Hiking in the woods is a refreshing and recommended activity, but since hunting is also allowed in certain places, you will be sharing the forest with hunters and deer. On that note, there are certain things you should do if you intend to hike during hunting season to keep yourself and your family safe. Know these 7 things before hiking through hunting areas.
- Know the Hunting Season Dates
Like most outdoor activities, hunting has seasons, so you must be aware of the appropriate season in your state. The deer season changes depending on where you live, so you’ll need to check the dates if you intend to hike in certain places. You can check hunting websites to get more details about the time when hunters will be most active. It is a good idea to write down crucial hunting season dates to avoid unpleasant situations when you go out unprepared.
- Protect Yourself
When you go off hiking, you need to be proactive to ensure safety during your expedition. For instance, carry the right gear for the occasion. Keep in mind, however, that walking on rough terrain can cause damage to your instruments. To avoid this, consider custom skins for your hunting gear to ensure longevity. If you look after your gadgets well, you can enjoy peace of mind, fully knowing that you are protected. For example, custom wraps for guns and other equipment are designed to withstand different forces that can cause harm.
- Wear Bright Colors
Wear bright colors when you go into the woods to ensure your safety. For instance, you can wear a bright orange vest, hat, or coat when hiking through hunting areas to alert hunters. These colors are your best lines of defense since hunters and other hikers can spot you from a distance. Any bright color will let hunters know that you’re not an animal. You should never wear grey, brown, or green when you hike during the hunting season, as you can be mistaken for wild animals, and this will put your life in danger.
- Know How to Control Your Dog
If you enjoy hiking with your dog, you should know how to control it. Dogs naturally react to wild animals, and this can be quite risky, especially if they are off-leash. Even if your dog is well-behaved, make sure you keep him on a leash in the area. In some states, dogs can be legally shot if they chase deer. Another issue is that dogs are likely to be shot accidentally since they can be viewed as wild animals from afar. It might be a good idea to dress your dog in orange too when you hike and keep it with you at all times.
- Stay Out When Hunters are Active
Hunters are most active during dawn and dusk since this is the time when deer are also active. When you plan your adventure during the day, you’re not likely to run into deer or hunters in the woods. Additionally, many people prefer hunting during the weekend, so you will be better off if you hike during the week. In some states, hunting is prohibited on certain days of the week. Check if your state has that provision and only go out when you are sure it is safe.
- Don’t Walk in Silence
While walking in silence is a great way to hike, you should make noise during hunting season. Hiking in a group is the most appropriate thing you can do when hunters and deer are on the prowl. Noise will scare away animals, and it also alerts hunters of your presence in the area. Laughing out loud is one way to make your presence known, and some hikers even wear bear bells to ward off different animals. When you hear gunshots nearby, make sure you shout your presence, so the hunter takes safety precautions in case they will be trailing a wounded deer.
- Check Signage
When you’re hiking in national parks, you must check the signage so you keep on the right trail. You’ll find that in some states, hunting near trails is not allowed, but the rules differ from place to place. The signs in the parks are designed to inform you about the measures you should take to protect yourself. One is to avoid wooded areas.
With appropriate knowledge and planning, you won’t have any problems hiking through hunting areas. Many hunters are usually aware of the existence of hikers in the woods during hunting season, so they try to avoid them for safety reasons. On your part, if you follow these safety tips, you can enjoy hiking in the hunting hoods without any fear of harm.