COLUMBIA — You don't need to remind Josh Lampton that one in four firearms permits are sold the day before firearms season opens.
Lampton, a customer service representative handling hunting permits for Bass Pro Shop, was so busy early Friday afternoon he barely had time to talk.
- A hunter-orange jacket or vest and cap must be worn and visible from all angles.
- Be sure of what you are shooting and be aware of what is behind it.
- Maintain equipment properly and make sure your gun's scope is sighted correctly.
- Hunting on private land requires consent. Also, scout the area for its boundaries, nearby roads, homes and livestock.
- If an immediate kill is not made, make every effort to find the wounded animal.
- Report all witnessed hunting violations to the police, sheriff or a conservation agent immediately. The Conservation Department's Central Regional Office can be reached at 884-6861.
Source: Missouri Department of Conservation
Share your story and photos
Deer season starts Saturday, and we want you to send us a photo of yourself posing with your doe or buck. Save submissions@MyMissourian.com in your mobile phone and send us your pictures right after you take them. Or, go to MyMissourian.com and click on the “share your story or photo” link to send us a photo after you get home.
Share your story today. You photograph it, we publish it
"We're completely slammed, and we've been so all day long," Lampton said.
The Missouri Department of Conservation reported that 502,089 firearms deer permits were sold as of 11:37 a.m. Friday. The season begins on Saturday and goes through Nov. 23.
The Department of Conservation estimates firearms hunters will kill upwards of 300,000 deer again this year, and the weather looks like it will cooperate for opening weekend.
Lonnie Hansen, a deer biologist for the conservation department, said rain ending Friday with partly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures on Saturday are close to the best weather conditions hunters can ask for.
“The result will be a good harvest,” he said.
“Typically, we like to see cooler weather at the kick-off of the season,” Sean Ernst, a state conservation agent for Boone County, said.
Ernst said cool weather draws out deer, though the bucks are currently in rut seeking does, so they’ll be on the move regardless.
Ernst said hunters have already been reporting good deer movement through Boone County.
Also with the cool weather, Ernst said, hunters tend to stay in their tree stands or in the woods much longer, which increases their chances of success. In warm weather, hunters tend to quit early, he said.
“As a hunter myself, if I see a deer, that is a success,” Ernst said. "Safety is the most important thing. It’s important to take good, clean ethical shots.”