Safety Tips for Non-Hunters During Missouri Deer Season

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:

  1. Wear high-visibility clothing: Make yourself more visible by wearing bright clothing, such as a bright orange hat, jacket or backpack.
  2. Protect pets: If you bring dogs, make sure they are leashed and dress them in a bright orange vest or bandana.
  3. Avoid camouflage clothing: Avoid earth or animal colored clothing such as tan and brown.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Tell someone about your plans: Before you head outdoors, let someone know your destination and expected return time.
  7. Signal your presence: If you hear gunshots, raise your voice to alert nearby hunters to your presence.
  8. Be considerate: Once hunters become aware of your presence, avoid unnecessary noise to avoid disturbing wildlife and minimize conflict.
  9. 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
  10. Search for hunting areas: Use the MDC Places to Go web feature at Identification of protected areas where hunting is permitted and those where hunting is prohibited.

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