Hunting for Game Birds
Hunting and Permit Information
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 Seasons page for season and bag limit information. The sunrise/sunset table can help you make sure you don't hunt before or after legal start/end times.
21 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.
Additional information, including seasons, limits, shot requirements, bird identification and federal regulations summary is available in the Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Digest, which is updated each July.
Hunters can pursue doves on 79 different conservation areas, including 3,900 acres of managed dove areas located in 618 fields. Each public area may have regulations that are slightly different from statewide regulations, and many areas require advanced reservations for hunting.
For the second year in a row, extreme weather conditions during the spring and summer of 2008 may limit dove hunting prospects on some conservation areas. Flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries either destroyed or delayed planting sunflower and wheat plots for doves, although late-planted food plots may provide hunters with excellent late-season pass shooting.
Hunters are encouraged to check field conditions before the season opens Sept. 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.
NOTICE: Ruffed-grouse season is closed due to low population numbers.
Youth-Only Quail and Pheasant Seasons
To provide more opportunities for hunters ages 6 through 15, the Conservation Commission has established youth-only quail and pheasant seasons. Both seasons take place in October. Youths who are not hunter education certified must hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed and hunter ed-certified adult. Adults may assist youths, BUT THE ADULT MAY NOT HUNT quail or pheasant. The quail season takes place statewide. The pheasant season will be held in the north zone only. The north zone is defined as north of Interstate 70 and also in the portion of St. Charles County south of Interstate 70. Check the Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Digest for more details.