CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's going to be a big weekend for Missouri deer hunters.
Firearm season starts Nov. 11 and runs through Nov. 21
Russell Duckworth, the Southeast District Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said this is the biggest hunting season that they have in the state, which means a higher risk of accidents.
"There's going to be lots of hunters in the woods," Duckworth said. "We have people that don't hunt a lot, they don't hunt any other species, so they are out there hunting. Without all that extra practice and time in the woods, sometimes they get excited, they hear something, they jump to the conclusion that that's a deer, they raise their gun, they shoot at it, and it doesn't turn out to be a deer."
That's why Duckworth is encouraging hunters to keep safety in the forefront.
For starters, make sure you are always wearing a blaze orange hat and vest so you are visible to other hunts.
If you plan to be in a tree stand, make sure you have a full body harness on.
"Sometimes people build them and the thing's rot over a number of years and they get 10,12,15 feet up off the ground and then they fall," Duckworth said.
"Combine that with the fact that people that don't have those body harnesses that we were talking about earlier to keep them secure in the tree, on the stand. Tree stand falls account for a lot of the incidents that we have."
The Department of Conservation reminds that you can only get one antlered deer during the entire firearms season to help control Missouri's deer population.
If you're going to be in one of 25 testing counties, your deer will be checked for chronic wasting disease.