The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds hunters and anglers that squirrel and black bass season opens May 23, the Saturday before Memorial Day.


The open season on eastern gray and fox squirrels runs May 23 through Feb. 15, 2021. Allowed methods are shotguns, rifles and other legal firearm methods, as well as archery equipment, slingshots or atlatls. The daily limit for hunting and trapping is 10, and the possession limit is 20. Hunters can harvest squirrels with the following permits: Archery Hunting, Daily Small Game, Small Game Hunting and Fishing, and Small Game Hunting.

Squirrels may also be harvested with cage-style traps during the hunting season as long as hunters have valid permits. Traps must be labeled with the hunter’s full name and address, or conservation number, be attended daily and have an opening 144 square inches or smaller.

“Small-game hunting is a great way to introduce kids or young adults to hunting,” said Dave Hoover, MDC small game coordinator. “Species like squirrels provide abundant opportunities to be successful, making the learning experience fun.”

Get more information about squirrel hunting and trapping from MDC’s 2020 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations at and from MDC’s Small Game Hunting Prospects at

Find recipe suggestions for squirrel from MDC at

Black bass

Anglers may catch-and-keep black bass, such as largemouth, smallmouth and spotted/Kentucky bass, May 23 through Feb. 28, 2021, in most streams south of the Missouri River. Black bass can be caught and released legally throughout the year anywhere in Missouri, and legal-size bass may be kept all year long from impoundments statewide. In most state waters, the daily limit on black bass is six. Fish taken from most rivers and streams must be 12 inches long. Additionally, specific regulations might apply to specific waters or areas. Anglers must have a valid fishing permit or be exempt.

Find more information about bass fishing in MDC’s 2020 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold or online at

Get tips from MDC on cooking fish at

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