Updated: Sep 18, 2022
(Original blog written in 2021, updated for 2022.)
Happy Fall! We have had some amazing weather here in the Eastern part of the United States after a long, hot, and wet summer. For us, fall means the changing of the leaves, apples, pumpkins, and hunting season.
When I hike or take groups out on the trail, I always do my best to find places where we won't cross paths with hunters. I think we can co-exist in the woods, I like to give hunters a lot of space, and I don't like to take chances - even with wearing blaze orange items. However, as careful as I am, in my years of hiking I have lost the trail in poorly marked areas a few times and ended up on private land where I've come across hunters blinds (fortunately with no hunters in them). Conversely, I have heard stories of hikers coming across hunters who have accidentally wandered off of the land that they had permission to hunt on or those who do not realize that they are hunting close to a trail. Accidents happen, and I don't want to be a statistic!
In this blog, I wanted to share some different ideas for keeping you and your four-legged friend safe on the trail.
Let's start with clothing. Usually, when we think of hunting safety we think of an orange blaze or "hunter's orange" vest or hat. But here are several other items that will keep you and your four-legged friends visible in the woods. Most can be found on www.amazon.com or www.cabelas.com. Both sites have a good selection of orange blaze items.
First for humans: hats and hairbands. All of these items were purchased from Amazon.com. Search "blazed orange" items.
Tops and vests:
Women's Long Sleeve Quarter Zip (not shown)
Cabela's Fleece Vest (older version pictured, similar available here)
And for your four-legged friend: leashes and collars:
Also for your dog:
- Browning Safety Dog Safety Vest (similar here)
Location is another important consideration when hiking during hunting season. Do some research to find out where is hunting allowed and not allowed in your area. In Connecticut (United States), where I am located, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has information on its website about hunting season including a summary of dates here and a map of Connecticut hunting areas here. However, it is important to note that these maps do not include private lands where permission may be given to hunters. Please check the websites for the parks and recreational areas near you. A Google search or call to your state department that handles hunting licenses can provide you with good information.
Time of day is something else to consider. While some people hunt all day, many hunters choose dawn or dusk when game are more active.
For more information on hiking during hunting season, here is a great blog post by Back Road Ramblers: https://backroadramblers.com/hiking-during-hunting-season/
Fall is a great time to enjoy the trail. With a few precautions, you can safely spend time in nature all year long. Get out there!