Understanding the Missouri Turkey Season 2023 Hunting Regulations
As a turkey hunter in Missouri, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the rules and regulations that govern the sport. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) sets and enforces these rules to ensure the sustainable management of wild turkey populations throughout the state. In this article, we’ll discuss the Missouri Turkey Season 2023 hunting regulations and what you need to know before hitting the field.
Spring Turkey Season
The Missouri spring turkey season is the most popular time of year for turkey hunters in the state. The MDC sets a statewide season framework with specific dates for each hunting zone, allowing hunters to plan their hunts accordingly.
The 2023 Missouri spring turkey season runs from April 17 – May 7, 2023. During this time, most areas in the state have a limit of two male turkeys or bearded hens per hunter. One turkey may be taken during the first week of the season, and the second bird may be taken during the second week of the season. Hunters may use only one firearm or bow per day, and shotguns must be plugged to a three-shell maximum capacity.
It’s important to note that there are some exceptions and additional hunting opportunities during the spring season. In some counties, youth and mentor hunting days may occur before the regular season, and hunters with disabilities may have expanded opportunities as well. Additionally, some conservation areas may have special regulations or permit requirements.
Fall Turkey Season
The fall season is another opportunity for hunters to pursue wild turkeys in Missouri. It’s important to note that the fall season is much different from the spring season. Turkeys are less vocal and less active during the fall, requiring a different approach to hunting.
The 2023 Missouri fall turkey season runs from October 1 – 31, 2023. Hunters can take only one turkey of either sex during this season. Shotguns must be plugged to a three-shell maximum capacity, and hunters may use only one firearm or bow per day.
The MDC sets different season dates and bag limits for some counties in Missouri, so be sure to check the regulations for the area where you plan to hunt.
All hunters must have a valid Missouri hunting permit, a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit (if hunting during the spring season), and a statewide turkey hunting permit to hunt turkeys in Missouri. Resident hunters may purchase these permits over the counter at license vendors or online at mdc.mo.gov. Non-resident hunters must purchase permits online.
It’s also important to note that the MDC requires hunters to check their turkeys in within 24 hours of harvest. Hunters must do this via their mobile device, the internet, or by calling the toll-free number (1-800-314-6828).
Hunting Ethics and Safety
Hunters should always conduct themselves in a manner that promotes safety, ethics, and respect for the wild turkey and other wildlife. Hunters must follow all game laws and regulations, as well as any posted property restrictions.
Safety is a top priority for hunters in the field. Hunters must always assume every gun is loaded, keep firearms pointed in a safe direction, and identify their target before pulling the trigger. It’s also essential to wear hunter orange during the fall season, as it helps hunters to be visible to others in the area.
In addition to safety, ethical hunting practices are critical for the long-term sustainability of wild turkey populations. Hunters should only take shots within their effective range and ensure a clean and humane harvest. Hunters should also leave the area better than they found it by picking up trash and avoiding excessive noise.
The Missouri Turkey Season 2023 hunting regulations are designed to promote sustainable management of wild turkey populations while providing a safe and enjoyable hunting experience. As a hunter, it’s important to know the season dates, bag limits, permit requirements, and safety and ethical considerations. By following these regulations and guidelines, you can ensure that every hunt is a safe and rewarding experience.