ST. CHARLES — The sport of bow fishing is growing in popularity every year. It’s almost like going fishing and hunting at the same time.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to give newcomers a chance to experience the fun of this unique activity.
MDC offers a free two-part program to help beginners to bowfishing get off to a good start. The first part is a virtual “Initiation to bow fishing” course on Monday, June 7 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This initiation program is aimed at beginners who want to learn more about this exciting sport. Using archery equipment and methods, bow fishing merges aspects of fishing and hunting into one activity. This program will show you how to get started in bow fishing. Participants will learn about equipment, safety and regulations, and what species can be shot with a bow.
The second part of the program will be an in-person “Get Started Bow Fishing” field event on Saturday, June 12, from 8 a.m. to noon. It will be presented by staff at the MDC’s August A. Busch Range and Outdoor Education Center in Defiance. Participants in this event will take part in a supervised bow fishing trip. The program site will be determined in advance and participants will be notified of the location. Capacity for this live program is limited and participants must have previously completed the “Introduction to Bowfishing” course to attend. All necessary equipment will be provided by MDC.
Both portions are free and open to children 9 years and older. Prior online pre-registration is mandatory for each party using the following links:
• “Introduction to Bowfishing” virtual course on June 7: short.mdc.mo.gov/Zre. Attendees will receive a WebEx invitation and program link via email the day before the program.
• Beginning Bowfishing in-person field event June 12: short.mdc.mo.gov/Zrn. The MDC asks all attendees to adhere to current local guidelines for social distancing and masking. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged where appropriate.
A valid fishing license is required to participate in this program. Persons 15 or younger or 65 or older are exempt. For safety reasons, all participants must be able to fully draw and hold at full draw a 15 pound compound bow.