Firearms Alternative Methods Deer Season Set Dec. 24th-Jan. 3rd

December 15, 2022

11 Days –

Firearms Alternative Methods

Deer Season Set Dec. 24th-Jan. 3rd

In order to offer hunters more options during what was formerly the “Muzzleloader” portion of the Firearms Deer Season MDC has approved additional hunting methods. The season will run eleven days from Saturday, December 24th thru Christmas Day until Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023 and is open statewide.

Hunters should be sure to get a 2022 Deer Season Information Guide wherever Permits are sold or visit MDC online for updated details.

Only one antlered deer may be taken during the firearms deer season (all portions combined); You may take only two antlered deer in archery and firearms season combined; An antler point restriction applies in many counties and each county has a limit on the number of firearms antlerless deer hunting permits you may fill during firearms deer season (all portions combined). Shooting Hours are: One half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Alternative Method approved hunting methods are:

• Muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms .40 caliber or larger and capable of firing only a single projectile at one discharge; in-lines and scopes are allowed.

• Multiple-barreled muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns, including revolvers, .40 caliber or larger, are allowed and may be carried in addition to a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball rifle.

• Centerfire pistols or revolvers using expanding-type bullets; legal ammunition includes lead bullets and copper bullets.

• Air-powered guns, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from an external high compression power source (external hand pump, air tank or air compressor)

• Longbows, compound bows and recurve bows of any draw weight; hand-held string releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoint sights are allowed.

• Crossbows

• Atlatls, which are defined as a rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet long.

All hunters born on or after January 1, 1967, are required to have an approved hunter education certificate card which they must display to permit vendors before they can purchase any type of firearms hunting permit. The hunter education certificate card number shall be entered by vendors on all firearms hunting permits. Hunter education certification shall be limited to persons eleven (11) years of age or older. This regulation applies to both residents and nonresidents.

Antler point restrictions apply this year in 46 counties and parts of Cass and rural Platte counties.

For 2022, hunters who are 15 years or younger on Sept. 15th, 2022 are exempt from the antler point restriction during the archery deer season and all portions of the firearms deer season.

Gun safety is the primary responsibility of every hunter. The Commission may suspend, revoke or deny a hunting permit for cause. Every hunter should be familiar with the rules of safe gun handling and practice at all times.

General Regulations are: Any person who pursues, uses, takes or attempts to take wildlife in any manner must first obtain the prescribed permit(s).

Permits are available from a number of distributing agents such as stores, sporting goods, etc. in the county. Anyone wishing deer hunting information may get a pamphlet from permit distributing agents.

All permits shall be signed and carried by the permittee, either paper or carried on the MO hunting app, and shall be exhibited to any officer charged with the enforcement of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.


Permits must be kept with the deer. Hunters are to check deer by Telecheck at 1-800-314-6828, by using the MO hunting app, or on-line at Permits have a place for your Confirmation Number to be written in. If using the MO hunting app, select your notched permit from the list on the screen, tap telecheck and follow the prompts. With the app, you must attach a label with your full name, address, permit number and date of harvest. Only taker may possess and transport before checking. Kill must be checked by 10 p.m. on the day the game is harvested. Deer head must remain attached to body until checked.

Use of dogs to recover legally taken game

A hunter can use leashed dogs to track and recover mortally wounded deer or turkeys, provided the hunter: (1) has exhausted other reasonable means of finding the animal, (2) contacts a conservation agent, (3) does not possess firearms or bows during dog-tracking activities, and (4) maintains control of the leashed dog at all times. Note: The use of dogs to recover legally taken game does not authorize trespass.

Wildlife legally taken or acquired may be possessed only at the possessor’s home, camp, place of lodging or in a commercial processing or cold storage plant. (Must be claimed by May 1st.)

General Requirement: Deer may be pursued, taken, killed, possessed or transported only as herein permitted.

A person may take one deer on a firearms deer hunting permit. Additional antlerless deer with valid antlerless-only deer permit(s) as attached. Deer may be taken in any order.

Deer may be taken with a shotgun (including .410) with slugs only or with a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearm not smaller than .40 caliber; in-lines and scopes allowed; or with any pistol, revolver or rifle firing only centerfire ammunition propelling an expanding type bullet; or with a longbow, compound bow or crossbow-releases, illuminated sights, scopes and quick point sights allowed. Also added in recent years is Atlatl (An historical thrown spear), air-powered gun, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from external high compression power source and a crossbow. Full hard metal case projectiles, ammunition propelling more than one projectile at a single discharge, and self-loading (automatic) firearms having a capacity of more than eleven cartridges in magazine and chamber combined are prohibited. During the Alternative Methods Portion muzzleloading multiple barreled guns and a second gun are allowed: (includes revolvers) are legal methods allowed.

Sights that cast a beam of light on the game are not allowed.

Deer may not be taken with the use of dogs or bait. Bait includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to constitute an attraction or enticement to deer. Scents and minerals, including salt, are not regarded as bait. An area shall be considered baited for ten (10) days following complete removal of the bait.

Deer may not be taken while they are in a stream or other body of water. Deer may not be hunted or pursued with the aid of dogs, any motor driven vehicle, aircraft, or boat with motor attached.

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 or turkey.

Deer may not be hunted inside areas enclosed by a 7 ft. or higher fence.

Unless contrary to provisions of other rules, deer marked with a locking seal by an agent of the department may be possessed by any person if the deer or parts of the deer are labeled with the full name, address and permit number of the taker.

Legally obtained deer heads, hides or feet may be sold by licensed hunters, when accompanied by a bill of sale showing the hunter’s full name, address and permit number, and the full name and address of the purchaser.

Any person who kills or injures any deer must make a reasonable effort to retrieve such deer and include it in his/her season limit.


During firearms deer season, all persons while hunting deer shall wear a cap or hat, and a shirt, vest or coat having the outermost color commonly known as daylight fluorescent orange, blaze orange or hunter orange which must be plainly visible from all sides while being worn. Camouflage orange garments do not meet this requirement.

This requirement does not apply on federal or state areas where deer hunting is restricted to archery methods.

Deer are color blind, so aren’t alarmed by the bright clothing, but other hunters easily can see it even under poor light conditions.

Most deer hunters have worn hunter orange clothing voluntarily for years and in many states it was already a requirement.



According to the National Safety Council, hunting is a safe activity. In fact, hunting results in fewer injuries per 100,000 participants than do many other sports, including cycling, bowling, golf and tennis. However, as with any activity, you must always use good judgment and take responsibility for your actions. Deer and turkey hunters should follow safe, ethical hunting practices. These include:

• Be sure of your target before you shoot.

• Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and your firearm is properly sighted-in.

• If you hunt from a tree stand, always wear a safety belt. Serious accidents occur annually when hunters fall from tree stands.

• If you hunt on private land, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner and respect his property as if it were your own. Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.

• If you do not kill your deer instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land or refuge areas.

• Clean and care for your game properly.

• Pick up all litter including spent ammunition. Leaving an area better than the way you found it is a sign of thanks for the privilege of hunting.

• Report observed violations of the law to the local conservation agent or sheriff as soon as possible.

• If you are involved in a firearms-related accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance; failure to do so is a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor.

• Develop your skills and knowledge, and share them with others.

• Know and obey all wildlife laws.

• Know and follow the rules of gun safety.

• Respect the rights of hunters, non-hunters and landowners.

• Make every effort to retrieve and use all game.

• Respect the land and all wildlife.

• Be sensitive to others when displaying harvested game.

• Remember, hunting is not a competitive sport.

The permit doesn’t authorize anyone to trespass. Hunters must ask permission to enter any private property.

With so many deer hunters in the field, there are bound to be some who violate and they give everyone a bad name. Conservation Agents make a maximum effort to control violations and count on good-mannered hunters to help out.


No person shall pursue, take, attempt to take or molest wildlife from or with a motor driven air, land or water conveyance at any time. 3CSR107.410(a).

Any person who shall shoot at a mark or any object, or at random, along or across a public highway shall be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor. 571.030(7) RSMO1986.


A hunter may give wildlife to another person, but it will continue to be a part of his/her daily limit for the day when taken. Such wildlife must be labeled with the taker’s full name, address and Telechek confirmation number and the date taken. Wildlife received as a gift will be included in the possession limit of the person to whom it was given.


In Missouri, landowners who want to post or define the boundaries of their property may do so by marking trees and fence posts with purple paint. In a court of law, a property boundary marked with purple paint has the same meaning as posting “no trespassing” signs.


Rewards are available for information leading to the arrest of game-law violators. Information can be provided anonymously by dialing the toll-free hot line number: 1-800-392-1111. All information received is kept in strict confidence. If you see a possible poaching violation in progress, immediately call your county conservation agent or sheriff or dial the toll-free hot line number. Help put game thieves out of business. This program is sponsored by the Conservation Federation and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

ALSO REMEMBER - You do not have to make a kill to have an enjoyable hunt. Don’t end up a hunting statistic-Each year there are firearms-related accidents-usually non-fatal. Several of these accidents were self-inflicted by careless handling of a firearm.

ANTLERLESS PORTION DONE, ALTERNATIVE SET TO OPEN – MDC reports 16,032 Deer were harvested during the antlerless portion of deer season, Dec. 3-11. Top Antlerless harvest counties were Callaway, Pike, and Macon. Alternative Methods Portion in Missouri begins Dec. 24th and runs through Jan. 3rd, 2023. (MDC Photo)