Senator Dan Brown’s Legislative Column

brownFall means hunting to many Missourians, especially those in the 16th District. As the air turns cool and the leaves start to change, we also welcome hunting season.

Like most states, Missouri requires hunters to pass a safety class. Passage of the class is required in Missouri in order to purchase a firearms hunting permit. Participants in the class must be at least 11 years old. If you plan to hunt during a Missouri firearms season, or you are acting as an adult mentor, you are required to first complete an approved hunter-education certification program and provide proof of completion unless:

  • You are 15 years old or younger and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 years or older;
  • You were born before Jan. 1, 1967;
  • You received a disability exemption from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Protection Division;
  • You are 16 years of age or older and have purchased an Apprentice Hunter Authorization permit and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 years or older; or
  • You are the landowner or lessee hunting on land you own or upon which you reside.

Since 1987, when hunter education became mandatory, it has reduced hunting accidents and deaths by more than 70 percent. For this reason, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) requires all hunters to pass the course and become hunter-education certified.

Over the next several months, there are a variety of hunting seasons open in Missouri. They include:

  • Squirrel hunting, now through Feb. 15, 2018;
  • Snipe hunting, now through Dec 16;
  • Dove hunting, now through Nov. 29;
  • Rabbit hunting, now through Feb. 15, 2018;
  • Deer (archery) and turkey season, now through Nov. 10, then will reopen from Nov. 22 until Jan. 15, 2018. Keep in mind an antler-point restriction applies in some counties;
  • Fall firearms turkey season runs until Oct. 31; and
  • The November firearms deer season, is open Nov. 11 through 21. An antler-point restriction applies in some counties.

Youth firearms deer season is Oct. 29, then again Nov. 24 through Nov. 26. The antler-point restriction does not apply during the youth portions of deer season. To participate, you must be at least six years old and no older than 15 on the opening day of the early youth season.

During the 2016-2017 hunting season, MDC reported a harvest of more than 264,000 deer for the firearms season and nearly 47,550 deer were tagged by MDC during archery season. I wish each and every one of you good luck during the upcoming hunting season, but please remember to be safe and to be a good steward of the great outdoors.


As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.