The vast majority of land in Missouri is under direct ownership and influence of private landowners. Private landowners own more than 93 percent of all land and 85 percent of forest land.
- Ask landowners for permission to hunt.
- Follow their restrictions on when and where you may hunt.
- Treat livestock and crops as your own.
- Offer to share a part of your harvest with the owner.
- Leave all gates the way you found them.
- If you notice something wrong or out of place, notify the landowner immediately.
- Never enter private land that is cultivated or posted, unless you have obtained permission first.
- Missouri State Statute section 569.145 says, "In addition to the posting of real property as set forth in section 569.140, the owner or lessee of any real property may post the property by placing identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts around the area to be posted. Each paint mark shall be a vertical line of at least eight inches in length and the bottom of the mark shall be no less than three feet nor more than five feet high. Such paint marks shall be placed no more than one hundred feet apart and shall be readily visible to any person approaching the property. Property so posted is to be considered posted for all purposes, and any unauthorized entry upon the property is trespass in the first degree, and a class B misdemeanor."
- Missouri State Statute section 569.150 says, "A person commits the offense of trespass in the second degree if he enters unlawfully upon real property of another. This is an offense of absolute liability. You are in violation of this law anytime you enter a landowner’s property without permission, even if it is not posted or you do not know it is their property."
How To Ask Landowners for Permission
- Make contact well ahead of the hunting season.
- Wear street clothes—no hunting gear or firearms.
- Don’t bring companions—a “crowd” could be intimidating.
- Be polite, even if permission is denied. Your courtesy may affect the outcome of future requests.
Landowner Complaints About Hunters
- Don’t get permission to hunt.
- Don’t tell the landowners when they arrive at or leave the property.
- Make too much noise.
- Leave litter behind.
- Carry loaded firearms in vehicles.
- Drive off the ranch roads.
- Don’t leave gates as they were found (open or shut) when the hunter arrived.
- Shoot too close to neighbors or livestock.
- Leave fires unattended.
- Violate game laws.
- Drink alcohol to excess.