John Lewis

Navigating Missouri Waterfowl Hunting Regulations


Waterfowl game is a cherished and regulated activity in Missouri, offering enthusiasts an opportunity to engage with nature while maintaining ecological balance. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of Missouri’s waterfowl hunting regulations, covering essential rules, methods, and ethical considerations.

MO Other Important Regulations

Hunting Schedules



General Hunting Regulations

Firearm Regulations for Migratory Birds

Firearm Limitations

  • Hunting migrating game birds is only permitted with shotguns that are 10 gauge or smaller.
  • Shotguns that hold more than three rounds need to have a single, difficult-to-remove refill.

Concealment Devices

  • Prohibitions include the use of sink boxes and other underwater concealments.

Motorized Transport

  • Hunting from cars or planes is strictly prohibited, with exceptions for paraplegics and legless individuals.

Vehicle Restrictions

  • Motorized vehicles, including airplanes, motor boats, and sailboats, must not be used to round up migrating birds.
  • Hunting from a motorboat or sailboat is only allowed with power off or sails furled.

Decoys, Baiting, and Wanton Waste

Decoys and Calls

  • Live decoys are banned, and captive ducks and geese must be concealed to avoid disturbing migrating waterfowl.
  • The use of recorded or amplified bird cries or imitations is strictly prohibited.

Baiting Restrictions

  • Areas designated for wildlife activities cannot have bait, and all bait must be cleared ten days before engaging in related activities.
  • Utilizing newly established food plots for such purposes is deemed unlawful.

Waste Management

  • Participants must make reasonable attempts to recover any bird killed or disabled during the related activities.
  • Prohibitions include avoiding excessive waste, intentionally leaving consumable animal parts.

Possession and Transport Regulations

First Day of Season and Field Possession Limits

  • Limitations exist on the daily bag limit of freshly killed migrating game birds on the opening day of the season.
  • Field possession limits are strictly enforced, ensuring individuals do not exceed the daily bag limit.

Tagging Requirements

  • Hunters must tag migrating birds before selling them for processing, storage, or taxidermy.
  • Tagging information, including the hunter’s address, number, species, and date of bird death, must be present on the tag.

Waterfowl Stamp and Permit Requirements

Missouri Small Game Permit

  • Residents aged 16–64 and nonresidents aged 16 and above must possess Missouri small game permits.
  • Exemptions apply to Missouri resident landowners on their property.

Missouri Migratory Bird Permit

  • Residents and nonresidents aged 16 and above need this permit, which fulfills Migratory Game Bird Harvest Registration criteria.

Federal Migratory Bird and Conservation Stamp

  • Residents and nonresidents aged 16 and above must have this stamped, signed, and inked across the face for pursuing ducks, coots, and geese.

Youth Waterfowl Rules and Conservation Order Permit

Youth Waterfowl Days

  • Each zone reserves two days each year exclusively for youth to engage in duck, goose, and coot activities.
  • Youth participants must be 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older.

Conservation Order Permit

  • Required for residents and nonresidents aged 16 and above pursuing snow, blue, and Ross’s geese under the Conservation Order.

Nontoxic Shot Rules and Identification Tips

Nontoxic Shot Requirements

  • Compulsory for engaging with duck, goose, teal, and coot activities, and applicable when in specified conservation areas.
  • Incorporating environmentally mindful approaches, endorsed nontoxic shots, including bismuth-tin, copper-clad iron, and various tungsten alloys, are advocated for.

Accepted Nontoxic Shots

  • Approved nontoxic shots include various compositions like bismuth-tin, copper-clad iron, and tungsten alloys.

Identification Tips

  • Swans, especially Trumpeter swans, are protected, and shooting them is strictly prohibited.
  • Tips for distinguishing between Trumpeter swans, Canada geese, and snow geese are provided.

Hunter Ethics and Dog Regulations

Ethical Considerations

  • Ethical practices involve seeking permission for private land use, demonstrating respect for nature, and promptly reporting any violations of the law.
  • Appropriate disposal of litter, care for harvested game, and adherence to safety guidelines are fundamental to ethical outdoor activities.

Dog Regulations

  • Specific counties impose limitations on the deployment of dogs in designated seasons, highlighting the significance of accurate identification and training.
  • Regulations stipulate that all dogs engaged in the pursuit of waterfowl and game birds must wear collars containing the owner’s name, address, phone number, and Conservation Number.

John Lewis
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