Hunting Season Safety Tips


A little orange can go a long way.

While autumn is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, it also marks the beginning of hunting season across many areas of the country, and a little extra caution is prudent if you plan on hiking, running, paddling or biking through natural areas where hunters are likely to be present.

If you are unfamiliar with hunting season dates in your area, it's best to contact your state's fish and wildlife agency or game commission to find where hunting is permitted; the seasons for different types of game; and the dates when firearms or bow-hunting are permitted.

Dress Like a Hunter

Next, make sure that you and your companions wear blaze orange hats, jackets or vests every time you venture into hunting territory. This is important for hikers, runners, bikers, and paddlers. Avoid wearing white or tan clothing that makes you look like a deer and if you have a dog, make sure that they are also outfitted with a blaze orange vest and collar too. Most hunters are well trained to avoid firing at prey unless they have the entire animal in sight, but the more you can look like another hunter, and not a prey animal, the better.

Travel in Groups

While I enjoy hiking by myself, it's a good idea to bring a few friends along with you on day hikes or overnight backpacking trips if you're going to be in an area where hunting is permitted. Groups make more noise than individuals and there's less chance you'll be mistaken for an animal if you're chatting away with friends.

Stay on well-marked trails and avoid bushwhacking or cross-country travel unless you're above treeline or in an area where hunting is restricted. Don't assume that hunters are familiar with the local trail system, shelter or campsite locations, and if you come across them at the trailhead or elsewhere, tell them where you will be hiking (and camping, if you are staying overnight). All of the hunters I've ever encountered have been very cordial and appreciate knowing what spots to avoid for safety reasons. 

Promote Conservation

There are many different ways to enjoy the outdoors. Do your part to educate hunters and non-hunters about leave no trace practices and outdoor conservation. People who have safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences are the future stewards and advocates of our backcountry areas and the wild lands we love.

For more hunting season safety tips, see Hike Safely During Hunting Season.


Filed under: Outdoor Skills

Comments

Rick-Pittsburgh
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3,962 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 10:23 a.m. (EDT)

I took this mid-trail(my stomping grounds around here.)

136.jpg

For anyone that is planning a trip here in Pa., here is a link to the list of hunting seasons here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=576240&mode=2
 

Very good article Philip. Its most certainly something that anyone hitting the trail should be very well aware of. 

Seth Levy (Seth)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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1,054 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 11:02 a.m. (EDT)

Great article philip!  I like a day-glo orange pack cover myself, combined with an orange knit cap for 360-degree visibility. During my last hike on the AT, I noticed, not surprisingly, that I was most likely to encounter hunters on the weekends.

apeman
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 12:40 p.m. (EDT)

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I took this mid-trail(on my stomping grounds around here.)

136.jpg

For anyone that is planning a trip to Pa., here is a link to the list of hunting seasons here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=576240&mode=2
 

Very good article Philip. Its most certainly something that anyone hitting the trail should be very well aware of. 

 Ahhhhhhhhhhh..............if PETA only had a clue.  All they would have to do is capture all the Deer, Elk, Bear,  and any other animal that is hunted and then just dye them orange.  Then where would we be?  ;-}}>

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 1:31 p.m. (EDT)

Great to see this article hear.  At first surprised, but in a pleasant way. I will read it very soon. Makes sense for everyone to get home safely.

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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2,148 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 1:45 p.m. (EDT)

apeman said:

 Ahhhhhhhhhhh..............if PETA only had a clue.  All they would have to do is capture all the Deer, Elk, Bear,  and any other animal that is hunted and then just dye them orange.  Then where would we be?  ;-}}>

 Hehe, its probably not true, but I've heard they did that to some whitetails a few years ago, and all of them were quickly spotted and shot. 

f_klock
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 3:07 p.m. (EDT)

A timely reminder indeed!  In order to balance the responsibility, we have these signs posted around my workplace trails, as well as the PGC signs, pictured above.


photo-2-.jpg

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 3:42 p.m. (EDT)

That's great that they post signs in certain areas.  I wish they'd do that here.  Usually we know that it's hunting season when we hear rifle shots.  There's a patchwork quilt of zones, special hunts, etc.  One hiking area might be "in season" while another a few miles away may not.

I've been looking for a bright orange wide brimmed hat, like the one in the rather silly photo below.

3083707454_0627055269.jpg

Haven't found one I like yet.

HJ

Rick-Pittsburgh
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3,962 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 3:50 p.m. (EDT)

Hey HJ, the guy in that photo looks like my cousin... seriously. He is into firearms bigtime. 

Since we are on the whole hunting thing....

Is it just me or have ya ever wondered what people were shooting at in the early hours of the morning. You know like when the sun was about to come up but its still dark?

I almost got blown out of a tree stand years back when I was an avid hunter. The bullet ripped the bark off the tree about a foot above my head. 

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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November 2, 2011 at 4:53 p.m. (EDT)

So Phil, Is that you in the photo, and are you posing like a deer? You know, like the Allstate Mayhem guy ;)

f_klock
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 7:12 p.m. (EDT)

Jim, that's simply a knit cap worn over a camouflage boonie.  Orange wide brimmed hats are available at almost any outfitter or big-box department store.  Nice shot, by the way. In what part of the country was this photo taken?

whomeworry
102 reviewer rep
2,294 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 9:23 p.m. (EDT)


moose-hat01.jpg

Thanks for the tip; I feel safer already!

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 11:23 p.m. (EDT)

Yipes, Rick!  That was a close call. 

Yes, I do wonder what they're shooting at sometimes -- especially when I hear shots coming fairly close together from different directions.  There's no way that deer are popping up all over the place that quickly.  Widely interspersed shots make sense, but shots all over the place?  C'mon. 

HJ

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
November 2, 2011 at 11:27 p.m. (EDT)

f_klock,

That photo is just one I saw on the internet.  I just liked the vivid orange the guy was wearing.   I don't know where the photo was taken.

And you're right.  He is just wearing a knit cap over a boonie.  I need to have my eyes checked.

Most of the orange hats I've seen are baseball style caps.  I'm interested in something with a bit more sun protection.  Cabelas has one, but it's not a particularly bright orange.

HJ

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
November 3, 2011 at 1:31 a.m. (EDT)

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/506574?qs=3006425_pmd_google

http://www.cabelas.com/headwear-gloves.shtml

10 secs and two choices.  Imagine what you will find in 10 minutes

Let me Google that for you, try this link,

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=orange+blaze+sun+hat

philipwerner
130 reviewer rep
130 forum posts
November 3, 2011 at 8:23 a.m. (EDT)

No - that's a buddy of mine. I look like the guy in my profile picture.

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
November 3, 2011 at 4:55 p.m. (EDT)

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/506574?qs=3006425_pmd_google http://www.cabelas.com/headwear-gloves.shtml

10 secs and two choices. Imagine what you will find in 10 minutes

Well, thank you for trying, but none of those are really blaze orange sun hats. They have a GoreTex one that would do for colder weather, but GoreTex is a poor choice for hot weather. Most of the choices are heavier material (more for cooler weather) or just baseball caps.

Let me Google that for you, try this link,

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=orange+blaze+sun+hat

Hey! That's pretty cool. Still no decent blaze orange sun hats though. 10,000 baseball caps, but no sun hats. :(

HJ

Rick-Pittsburgh
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apeman
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1,237 forum posts
November 3, 2011 at 5:11 p.m. (EDT)

You could buy a Tilly, one of the white ones and dye it orange.  Just a thought.

http://www.tilley.com/Hats-Men.aspx

You can find Tilley hats one eBay for much, much cheaper.  They have a lifetime warranty and life time replacment warranty as well.  I don't know how they would feel about your dye job however.

 

Rit Dye Rit Dye Powder-Sunshine Orange 

  http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM649417603P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM649417603 

 

Make sure you rince your hat out well before wearing.  I once dyed a hat and wore it soon after only to have a black ring on my forehead.  Branded myself for a while until it wore off, it was rather silly.  Lesson learned.                                                                                              

 

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
November 3, 2011 at 5:15 p.m. (EDT)

Hi, Rick,

Thanks.  That's a good one although I'm not fond of canvas -- I sweat too much.

I actually think I see what  I want (below).  Just plain cloth.
Orange-Hunting-Boonie-Hat.gif

Now, for people who are really worried about hunting season:


270101_lg.jpg
HJ

campingwithcharlie
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
January 8, 2012 at 10:39 a.m. (EST)

I hunt and have all the necessary orange clothing. I was going through some thick brush when I heard a gunshot at close range and a bullet whiz through the brush I was in. Unfortunately not all hunters make sure of what they shoot at. Some take sound shots. They can't see what they are shooting at but they know something is there because they can hear it.

Adding sound to your trips will help during hunting season. Try talking to your conrades or wearing bells. Much like bear avoidance. Of course bright colors help.

Bahnstoermer
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 6:40 p.m. (EST)

gonzan said:

apeman said:

 Ahhhhhhhhhhh..............if PETA only had a clue.  All they would have to do is capture all the Deer, Elk, Bear,  and any other animal that is hunted and then just dye them orange.  Then where would we be?  ;-}}>

 Hehe, its probably not true, but I've heard they did that to some whitetails a few years ago, and all of them were quickly spotted and shot. 

 LOL

Mumblefords
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 12:15 a.m. (EST)

My favorite seasons are fall and winter. There is a reason I embrace Patagonia's love of the florescent Orange/Green color scheme.

-MG

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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2,148 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 9:07 a.m. (EST)

campingwithcharlie said:

I hunt and have all the necessary orange clothing. I was going through some thick brush when I heard a gunshot at close range and a bullet whiz through the brush I was in. Unfortunately not all hunters make sure of what they shoot at. Some take sound shots. They can't see what they are shooting at but they know something is there because they can hear it.

Adding sound to your trips will help during hunting season. Try talking to your conrades or wearing bells. Much like bear avoidance. Of course bright colors help.

 As a hunter, that makes me really angry. If I ever do hear someone talking about taking a "Brush Shot" or a "Rustle Shot" they are going to get an earful. 

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 11:40 a.m. (EST)

As they should.  Brush shots are totally irresponsible.  Honestly, if someone took a "brush shot" at me, I'd feel like firing back.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

gonzan
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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February 2, 2012 at 11:51 a.m. (EST)

This shouldn't happen not just because it puts other people in danger, but because it is completely irresponsible as a sportsman. If you are not certain of being able to make clean and accurate placement, you should NEVER attempt it. Participating in the food chain is not cruel or unethical, negligently wounding and animal so that it suffers for days or weeks, however, most definitely is. Firing at something that you can't even see should never be done, under any circumstances. 

hikin_jim
81 reviewer rep
422 forum posts
February 3, 2012 at 7:28 a.m. (EST)

Agree.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
February 3, 2012 at 2:24 p.m. (EST)

Zinc cream for the sun and orange for the hunter

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