March 25, 2021

Hunters 6 to 15 years can hunt from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset again this year.

Young hunters again have nearly twice as much time to hunt during Missouri’s 2021 Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season, thanks to a regulation change approved by the Conservation Commission in December 2007.

Like previous Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Seasons, this year’s youth season is two days long - Saturday and Sunday, April 10th and April 11th. Shooting hours again this year are from one half hour before sunrise until sunset Central Daylight Savings Time.

Shooting hours for the youth season previously ended at 1 P.M. That remains the ending time during the regular Spring turkey hunting season.

The time extension during the youth season is intended to increase opportunities for hunters 6 to 15 years of age. Resource scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation say the extension does not noticeably affect the state’s turkey population and should increase youth interest in hunting.

The Youth Hunt limit is one Male Turkey or Turkey with visible beard.

Resident youths can buy the same permits as adults at a 50% discount, $8.50. If not hunter ed’ certified they must be in the immediate presence of a mentor, age 18 or older, properly licensed who has a valid hunter education certificate card or was born before Jan. 1, 1967.

Non-Resident Spring Turkey Permits are also available to out-of-state youth for $8.50.

Note: Youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest a second bird until Monday, April 26. This is because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.

You no longer are required to attach your notched permit to the turkey as long as you remain with your harvest. If the turkey is to be transported by someone other than the taker it must be labeled with date taken, taker’s name, address and Telecheck confirmation number.

The number of turkey taken during youth season - between 3,500 and 3,900 in recent years - is small compared to the regular-season harvest of 48,000 to 57,000. The fun youth experience in those two days is big, however. The Youth Season allows adult hunters to focus exclusively on teaching youngsters hunting skills, safety and ethics.


Adults who want to mentor new hunters have that opportunity again this year, thanks to the Apprentice Hunter Authorization. The $10 annual authorization allows hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967 to buy hunting permits for two consecutive permit years without hunter-education certification then must become hunter ed certified to continue purchasing firearms permits.

The Apprentice Hunter Authorization is available to residents and non-residents 16 and older. People hunting under the authorization must hunt in the immediate presence of a licensed hunter age 18 or older. Mentors must be hunter-education certified, at least 18 years old or born before Jan. 1, 1967 and must be close enough for normal conversation, without shouting.

Missouri’s regular Spring turkey hunting season runs from April 19th through May 9th. Details of both seasons are contained in the 2021 Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet, which is available wherever hunting permits are sold. The same information is also available online at

Enjoy the hunt. Be safe, be courteous and help our youth learn the thrill and challenge of hunting.