For many Missourians, falling leaves, shorter days and cooler nights are all indicators that we are entering one of the best seasons of the year—deer season. This year nearly half a million people will spend nearly 6 million combined days in Missouri’s outdoors hunting deer. This annual season not only connects people to the outdoors, it also injects more than $1.1 billion into Missouri’s economy. It’s an exciting time of year, so don’t let unsafe or unethical practices ruin a great thing. Please keep this information in mind when you head to the woods and fields.
Hunter Ethics and Safety Tips
Deer and turkey hunters should follow safe, ethical hunting practices. These include:
- Be sure of your target and beyond before you shoot.
- Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and your firearm is properly sighted in.
- If you hunt on private land, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner and respect his or her property as if it were your own. Scout the area you plan to hunt so you know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.
- If you do not kill your deer or turkey instantly, make every effort to find the wounded animal. Permission is required to enter private land.
- Clean and care for your game properly.
- Pick up all litter, including spent ammunition. Leaving an area better than you found it is a sign of thanks for the privilege of hunting.
- Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff as soon as possible.
- If you are involved in a firearms-related accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance; failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Develop your skills and knowledge, and share them with others.
- Know and obey all wildlife laws.
- Know and follow the rules of gun safety.
- Respect the rights of hunters, non-hunters and landowners.
- Make every effort to retrieve and use all game.
- Respect the land and all wildlife.
- Be sensitive to others when displaying harvested game.
- Remember, hunting is not a competitive sport.
- Beware: When using a camouflaged blind, other hunters cannot see you, even if you are wearing hunter orange. To be safe, tie hunter orange on each side of the blind so it can be seen from all sides.
Tree Stand Safety Tips
Elevated tree stands offer a better vantage