ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Conservation is urging non-hunters to prioritize safety during outdoor deer season.
Justin McGuire, hunter education coordinator at MDC, advises non-hunters in areas where hunting is prevalent to follow the following safety guidelines:
- Wear high-visibility clothing: Make yourself more visible by wearing bright clothing, such as a bright orange hat, jacket or backpack.
- Protect pets: If you bring dogs, make sure they are leashed and dress them in a bright orange vest or bandana.
- Avoid camouflage clothing: Avoid earth or animal colored clothing such as tan and brown.
- Pay attention to active hunting times: Hunters tend to be most active in the early morning and late afternoon, when wildlife is also active. Pay particular attention to your visibility during these dimly lit hours.
- Stay on designated trails: Stay on marked trails designed to increase public safety and protect sensitive ecosystems. Using designated hiking trails minimizes the likelihood of entering hunting areas.
- Tell someone about your plans: Before you head outdoors, let someone know your destination and expected return time.
- Signal your presence: If you hear gunshots, raise your voice to alert nearby hunters to your presence.
- Be considerate: Once hunters become aware of your presence, avoid unnecessary noise to avoid disturbing wildlife and minimize conflict.
- Know the hunting times and locations: Familiarize yourself with hunting seasons and hunting areas. Plan your outdoor activities accordingly. For information about hunting seasons in Missouri, see at mo.gov/hunting-trapping.
- Search for hunting areas: Use the MDC Places to Go web feature at mo.gov/discover-nature/places Identification of protected areas where hunting is permitted and those where hunting is prohibited.
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