11 Days- Firearms Alternative Methods Deer Season Underway Thru Jan. 5th

December 30, 2020

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 26th until Tuesday, January 5th, 2020 and is open statewide.

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 some 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.

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 handguns using expanding-type bullets; legal ammunition includes lead bullets or 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.

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

All permits shall be signed and carried by the permittee and shall be exhibited to any officer charged with the enforcement of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

Hunters are to check deer by Telecheck at 1-800-314-6828 or on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov. Permits have a place for your Confirmation Number to be written in. Tags must remain attached until processed. 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.)

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.

Deer may not be hunted inside areas enclosed by a 7 ft. 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 season limit.


Deer kills must be reported by telephone or on the internet by 10 P.M. on the day they are harvested. The Hunting Permit and telecheck confirmation number must remain attached until the game is processed.

To check your deer kill by phone call 1-800-314-6828 or go online to www.mdc.mo.gov and follow instructions. You will receive a confirmation number-Game may not leave the state without being checked.

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 hunting safety at all times.


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.
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.



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 permit 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.