MISSOURI – Prime hunting season is underway in Missouri. In the upcoming weeks and months, eligible hunters will have the opportunity to harvest deer, elk, black bears, turkeys and more wildlife.

The Missouri Department of Conservation logs information on dozens of hunting seasons via its website, explaining specific permits, criteria and timelines to legally hunt specific animals.

Here is a look at key dates for some notable Missouri hunting seasons ongoing or coming up this fall:

HUNTING TYPEANIMALDATES
Archery (Part I)DeerSept. 15, 2022 – Nov. 11, 2022
Archery (Part II)DeerNov. 23, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023
Firearms (Youth – Part I)DeerOct. 29, 2022 – Oct. 30, 2022
Firearms (Youth – Part II) DeerNov. 25, 2022 – Nov. 27, 2022
Firearms (Part I)DeerNov. 12, 2022 – Nov. 22, 2022
Firearms (Antlerless)DeerDec. 3, 2022 – Dec. 11, 2022
Firearms (Alternative)DeerDec. 24, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023
Archery (Part I) TurkeySept. 15, 2022 – Nov. 11, 2022
Archery (Part II)TurkeyNov. 23, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023
Fall FirearmsTurkeyOct. 1, 2022 – Oct. 31, 2022
ArcheryElkOct. 15, 2022 – Oct. 23, 2022
FirearmsElkDec. 10, 2022 – Dec. 18, 2022
HuntingBlack BearOct. 17, 2022 – Oct. 26, 2022
HuntingCrowNov. 1, 2022 – March 3, 2023
HuntingGroundhogMay 9, 2022 – Dec. 15, 2022
HuntingRabbitOct. 1, 2022 – Feb. 15, 2023
HuntingSquirrelMay 28, 2022 – Feb. 15, 2023
HuntingBullfrog/Green FrogJune 30, 2022 – Oct. 31, 2022
Hunting/TrappingOpossumAug. 1, 2022 – Oct. 15, 2022
Hunting/Trapping (Part I)RaccoonAug. 1, 2022 – Oct. 15, 2022
Hunting/Trapping (Part II)RaccoonNov. 15, 2022 – Feb. 28, 2023

A few general considerations as peak hunting season arrives…

  • Hunting is primarily allowed for permitted individuals in MDC public hunting areas or shooting ranges. Many public hunting ranges are south of I-70 or in northwest Missouri. Some shooting ranges can be found in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties.
  • Many hunting seasons will require a permit for the specific animal hunted, in addition to a firearms deer hunting permit.
  • Hunting is usually allowed one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset
  • During firearms season, hunters can only harvest eligible wildlife with a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4 or a .22 or smaller caliber rimfire rifle. However, this does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, landowners on their land, or to deer hunters during the antlerless portion of the firearms deer season.
  • Allowed archery methods include longbows, compound bows, crossbows and hand-held string-releasing devices.
  • Click here for more general guidelines from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

For deer season, one of the more popular hunting seasons in Missouri, MDC officials advise potential hunters of the following considerations:

  • Hunters who are 15 years or younger on Sept. 15 are now exempt from the antler-point restriction during the archery season and all portions of the firearms deer season.
  • Hunters are encouraged to share their harvests by donating surplus to a MDC program to help feed hungry Missourians. The program is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and MDC.
  • MDC is offering free voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season. Chronic wasting disease is a deadly, infectious disease in deer and other members of the deer family (cervids) that eventually kills all animals it infects.