Guys, how about a little help. I may be relocating to the west side of the state and would like to know what the gun laws and hunting regs are like there. Is there "open" landlike out west? Is everything a leases like Texas? Any info would be appreciated.
I thought maybe some folks who live in western Missouri might respond, but since no one has I figured to tell you what I know, or think I know. Here in south central Missouri, there is a lot of public land, National Forest land. I don't think you'll find much of that in the western part of the state, but we have one of the best Conservation Departments anywhere, and they buy land to turn into hunting/fishing and recreation areas all over the state. They do this via a 1/8 cent general sales tax designated for conservation. You might try looking on their web page to see if there is a listing of these areas and their use, or send for the information.
You asked about gun laws. For long guns it's only the regular federal forms, and private party sales are unregulated. Pistols require a purchase permit from the local sheriff. It used to be that the first one took a few days, with subsequent ones issued immediately, but I suspect computers make the first one painless now. State law allows the sheriff up to five days to issue, though, and some may delay you - don't know. You don't have to register any handguns you bring into the state. We have a concealed carry law which is about a year old. It's pretty standard in its training requirements, etc. except there is a provision that you can conceal a handgun in your vehiclewithout having a concealed carry permit. I'm not an expert on these things, but I think this is a little unusual in concealed carry laws, and I think it's important in that it really does return some measure of self determination to ordinary citizens.
Western Missouri has very little open ground but much of it is still owned in smaller pieces that can be leased reasonably. It might still be possible to get permission for free but I'm not sure. The deer hunting is good, the turkey hunting is incredible.
What part of western Mo are you talking about. Quite a bit of difference in Nothern Mo, Central and Southern Western Mo. I live in the southern part and could only answer for that part. Would love to help.
The St. Joe area is excellent whitetail country. Big and Fat from eating the farmers crops. Also, I believe there are public areas to hunt. I live at the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. so I don't know about the availibility of hunting on private lands up there. If it's like the rest of missouri and you respect the landowners, then I think you will find some private ground to hunt.
Just saw your post. I grew up in MO but lived in Phoenix from '83-'89, so I'm familiar with the hunting you're used to. I used to hunt west of Nogales. There is nowhere here in MO where you can hunt for miles and miles on govt property, or not see a house or somebody else. Instead of spot and stalk most people hunt from treestands and wait. Most property here is privately owned, and while some will let you hunt for free, the best land is usually leased. Our Conservation Dept (same as AZ Fish & Game) has bought some decent size tracts of land (for back here) that are anywhere from 100 acres to 10,000 or so. Most of the private property I've hunted has been 80-320 acres in size. You'll find a lot more (and bigger) deer here than AZ but also more people in the woods with you. Most shots are 100 yds or less, my longest is 275 yds, my shortest 10 yds. Northern MO generally produces bigger-bodied and better antlers than the rest of the state. Feel free to email me directly if I can be of any more help.
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