Hunting incidents remain rare thanks to hunter orange requirements.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds hunters not to forget their hunter orange before heading out the door for opening weekend of firearms deer season Nov. 14-24. Hunters must wear a hunter orange hat and a hunter orange vest, shirt, or coat. The color must be visible from all sides. Camouflage orange does not satisfy this rule.
“Hunting is an extremely safe activity when done responsibly,” noted MDC Hunter Education Program Coordinator Justin McGuire. “One of those responsibilities is to make sure hunters and mentors are wearing the required hunter orange garments. Hunter orange clothing makes it easier for one hunter to spot and recognize another hunter because nothing in nature matches this color exactly.”
Hunters must wear hunter orange if:
They are hunting any species of game during firearms deer season.
They are hunting elk or accompanying an elk hunter during the firearms portion of elk season.
They are hunting on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
They are serving as a mentor to another hunter during firearms deer season or while on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
Hunters are not required to wear hunter orange if:
They are hunting migratory game birds.
They are archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.
They are hunting on federal or state land where deer hunting is restricted to archery methods.
They are using an archery permit during the alternative methods portion.
They are archery or small game hunting in a closed county during the antlerless portion.
They are hunting small game or furbearers during the alternative methods portion.
They are hunting small game or furbearers during the firearms portion of elk season.
Firearms deer season runs Nov. 14-24. The late youth portion is Nov. 27-29, followed by the antlerless portion Dec. 4-6. The elk firearms portion is Dec. 12-20. The alternative methods portion for deer runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2021. Archery season runs now through Nov. 13 and Nov. 25 through Jan. 15, 2021. Hunters can find more information about hunting seasons at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/ or by reading MDC’s 2020 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations & Information booklet at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZXv.