Hunting Public Land In Missouri: How To

When many people think of Missouri the first thing that comes to mind is their love for hunting public land in Missouri. The state is blessed with many public lands and many allow hunting. Check regulations for each location you plan to hunt.

What you'll need:

  • hunter safety certificate
  • hunting gear
  • hunter orange vest and cap
  • hunting permit and stamps or tags for the game you pursue


  1. Complete hunter safety. Hunters born after January 1, 1967 need to successfully complete a hunter safety course to purchase a hunting permit. Hunter safety classes are delivered in all counties, but classes fill up fast, so reserve your spot early.
  2. Choose your hunt. Missouri is rich with game, from small mammals such as groundhog, badger, rabbit and squirrel, birds such as turkey, quail, dove, migratory birds and pheasant, predators such as bobcat and coyote to great deer hunts, Missouri has the game you want to pursue, and game is plentiful, so public land will leave nothing to be desired over hunting private land.
  3. Research public land. Missouri has created an easy to use Website to help you find the best public lands for you to hunt. Visit the Missouri Department of conservation to locate your best access to hunting public land.
  4. Review the Missouri hunting proclamations. Hunting guidelines are set each year based on game populations and environmental conditions. Check the publication for season dates, tagging and reporting requirements.
  5. Buy permits, tags, and stamps as required. The proclamation will let you know what permits, stamps and tags you will need to hunt game on public land in Missouri. Stop by a local sporting goods store, or buy online.
  6. Plan your hunt. As with any hunt, preparing to safely hunt public land requires you to identify where you will go, what you will hunt and when you will be back
  7. Give notice of your hunt. Give your plan to a friend or family member. If you become lost or injured while hunting public land, a failed check-in at your return time will begin a search.
  8. Have fun, stay safe. Enjoy hunting public land in Missouri by maintaining hunter safety best practices at all times. There will be other hunters, and possibly hikers out and about. Always be sure of your shot and what is beyond.
  9. Eat. Missouri is known for great barbecue, grilling and general down-home cuisine. Your hunt, if successful, will ultimately lead to oven, grill deep fryer or smoker, and ultimately to your plate. Be sure your hunt leads to a great meal.
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