There’s no mistaking that fall is finally here, and that means deer hunting will soon kick into high gear in Missouri. Archery season is already underway; round one of youth firearms season opens Oct. 31. And the most popular time for whitetail hunters is the November portion of firearms deer season, which runs November 14-24 this year.
To help encourage safe hunting, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding a virtual Basics of Safe Hunting program Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 7-8 p.m. The class is free and anyone age six and up is invited to attend.
Deer hunting can mean a lot of different things to different hunters, from the challenge of the sport, to connecting with nature or embracing a family tradition, to putting food on the table. But above all else, it must be safe. This online class will help hunters ensure that they are keeping safety in mind as they take to the field this fall.
MDC instructors will review the key components needed to be a safe hunter. Many of these will focus on safe firearm handling which includes proper loading and unloading and identifying safe zones of fire from a hunting position ahead of time. Incidents can happen on the way to a hunting spot too, and this program will look at just that. The instructor will go over how to carry a firearm safely, along with special precautions needed for crossing an obstacle when carrying a firearm. They will cover safety measures relating to those hunting from a ground blind or from elevated stands. The importance of using a hunting plan to help prevent potential incidents will also be stressed.
This will be an interactive program that will enable participants to ask questions during the program via chat.
Basics of Safe Hunting is a free online program, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zus. Attendees will receive an invitation by email from the MDC Event Management System with a WebEx program link the morning of the program.
Participants should also note that this class does not meet hunter education certification requirements.