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Alternative hunting equipment includes atlatls, crossbows, bows and arrows, muzzleloaders, and air rifles.

Missouri’s laws for alternative hunting equipment include the following.

  • Atlatls are legal for many game species and during many firearms seasons.
  • Crossbows are legal during all firearms hunting seasons, except fall turkey season.
  • Crossbows are legal during archery seasons and fall firearms turkey season for any hunter who:
    • Has mailed to the Missouri Department of Conservation a completed Hunting Method Exemption Physician’s Statement of Eligibility for a crossbow exemption due to disability or physical handicap and…
    • Has the bottom portion of an unexpired form in his or her possession while hunting.
  • Longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows are legal during all firearms hunting seasons.
  • Muzzleloaders are legal for all firearms hunting seasons, but you must use the proper type of ammunition and the correct caliber or gauge of muzzleloader.
  • Air rifles are legal for many game species and during many firearms seasons.
  • To use alternative hunting equipment during firearms seasons, you must:
    • Have hunter education certification or…
    • Be exempt from the hunter education certification requirement, for example, because you are under 16 years of age and are hunting in the immediate presence a qualified adult mentor or…
    • Purchase an Apprentice Hunter Authorization and hunt with a properly licensed adult hunter or…
    • Meet any other legal requirements as specified by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
More information on hunting with alternative equipment can be found in the Wildlife Code of Missouri by going to the Department’s website at: mdc.mo.gov/about-us/regulations/wildlife-code-missouri.