Among the many outdoor activities our state provides its citizens, hunting continues to remain one of the most popular recreational sports for Missourians. This generational pastime also means a way of life for much of our state's population, relying on each season's hunt in order to put food on the table and provide for families.
But before you embark on your next hunting trip, please take into account the thousands of hunters out in the field who, just like you, hope their fellow hunters are practicing important safety tips while in search for their next trophy find.
Our state's Department of Conservation (MDC) provides hunter education courses for both new and returning hunters. This course is required for any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1967. If you plan to hunt during a Missouri firearms season or you are acting as an adult mentor, you are required to first complete an approved hunter education certification program and provide proof of completion, unless you fall under certain guidelines.
Since hunter-safety courses became mandatory in 1987, informed hunters have reduced accidents and deaths out in the field by more than 70 percent. These important courses provide a foundation in hunting safety and ethics, while instilling responsibility, improving upon the skills and knowledge of our avid hunters, and encouraging interaction between beginner and veteran marksmen.
Deer and turkey archery season started this week (Sept. 15) and runs through Nov. 15, as well as Nov. 27-Jan. 15. And dove season started at the beginning of this month and runs through Nov. 9. Don't forget to check permits and regulations regarding each game season. It's important to follow the rules for each hunt, ensuring proper techniques and safety for all who enjoy the sport of hunting in the Show-Me State.
To see a complete list of hunting seasons, learn more about hunting permits and regulations, and read about MCD's updated hunter education courses, visit www.mdc.mo.gov. Please remember to watch out and respect one another by following important hunting-safety guidelines laid out by MDC while you are out in the field. Best of luck to you and happy hunting.