ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Conservation is urging non-hunters to prioritize safety when in nature during deer season.

MDC Hunter Education Coordinator Justin McGuire advises non-hunters in areas where hunting is prevalent to follow these safety guidelines:

  1. Wear High-Visibility Clothing: Make yourself more visible by wearing bright clothing, like a vivid orange hat, jacket, or backpack.
  2. Keep Pets Safe: If you bring dogs with you, ensure they are leashed and dress them with a bright orange vest or bandana.
  3. Avoid camouflage-like attire: Steer clear of earth-toned or animal-colored clothing such as tan and brown.
  4. Be Mindful of Active Hunting Times: Hunters are typically most active during the early morning and late afternoon, when game animals are also active. During these dimly lit hours, be especially cautious about your visibility.
  5. Stick to Designated Trails: Stay on marked trails, which are created to enhance public safety and protect delicate ecosystems. Using designated trails minimizes the chance of venturing into hunting areas.
  6. Inform Someone of Your Plans: Before heading into the outdoors, inform someone of 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 are aware of your presence, avoid making unnecessary noise to prevent disturbing wildlife and minimize conflicts.
  9. Know Hunting Seasons and Locations: Familiarize yourself with hunting seasons and areas open to hunting. Plan your outdoor activities accordingly. You can find information on Missouri hunting seasons at
  10. Locate Hunting-Permitted Areas: Use the MDC Places to Go web feature at to identify conservation areas where hunting is allowed and those where it is prohibited.