2015 General Fall Turkey Regulations

In Missouri, turkeys may be pursued, taken, killed, possessed or transported only as outlined in the Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet.


To hunt, pursue, wound, capture or kill any wildlife in any manner. Also includes acts of assistance to other persons attempting to take wildlife.
A person who takes or attempts to take wildlife.
A person who does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, and whose actual and legal residence are both in Missouri and have been for at least the last 30 days.

Hunter-orange requirement

You must wear hunter orange if:

  • You are hunting any species of game during firearms deer season. Some exceptions are allowed. See below.
  • You are hunting on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
  • You are serving as a mentor to another hunter during firearms deer season or on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.

To satisfy this rule, you must wear both a hunter-orange hat and a hunter-orange shirt, vest, or coat. The hunter-orange color must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange does not satisfy this rule.

You don't have to wear hunter orange if:

  • You are hunting migratory game birds.
  • You are archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.
  • You are hunting on federal or state land where deer hunting is restricted to archery or crossbow methods.
  • You are archery hunting during the alternative methods portion.
  • You are hunting in a county that is closed during the urban zones and antlerless portions.
  • You are hunting small game or furbearers during the alternative methods portion.

Assisting other turkey hunters

You must have a filled or unfilled turkey hunting permit to call turkeys for another hunter. It is illegal to shoot or take a deer or turkey for another hunter. Party hunting where hunters pool their tags is prohibited.

Methods prohibited

  • Electronic calls and electronically activated calls may not be used or possessed while hunting deer and turkeys.
  • Dogs may not be used to take deer and turkeys.
  • Artificial lights may not be used to spot, locate, or take deer and turkeys.
  • Night vision equipment and thermal imagery devices may not be used or possessed while hunting.
  • Poisons and tranquilizing drugs may not be used. Arrows, bolts, and darts must not contain any chemical
    or explosive.
  • Slingshots may not be used to take deer and turkeys.
  • Wildlife may not be taken from or across a public roadway with a firearm, bow, or crossbow.
  • Deer and turkeys may not be taken from or with the aid of motor-driven vehicles.
  • Live decoys may not be used or possessed while hunting turkeys.

Baiting Regulations

  • Use of bait — which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to attract deer or turkeys — while hunting is illegal.
  • An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait.
  • A hunter can be in violation if they take or attempt to take a deer or turkey by the aid of bait where the hunter knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.
  • It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.
  • Mineral blocks, including salt, are not considered bait. However, mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited.
  • It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.
  • Manipulating crops, such as mowing or knocking them down, is not considered baiting for deer and turkeys; however, it is illegal to hunt waterfowl over manipulated crops.
  • Additional rules apply in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zones.

Hunter-education requirement

All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must complete an approved hunter-education program and display their card before they can purchase a firearms turkey hunting permit unless:

  • They first purchase an Apprentice Hunter Authorization. 
  • They are ages 6–15 and will be hunting with a qualified mentor.
  • They failed to pass the hunter-education certification tests due to a developmental disability.

Hunters do not need to show their hunter-education card if certification can be verified electronically. Most hunters who use the e-Permits System will have their certification verified online. If this is not possible, some hunters will need to contact the Department to provide proof of hunter-education certification. Once in the database, hunters won’t have to submit this information again.

A person must be at least 11 years old to receive hunter education certification. People hunting with resident landowner permits are exempt from the hunter-education requirement unless they were born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and are mentoring a firearms hunter who is not hunter education certified.

Tree stands placed on Conservation Department areas

Portable tree stands may be placed or used only between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31 on Conservation Department areas. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on durable material with your full name and address, or Conservation ID number. You may not use nails, screw-in steps, or any material that would damage the tree. Tree stands must be removed from the area before Feb. 1.

Retrieval of game

If you kill or injure a deer or turkey, you must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and include the animal in your season limit. However, this does not authorize trespass. It is illegal to leave or abandon commonly edible portions of game.

Use of dogs to recover legally taken game

You may use leashed dogs to track and recover mortally wounded deer or turkeys, provided you:

  1. have exhausted other reasonable means of finding the animal,
  2. contact a conservation agent,
  3. do not possess firearms or bows during dog-tracking activities, and (4) maintain control of the leashed dog at all times.

Using dogs to recover game does not authorize trespass.

Keep deer carcasses out of streams and lakes

It is illegal to place a deer carcass or any of its parts into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, stream, pond or lake.

Giving away turkeys

A hunter who takes a deer or turkey may give it to another person, but the game counts toward the taker’s bag limit. Turkeys that are given away must be labeled with the taker’s full name, address, date taken, and Telecheck confirmation number.

Possession, storage and sale

Properly checked deer and turkeys may be possessed by anyone if labeled with the taker’s full name, address, date taken, and Telecheck confirmation number. The Telecheck confirmation number must remain attached to the carcass until a meat processor begins working on the animal.

Turkeys may not be possessed after Feb. 15 following the season taken.

Legally obtained turkey bones and feathers, and deer heads, antlers, hides, and feet may be sold by the taker, but the taker must provide a bill of sale showing:

  • The taker’s full name and address
  • The species and number of parts
  • The full name and address of the buyer

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

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