The Missouri Department of Conservation is a Missouri state agency whose mission is to both protect the natural resources of the state, including fish, wildlife and natural habitats, and to enable Missourians to enjoy and partake of these resources. It runs a number of programs towards fulfilling this two-fold mission.
Examples of these of programs include hunter education, fish and wildlife research, private landowner conservation assistance, fisheries management, and law enforcement. Missouri law requires hunters to partake in hunting education courses before purchasing a firearm hunting permit. The Missouri Department of Conservation and associated parties offer hunter education courses both online and at select locations throughout Missouri.
As good wildlife management requires a scientific knowledge of animals and their environment, the Missouri Department of Conservation hires wildlife biologists and other scientists to carry out research. A particular specialty of the Missouri Department of Conservation is fish management, and the department operates a number of fish hatcheries and fish stocking programs to this end.
Conservation agents are the state's enforcers of conservation laws and regulations. Duties include enforcing the state's wildlife code, participating in conservation education and assisting in prosecution over violations relating to conservation law.
Private land conservationists provide resources and personal guidance to landowners in order improve natural habitat on private property.