There’s something about fall that gets us outside. It seems to be the perfect combination of cooler weather, impending snowfall + stunning colors. Hordes of hikers head outside to hit the trails. Fall is also “hunting season” to hundreds of outdoorists with bows + guns. This isn’t something to fear, but something to be aware of. While hunters are expected to be responsible for knowing their targets with certainty, there are some things hikers can do to help keep themselves safe on the trails. Let's chat about a few important hiker safety tips for sharing the wilderness with hunters.
Check Trailhead Signage
Trails and trailheads that lead to popular hunting areas often have signage telling you so. Usually, you’ll find signs on the big trail maps, but sometimes you’ll need to pay attention for less direct signs. If the parking area is full of large pickup trucks with blaze orange or camo gear in the dash...you’re about to head out into some public land that is well loved by hunters as well. Depending upon your comfort level with sharing the wilderness with hunters, you can make a decision on what you’d like to do. If you’re not comfortable, there is zero shame in choosing a different trail to hike. If you are comfortable, let’s chat about a few other safety tips..
Wear Bright Colors
In some areas where hunting season is essentially a state-wide holiday
Keeping chatty is easy if you’re hiking with someone else. You’re out there together to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, snag a few Instagram photos of the fall colors + gossip about your exciting lives, right?! But what if you’re hiking alone? It’s not quite necessary to carry on a full blown conversation with yourself...that would be just plain weird
Keep Dogs Leashed
Speaking of dogs, they look a lot like animals! In part, because they are animals...don’t forget that, especially during hunting season! A dog sniffing through the underbrush can easily look like a bear or coyote...both of which have active hunting seasons in the US. Be aware of this! If possible, keep your dog on a leash