Regulations and Permits Definitions

Knowing regulations and permits definitions helps you abide by the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

Antlered Deer:

A deer having at least one antler at least 3 inches long.

Atlatl:

A rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet in length. Note: Atlatls may be used for hunting small game.

Backwater:

Any flowing or non-flowing water lying exclusively within the floodplain of a river and connected to that river at any water level below official flood stage for the portion of river where the backwater occurs. Backwater does not include tributary streams and ditches, but may include side channels, chutes, sloughs, bayous, oxbows and blew holes.

Chase or Chased:

The act of using dogs to follow wildlife for the purpose of recreation or dog training, but not for the purpose of catching or taking that wildlife.

Firearm:

Pistols, revolvers and rifles propelling a single projectile at one discharge including those powered by spring, air or compressed gas, and shotguns not larger than 10 gauge.

Flies, Lures and Baits:

The following classes of lures are authorized for use, except where restricted.

  1. Natural and scented baits—A natural fish food such as bait fish, crayfish, frogs permitted as bait, grubs, insects, larvae, worms, salmon eggs, cheese, corn and other food substances not containing any ingredient to stupefy, injure or kill fish. Does not include flies or artificial lures. Includes dough bait, putty or paste-type bait, any substance designed to attract fish by taste or smell and any fly, lure or bait containing or used with such substances.
  2. Soft plastic bait (unscented)—Synthetic eggs, synthetic worms, synthetic grubs and soft plastic lures.
  3. Artificial Lure—A lure constructed of any material excluding soft plastic bait and natural and scented bait defined in (A) or (B) above.
  4. Fly—An artificial lure constructed on a single-point hook, using any material except soft plastic bait and natural and scented bait as defined in (A) or (B) above, that is tied, glued or otherwise permanently attached.

Days or Dates:

All days and dates are inclusive. A day begins or ends at midnight, unless otherwise specified

Endangered Fish:

Lake sturgeon, pallid sturgeon, taillight shiner, Neosho madtom, spring cavefish, harlequin darter, goldstripe darter, cypress minnow, central mudminnow, crystal darter, swamp darter, Ozark cavefish, Niangua darter, Sabine shiner, mountain madtom, redfin darter, longnose darter, flathead chub, Topeka shiner. These fish may not be kept.

Furbearing Animals, Furbearers:

Badger, beaver, black bear, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, red fox, mink, mountain lion, muskrat, nutria, opossum, raccoon, river otter, spotted skunk, striped skunk and long-tailed weasel. Note: Open seasons exist for all furbearers except black bear, mountain lion, spotted skunk and long-tailed weasel.

Game Birds:

Coot, crows, ducks, geese, ruffed grouse, Eurasian collared-dove, mourning dove, white-winged dove, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, rails, snipe, turkey and woodcock.

Game Fish:

Rock bass (goggle-eye), warmouth, northern pike, muskellunge, tiger muskie, muskie-pike hybrid, chain pickerel, grass pickerel, all species of catfish except bullheads, all species of black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted), paddlefish (spoonbill), all species of crappie, white bass, yellow bass and striped bass, trout, walleye, sauger and shovelnose sturgeon.

Game Mammals:

Deer, groundhog (woodchuck), cottontail rabbit, jackrabbit, swamp rabbit, fox squirrel, gray squirrel and furbearers as defined above. Note: Open seasons exist for all game mammals except jackrabbits, and for all furbearers except black bear, mountain lion, spotted skunk and long-tailed weasel.

Grabbing:

Snagging or attempting to snag a fish by means of a pole, line and hook manipulated by hand.

Hook:

Single- or multiple-pronged hooks and ordinary artificial lures with attached single- or multiple-pronged hooks and dropper flies. A multiple-pronged hook, or 2 or more hooks used to hold a single bait are considered a single hook.

Lessee:

Any Missouri resident who lives on and leases at least 5 acres of land in one single tract owned by others. This also includes any member of the immediate household whose legal residence is the same as the lessee for at least the past 30 days.

Managed Deer Hunt:

A prescribed deer hunt conducted on a designated area, which may include conservation areas, state parks, national wildlife refuges, military bases, private land, and city or county properties.

Muzzleloading Firearm:

Any firearm capable of being loaded only from the muzzle.

Night-Vision Equipment:

Optical devices (such as binoculars or scopes) using light amplifying circuits that are electrical or battery-powered.

Nongame Fish:

All species other than those listed as endangered or defined as game fish. Nongame fish are referred to as “other fish” in the Wildlife Code.

Nonresident Landowner:

Any nonresident of Missouri who is the owner of at least 75 acres in one continuous tract in the state of Missouri, or any member of the immediate household whose legal residence and domicile is the same as the nonresident landowner’s for at least the past 30 days. In the case of corporate ownership, only registered officers of corporations meet this definition.

Resident Landowner:

Any Missouri resident who is the owner of at least 5 acres in one single tract. This also includes any member of the immediate household whose legal residence is the same as the landowner for at least the past 30 days. In the case of corporate ownership, only registered officers of corporations meet this definition.

Pole or Rod and Line:

Fishing tackle normally held in the hand, such as a cane pole, casting rod, spinning rod or fly rod, to which not more than 3 hooks with bait or lures are attached. Does not include snagging, snaring, grabbing, trotlines, jug lines or other tackle normally attached in a fixed position.

Possessed and Possession:

The actual and constructive possession and control of things referred to in the Wildlife Code.

Public Roadway:

The right of way which is owned either outright or by easement by any public entity, or which is used by the general public for travel and is also regularly maintained by any public entity.

Pursue or Pursued:

The act of trying to find, to seek or to search for wildlife for the purpose of taking wildlife.

Sell:

To offer for sale or to exchange for compensation in any material form.

Take or Taking:

Killing, trapping, snaring, netting or capturing in any manner any wildlife, and also refers to pursuing, molesting, hunting, wounding; or the placing, setting, or use of any net, trap, device, contrivance or substance, in an attempt to take wildlife; and every act of assistance to every other person in taking or attempting to take any wildlife.

Key Messages: 
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.