Mentor Apprentice Hunters

Would you like to share those beautiful spring mornings in the turkey woods with a good friend or a spouse who has never hunted before? You know they would love it, but you can't get them to invest the time to take the hunter education course.

To help introduce adults to hunting, the Missouri Conservation Department now allows hunters age 16 and older who are not hunter-ed certified to hunt with firearms, as long as they:

  • first purchase the new Apprentice Hunter Authorization for $10
  • then purchase a firearms hunting permit for the season they want to hunt; for example, a Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed hunter 21 years old or older who is hunter-ed certified. The mentor must have a filled or unfilled permit for the prescribed season. "Immediate presence" means close enough for normal conversation, without shouting.

Note: The Apprentice Hunter Authorization allows the holder to purchase firearms permits throughout the permit year, and it can be purchased for two permit years. After the second year, the apprentice hunter will be required to become hunter-education certified if he or she wants to continue hunting on a firearms permit.

Missouri is a leader in hunter recruitment, and the Apprentice Hunter Authorization is just one more tool to help you share your hunting knowledge and tradition with your friends and family. Encourage your apprentices to attend a hunter education class or take the new online course available this summer before next year's spring turkey season.

Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season

Who May Participate:

The youth hunter must be:

  • a Missouri resident
  • age 15 or younger on season opening day

Season Dates:

April 4 - April 5, 2009

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset Central Daylight-Saving Time

Valid Permits:

Youth hunters must possess one of the three following permits:

  • a Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit, if age 6-15. While hunting, the youth must be in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult who has a valid hunter education certificate card; find out more
  • a Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit, if age 11-15 and hunter education certified.
  • a Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit, if age 15 or younger and an immediate household member of a resident landowner or qualifying lessee (see "Definitions").
    Obtain no-cost landowner spring turkey hunting permits.

Note: Landowner permits are valid only on the land for which they are issued.

Youth Season Limit:

One male turkey or turkey with visible beard. See restrictions below:

  • Youths who take a turkey on a Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit may
    not harvest another bird during the regular spring turkey season.
  • Youths who take a turkey on a Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit may harvest a second bird, but not until the beginning of the second week of the regular season. This is because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.

Regular Spring Turkey Hunting Season

Season Dates:

April 20 -May 10, 2009

Shooting Hours:

1/2 hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. Central Daylight-Saving Time

Valid Permits:

  • Resident or Nonresident
  • Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Resident or Nonresident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit
  • Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit

Permit Requirements:

Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must be hunter education certified to purchase a Resident or Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit. See "Hunter Education Certificate Requirement".

Season Limit:

Two male turkeys or turkeys with visible beard may be taken during the season, with the following restrictions:

  • You may only take one turkey during the first week from April 20 -26.
  • If you do not take one during the first week, then you may take two during
    the second or third week from April 27-May 10, but you may not take them both on the same day.
Valid Permits
Permit Cost
Resident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit $17
Resident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit no cost
Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permit $175
Nonresident Landowner Spring Turkey Hunting Permit $75
Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit $17