Keep your hunting safe and legal

trespassing laws in MO
Safe hunting!

Long before children knew and loved the story of Bambi, his ancestors helped to save the lives of our Founding Fathers. 

That’s right! Without deer meat, the Plymouth Colony may not have survived their first few harsh New England winters. In fact, in 1621  Indian Chief Massasoit brought 90 men to the first Thanksgiving feast! In order to feed them, they provided 5 deer with their hunting skills. No licenses, no hunter safety classes — it was open season all winter long.

Times have changed! If you’re  bringing home the venison for Thanksgiving this year,  you’ll need to have your “ducks in a row”.

Let’s start with the legal part.  The main crime hunters commit is trespassing on private property. What about a Class B misdemeanor on your record?  If the judge decides against you,  you could face jail time!  Your family would miss you and your venison on Thanksgiving Day.

Then, imagine how losing your hunting license  for a year and forking out some hard earned dollars in fines would further dampen your grateful spirit!  That’s the penalty for trespassing while hunting.

Trespassing truth — even if you shoot your deer on legal ground, you can’t retrieve your kill if the deer runs a few feet and dies on someone else’s property.  Maybe diplomacy will help.   Contact the property owner.  There’s a nice chance they’d rather not deal with disposing of the carcass themselves.  Hopefully, they will also appreciate the fact that you didn’t choose to trespass on their property.

If that fails, well, you’ll just have to keep hunting!

Keep your eyes peeled for purple paint! Purple paint markers or “no trespassing signs” are the responsibility of the property owner. It’s their job to let you know their property’s boundaries, according to the  Missouri Department of Conservation.

Gun safety is a given.  if you’re a licensed hunter, you already know the rules, right?

Still, accidents happen to the best of us. The worst kind of accident involves not just injuring yourself — but injuring someone else, also!

Someone I know decided to fake target practice in his bedroom mirror. Said mirror shattered since the supposedly unloaded gun had a bullet left inside. Thankfully, no one was hurt!   Just a youthful mistake could have caused serious injury or death.

What Dad said is still true. Guns are not toys! 

So keep an eye on the kid who is enamored with your hunting gear and weapons.  Teach them early the basic gun safety rules.

  • Check your unloaded weapon to make sure it is in good working order.
  • Never point a gun at a peaceful person, even if it’s not loaded.
  • Keep your trigger-happy finger OFF the trigger until time to shoot.
  • Don’t climb trees or run with a loaded gun (unless you’re GI Joe).

if you are involved in a hunting accident,  don’t add a Class A misdemeanor to your misery!

Here’s how to stay out of jail  and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner (maybe even venison roast) with your family, courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“If you are involved in a firearms-related hunting accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.”  (

If you are in need of legal defense due to a hunting accident or trespassing charges,  The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free initial consultation.

Attorney Steimel knows your rights and is well-versed in Missouri laws.   Call for help today!  636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.