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(West Plains) – The Missouri Department of Conservation would like to urge young and interested hunters to take the MDC Hunter Education course early on to avoid the typical fall rush for classes.

Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and who are 16 or older, must successfully complete an approved Hunter Education course to qualify to buy firearms hunting permits and participate in managed hunts.

Youth aged 6 through 15 may hunt without Hunter Education certification when accompanied by a qualified adult mentor.

The class is spilt into two sections. The first part provides necessary knowledge about hunting equipment, safety, and ethics through either an online course, a self-paced student manual, or through a four-hour classroom session. The second part consists of a mandatory four-hour hands-on skills session and a 35-question multiple-choice exam.

After successful completion, students will receive a temporary certificate so they can immediately start hunting while their Hunter Education Certification card is being processed.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has been providing Hunter Education since 1957 and has trained more than 1.1 million students. Since hunter education became mandatory in 1987, there has been a reduction of hunting incidents by over 70%. Missouri has and continues to be one of the top five states in annual hunter education graduate numbers.

For more information on Hunter Education contact your local MDC office or visit

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