Hiking Safely During Hunting Season

Autumn hiking isn’t all fall foliage, cooler temps and fewer biting bugs. It’s also hunting season.

hikervest

Blaze orange hiking vest, available from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy site.

Obviously as a vegan, I’m against hunting. But I also understand that I’ll be sharing the woods with hunters for the next couple of months and it’s important to be prepared and cautious.

Don’t just assume that you won’t encounter anyone hunting; protect yourself. It’s no coincidence that the number of pickup trucks rivals the number of Subarus at your favorite trailheads this time of year.

 

So here are 5 tips to keep in mind for your hikes this fall:

    1. Wear blaze orange clothing. It’ll make you stand out against the woods so you won’t be confused for a deer, bear or other animal.
    2. Dress your four legged hiking companions in blaze orange as well and keep them on a leash. The orange will help them stand out and keeping them close will help then stay out of trouble.
    3. Make noise. This will alert any nearby wildlife and any hunters to your whereabouts. Bear bells, chatting with your hiking partners, singing campfire songs, who cares! Just don’t be silent. Surprises in the woods can be bad news.
    4. Check in with your local hiking clubs for location-relevant tips. There may be areas you should really avoid if hunters tend to frequent them. Or maybe you’d feel better staying in areas where hunting isn’t allowed at all.
    5. Focus on the joys of nature and the hustle and bustle of animals getting ready for winter, like squirrels busily collecting nuts and geese getting ready to fly south. Send positive vibes to your animal friends for their safety if it helps you stay happy. Dwelling on the negatives isn’t going to do anything but make you miserable. If you ask me, time in nature should never make you miserable, unless you’re soaking wet after a sudden downpour. That’s never fun.

Have a tip to add to this list? Leave it in the comments below.

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Comments (02)

  1. Great tips! It’s too bad that we have to worry about hunters when hiking. Definitely my least favorite part of hiking all around, especially when they can go in places that should, IMO, be protected (like state parks).

    1. I completely agree, Molly, and this post took me way longer than any of my others because I had such a hard time staying neutral and not ranting about how the woods are my peaceful place and hunting season tends to take that away from me. I searched online for a while trying to find other vegan bloggers talking about the emotional side of hiking during hunting season and didn’t find anything. I’d love to write more about how to stay positive this time of year, because it’s definitely hard to deal with.

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