Hunters are required to wear blaze color during deer season in Missouri
It’s deer season in Missouri, and that means if you’re recreating in the woods this time of year, it’s a good time to wear hunter orange. If you’re hunting any type of game during a firearms deer season, which continues with a youth portion on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s also required.
Hunters found not wearing orange will be cited by law enforcement. On Fort Leonard Wood, Conservation Law Enforcement officers have already issued at least two citations for hunters on the installation who failed to wear hunter orange.
Why is wearing hunter orange important? The main reason is safety, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. By making hunters highly visible to each other, hunter orange reduces the likelihood of accidental shootings. Conservation officials have even referred to hunter orange as “excellent health insurance” when entering or leaving the woods.
According to the MDC website, huntfish.mdc.mo.gov, state regulations require hunters to wear hunter orange when:
— Hunting any species of game during firearms deer season.
— Hunting on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
— Serving as a mentor to another hunter during firearms deer season or on an area that is having a managed firearms deer hunt.
To be in compliance, hunters must wear both a hunter-orange hat and a hunter-orange shirt, vest, or coat. The hunter-orange color must be plainly visible from all sides, and camouflage orange does not satisfy the rule.
Fort Leonard Wood hunters must not only follow state regulations but also FLW Regulation 210-21, which has additional requirements for the muzzleloading portions of firearms deer season, also called the “Firearms Alternative Methods” season, which runs from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1. During this season, all hunters, regardless of the species of game being pursued, must wear hunter orange. Bowhunters hunting from elevated stands and waterfowl hunters are exempted.
There are some exceptions to the hunter-orange rules. Wearing hunter orange is not required for:
— Those hunting migratory game birds.
— Bowhunters within municipal boundaries where discharging firearms is prohibited.
— Hunting on federal or state lands where hunting is restricted to archery methods.
— Bowhunters using an archery permit during the Alternative Methods portion of deer season.
— Those hunting in a county that is closed during the Urban Zones and Antlerless portions of deer season (Nov. 30 through Dec. 2).
— You are hunting small game or furbearers during the Alternative Methods portion.
For more information about Missouri hunting regulations, visit the MDC online at mdc.mo.gov.
More information about hunting, fishing and recreating on Fort Leonard Wood can be found online at ftleonardwood.isportsman.net.