Hikers, bikers, and runners aren’t the only ones who flock to the woods in fall and winter. Hunters enjoy the changing seasons by pursuing deer, turkey, and other game in local conservation areas and county forests. But there’s no need to feel unsafe if you follow these common-sense precautions:
- Do Your Homework. Know when and where hunting is allowed (see mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping). It’s often possible to avoid hunters altogether by choosing the right park or trail.
- Avoid Dawn and Dusk. You’re less visible in dim light. If you must be out at these times, use a headlamp or flashlight, and wear reflective clothing.
- Stick to the Trail. Hunters typically know where the trails are and avoid them, so you’ll be safer if you stick to the designated routes.
- Wear Bright Clothing. Invest in a blaze-orange vest, hat, or pack. If you don’t have any of these, wear bright colors. Stay away from earthy tones.
- Make Some Noise. Sound carries in the quiet fall and winter air, and hunters should be listening for animals. So, whistle, sing, shout, whatever — especially if you hear shooting.
- Use the Buddy System. There’s safety in numbers. You’ll be more visible, and hunters are more likely to hear you coming.