The sight and sounds of a rafter of turkeys approaching is an exhilarating feeling. Add to that lush farmland and wooded habitats, and you have yourself a hunt of a lifetime. Although there are great turkey hunts across the nation, Missouri is a prime turkey hunting state in the United States.
But there are certain things you need to know before you head out on your next hunting adventure. Continue reading to learn more about Missouri turkey hunting.
Turkey Production in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently finished a five-year project on turkey hens and their survival. One of the most alarming discoveries from the research project was how poor poult survival was.
Hens have been producing one or fewer poults, on average, for the past six years. The result of relatively poor production over the last several years has been fewer turkeys and more challenging spring turkey hunting conditions. That said, hunters checked more than 36,000 birds during the 2022 spring turkey season.
To reverse poor poult production, University of Missouri researchers in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) have received a $1.3 million MDC grant to track wild turkeys using GPS tracking devices. Researchers hope to give conservationists the necessary information to create better estimates and reverse the declining population trend.
Where Can I Hunt Turkey in Missouri?
Although turkey production in Missouri has gradually declined over the last several decades, northern Missouri and the secluded hills and valleys of Missouri’s Ozark Mountain remain a stronghold for hunting gobblers. Mark Twain National Forest also offers over a million acres of land for avid turkey hunters.
Roughly 93% of land in Missouri is privately owned, so finding places to hunt gobblers requires some research. Check out the Missouri Department of Conservation to better understand Missouri’s public and private land opportunities.
Missouri Turkey Hunting Seasons and Licensing
Spring turkey hunting season in Missouri runs from April 18th to May 8th, while the youth season runs from April 9th to the 10th. Turkey Archery season runs from September 15th to November 11th, and Fall firearms season runs from October 1st to October 31st. The exact dates of the season change yearly, so visit the Missouri Department of Conservation before beginning your hunt.
Hunters may use shotguns with a shot no larger than No. 4, crossbows, longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows. For the spring season, hunters may take only one male turkey during the first week of the season. If you don’t take one during the first week, you can take two during the second or third weeks of the season, but you may not take them both on the same day. For the fall season, hunters may take two turkeys of either sex on the same day. You’ll need to wear both a hunter-orange hat and shirt that can be seen from all angles. Missouri turkey hunting hours are a half hour before sunrise to 1pm.
You’ll need a permit to participate in Missouri’s turkey hunting season.
Make it the Best Hunt Yet
If you want to bag a bird this season, you’ll need the right gear to get the job done. At Camofire, we offer a new lineup of deals from the top brands every single day. If you want the inside scoop on what hunting deals are coming down the pike, sign up on the Alerts Page for the Daily Shooter email or download the Camofire app.