Upland Game Bird Regulations

Permit and Other Requirements

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.

Hunters Younger Than 16

Resident and nonresident hunters age 15 and younger do not need to purchase permits to hunt doves, rails, snipe, teal and woodcock in Missouri. However, they must either be in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult hunter or have in their possession a valid Hunter Education Certificate Card while hunting.

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 which is updated each July.

Dove-Hunting Areas

Hunters can pursue doves on 100 different conservation areas, including 2,800 acres of managed dove areas located in 800 fields. Each public area may have regulations that are slightly different from statewide regulations, and many areas require advanced reservations for hunting. Hunters are encouraged to check field conditions before the season opens September 1, or contact the regional offices for current conditions.

Non-Toxic Shot Regulation

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.

Pheasant and Quail Areas and Info

Pheasant hunting is allowed in certain counties. Please see the Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is available on the web in February and at permit vendors in March.

You'll Find Good Hunting on Quail Emphasis Areas

If you're looking for new places to pursue quail, check out the Department's Quail Emphasis Areas. These are located throughout the state, and recently the Department has ramped-up quail habitat-improvement efforts on them.

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 permits and regulations page for more details.

Waterfowl Hunting Requirements

Waterfowl hunters will need:

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

Waterfowl hunters should see the Waterfowl Hunting link under Related Information below for the online waterfowl reservation system, check season dates and regulations, and find many informational reports and harvest summaries.

Teal hunting information is in the Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Digest listed below.

Turkey Hunting Information

Spring turkey hunting information, listed under Related Information below, is available on the web in January and at permit vendors in March.

Fall turkey hunting information, listed under Related Information below, is available on the web in July and at permit vendors in August.

Migratory Bird Hunting Digest

Annually updated digest covers Missouri hunting regulations for dove, rail, snipe, teal and woodcock.