Due to high demand, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Runge Nature Center has scheduled an additional hunter education skills session to help ensure hunters are prepared for a safe season this fall.

The skills session will take place Thursday, Nov. 9, from 4 – 8 p.m. at Runge Conservation Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, or any person age 11 – 15 who hunts alone, to complete hunter education to purchase a firearm hunting permit.

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt. Hunter education helps make it a safe place to hunt. Since becoming mandatory in 1987, hunter education has reduced hunting incidents and deaths in the state by more than 70 percent.

MDC provides several ways to become hunter-education certified. The course is divided into a knowledge portion, and a skills portion, which includes an exam. Both the knowledge and skills portions must be completed to become certified.

Prospective hunters can complete the knowledge portion of the course by taking a class in person, online, or completing a self-study guide. Find more information on options for completing this portion of hunter education here: huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/hunter-education-skills-training.

The skills session includes hands-on safety demonstrations and a final exam. Participants must preregister to attend. Space is limited, and classes generally fill quickly, so early registration is encouraged. To register, call Runge Conservation Nature Center at (573) 526-5544.

Before registering for a skills session, individuals must first complete part one online, through self-study, or by attending a classroom session. To attend the skills session, they must bring their skills session qualifier certificate or a student manual with their completed review questions. Hunter education student manuals are available everywhere hunting permits are sold. Manuals are also available by mail.

Students must be at least 11 years of age at the start of the class and those 15 and under must provide proof of age. Students are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the skills session to make time for verification of required materials.

MDC also offers an all-online course for Missouri residents 16 years or older to provide a more flexible and convenient option to become hunter-education certified. The all-online course includes videos and animation to teach hunter safety, firearm safety, ethics, regulations, and wildlife management. Learn more about MDC’s hunter education program, including the online option at on.mo.gov/2suc7sc.

Missouri’s Hunter Education Program provides a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It instills responsibility, improves skills and knowledge, and encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters. Missouri hunter education includes information on how firearms work and firearm safety, wildlife identification, game care, survival and first-aid skills, hunting techniques, awareness about wildlife conservation and management, and rules and information unique to hunting in Missouri.