It's Huntin' Season! - A Hiker's Guide to being Safer in the Woods
When I was a younger hiker, a friend and I were on a hike in the fall season and heard a gunshot. It really scared the crap out of us! We ran the trail for a couple hundred yards and stopped to listen. We eventually found out that can be quite normal, though startling, when hiking during hunting season.
Things to get you prepared for hiking during hunting season:
- Be aware when the seasons open and the areas that are open for hunting.
- Be seen and heard. Wear bright colors and talk loud if near hunters.
- Avoid the chance of meeting hunters and hike in a National Parks.
- Do not interfere with the hunt. They belong out in the woods just as much as you do.
Pets! Remember to always keep your dogs on a leash, especially during hunting season to keep them close. You might also consider making sure your dog has a bright colored vest on too. After all, they look more like a 'huntable' animal then you do.
I think the most dangerous scenario would be opening day of hunting season and it is pouring down rain. Rain will mask sound and at times, sight as well. Also extreme fog or darkness will give more opportunity for a surprise encounter. Use extra precautions while hiking in the rain for sure.