunting opportunities and bountiful game populations, potential hunters can be sure to find something to suit their tastes - from white-tailed deer and turkey to waterfowl and more.

The regulations are strict in order to ensure the sustainability of the wildlife populations, while bag limits are generous, making it worth your while.

So go on a big game hunt for an adrenaline rush, or take a leisurely day trip after small game; Missouri's got it all.

Deer hunting season.

For deer hunters in Missouri, the season is always something to look forward to. From late November through to January, it's the perfect time of year for a big game hunt.

The regulations are strict, but with generous bag limits and plenty of opportunities to find deer, it's not hard to see why this is one of the most popular hunting seasons in the state. So if you're looking for great outdoor fun and an adventure in nature, then Missouri's deer hunting season is the ideal choice.

You may hunt deer with archery equipment such as longbows, compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows, and hand-held string-releasing devices from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. A valid Archer's Hunting Permit and/or Archery Antlerless Deer Hunting Permit is required.

There is a limit of two deer of either sex allowed per permit, with only one antlered deer being allowed before November 12th. In addition to these permits, motor driven conveyances and night vision or thermal imagery equipment cannot be used while hunting deer. Electronic calls, electronically activated calls, bait, dogs or live decoys are also prohibited.

Season Type Dates
Archery All Sep. 15 - Nov. 10
Nov. 22 - Jan. 15
Firearm Antlerless Oct. 6 - Oct. 8
Dec. 2 - Dec. 10
Firearm Youth Oct. 28 - Oct. 29
Nov. 24 - Nov. 26
Firearm All Nov. 11 - Nov. 21

Elk hunting season.

Elk hunting in Missouri has become increasingly popular over the years. The state's elk population has been successfully restored, and with it comes a unique and thrilling hunting experience. Missouri's elk hunting season is highly regulated, with specific dates and requirements for permits and legal methods of hunting.

Hunters must be selected through a random drawing to receive a permit, and they are only allowed to take one antlered elk with at least one antler no less than 6 inches in length. With its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife, Missouri offers an unforgettable outdoor adventure for any avid hunter looking to challenge themselves in the field.

Season Type Dates
Archery All Oct. 15 - Oct. 23
Firearm All Dec. 10 - Dec. 18

Archery elk hunting.

Missouri's elk archery hunting season is set to take place from October 15th to October 23rd, 2022. The hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Those selected for a permit may take one antlered elk with at least one antler no less than 6 inches in length.

Archers are allowed to use longbows, compound bows, or recurve bows of any draw weight, hand-held string releasing devices, crossbows, and atlatls. However, the use of any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game is prohibited, as well as electronic calls, bait, dogs or night vision equipment. Hunters cannot hunt elk from a boat with a motor attached or while they are in a stream or other body of water. Lastly, archers hunting during the archery portion cannot be in possession of a firearm.

Rifle elk hunting.

Missouri's elk rifle hunting season is scheduled from December 10th to December 18th, 2022. The hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Those who receive a permit may take one antlered elk with at least one antler no less than 6 inches in length. Firearms allowed for use during the season include centerfire pistols, revolvers, or rifles using expanding-type bullets such as lead or copper, shotguns with slugs only (including .410), air-powered guns .40 caliber or larger charged only from an external high-compression power source.

Muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms .40 caliber or larger and capable of firing only a single projectile at one discharge (in-lines and scopes are allowed), multiple-barreled muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns including revolvers .40 caliber or larger, longbows, compound bows, and recurve bows of any draw weight along with hand-held string-releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoint sights.

However, the use of self-loading firearms with a capacity of more than 11 cartridges in magazine and chamber combined, ammunition propelling more than one projectile at a single discharge (such as buckshot), full hard metal case projectiles and fully automatic firearms is prohibited.

Prohibited methods include any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game as well as electronic calls, electronically activated calls bait dogs or night vision equipment. Furthermore hunting elk from a boat with a motor attached while they are in a stream or other body of water is not allowed nor is hunting within any area enclosed by a fence greater than seven feet (7') in height.

Badger hunting and trapping season.

Badger hunting and trapping season in Missouri is a unique opportunity for hunters to pursue these elusive animals. The season runs from November 15th through January 31st, with no daily or possession limits in place. Hunters must possess a valid permit such as the Small Game Hunting and Fishing Permit, Resident Trapping Permit, or Nonresident Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Permit to participate.

Allowed methods of hunting include pistols, rifles, air-powered guns, shotguns with magazine cut off or plugged to reduce capacity, bows and crossbows, slingshots and dogs (except during daylight hours from Nov. 1 through the end of November portion statewide). Electronic calls or electronically activated calls may also be used. However, prohibited methods include arrows containing any drug or poison, poisons/tranquilizing drugs/chemicals/explosives and motor-driven conveyances.

Season Type Dates
Hunting / Trapping All Nov. 15 - Jan. 31
Additional Methods All Feb. 1 - Mar. 31

Beaver and Nutria trapping season.

Missouri residents are always looking forward to beaver season. During this time, residents with a valid trapping permit can use a variety of methods such as foot-hold traps, conibear or other killing-type traps, foot-enclosing traps, cage-type traps, colony traps with specific measurements, cable restraint devices and snares set underwater.

However, dogs like beavers and muskrats may not be used for aquatic furbearers. Traps must have smooth or rubber jaws only and killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways. Within communities having 10,000 or more inhabitants, only cage-type or foot-enclosing traps may be set within 150 feet of any residence or occupied building.

Remember to remove all traps by midnight of the last day of the applicable trapping season.

Season Type Dates
Trapping All Nov. 15 - Mar. 31

Bobcat hunting and trapping season.

Missouri's bobcat hunting and trapping season runs from November 15, 2022 to February 28, 2023. All bobcat pelts must be registered or tagged.

There are no daily or possession limits for bobcats, but hunters must possess a valid permit such as the Small Game Hunting Permit, Resident Trapping Permit, or Nonresident Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Permit.

During the November portion and Antlerless portion in open counties, furbearer hunters must also possess an unfilled firearms deer hunting permit if hunting during daylight hours.

Allowed hunting methods include pistols, rifles, shotguns with magazine cut off or plugged to reduce capacity, bows and crossbows, atlatls and slingshots.

Dogs may be used except during daylight hours from Nov.1 through the end of November portion statewide and the antlerless portion in open areas. Electronic calls may also be used.

Season Type Dates
Hunting and Trapping All Nov. 15 - Feb. 28
Additional Methods All Feb. 1 - Mar. 31

Coyote hunting and trapping season.

Coyotes may be taken all year except during the daylight hours from April 1 - 17.

There are no daily or possession limits, and a variety of firearms and archery equipment can be used for hunting. However, special method restrictions apply during spring turkey season when hunters must have an unfilled spring turkey hunting permit while pursuing coyotes.

During February 1 - March 31, additional methods such as artificial light and night vision equipment are allowed in conjunction with other legal hunting methods to pursue and take coyotes.

It is important to note that there are prohibited methods for furbearer hunting including arrows containing any drug, poison, chemical or explosive, poisons, tranquilizing drugs or chemicals.

Coyote trapping

Missouri's coyote trapping season runs from November 15 to February 28. However, there is an extended trapping season on private land from March 1 to April 14. During this time, only foot-hold traps, foot-enclosing traps, and cage-type traps may be used for trapping coyote, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk.

The daily limit is any number and there is no possession limit. To trap furbearers in Missouri, traps must have smooth or rubber jaws only. Killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways and traps may not be placed or set before midnight of the first day of the applicable trapping season and must be removed by midnight of the last day of the applicable trapping season.

Season Type Dates
Hunting All Jan. 1 - Dec. 31
Hunting Additional Methods Feb. 1 - Mar. 31
Trapping All Nov. 15 - Feb. 28
Trapping Limited Methods Mar. 1 - Apr. 14
Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

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