Game Bird Hunting Information

Permits, Seasons, and Limits

All game bird hunters, except turkey hunters, must have a Missouri small game permit, unless exempt. Turkey hunters must have a permit for the fall or spring turkey season.

Check the Hunting Seasons page (find it under Quick Links to the right) for season and bag limit information. The sunrise/sunset table listed under External Links below can help you make sure you don't hunt before or after legal start/end times.

Nontoxic Shot

Twenty-one conservation areas have a nontoxic-shot-only regulation for all hunting with a shotgun. The nontoxic-shot regulation will reduce cases of lead-shot ingestion, which can be fatal to birds including doves and eagles.

Early Migratory Birds

Migratory birds include dove, rail, snipe, teal, and woodcock. Hunters will need the following:

  • A Missouri small game permit, unless exempt
  • A Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, if 16 years of age and older

To hunt teal, hunters 16 years of age and older also will need a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. See Waterfowl Permit and Stamp Requirements under Related Information below.

Additional information, including seasons, limits, shot requirements, bird identification, and federal regulations summary is available in the Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Digest, listed under Related Information below.

Mourning Doves

  • Last year, about 4,050 acres (509 fields) on 80 conservation areas were actively managed for doves. Each public area may have regulations that are slightly different from statewide regulations, and many areas require advanced reservations for hunting.
  • Predictions about dove distributions and numbers are difficult to make because dove migration depends so heavily upon weather and food availability.
  • Hunters are encouraged to check field conditions before the season opens September 1, or contact the regional offices for current conditions.

Pheasant and Quail

Pheasant hunting is allowed in certain counties. Please see the Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations under Related Information below.

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