Safely Enjoy the Outdoors During Fall Hunting Season
Hunting season has arrived! While most are waking up early, climbing into tree stands or walking through fields hunting for wild game, some of us want to squeeze in the last of our fall hiking bucket list or goals or want to ride the trails one last time before the snow falls.
We want hunters and other outdoor recreationists to safely enjoy the freedom of public lands, so we put together a few tips for you to make sure you remain safe and have the best experience while enjoying the trails this fall hunting season.
Wear Orange (or other bright colors)
Grab a bright orange hat or borrow a orange hunting vest from a friend before you head out onto the trail. Orange is the most popular color when it comes hunting. Wearing this popular color helps you to not blend in with the dull grays and browns of mid-late fall, and even during peak changing of the leaves. If you don't want to wear it, you can use a blaze orange bandana to increase your visibility. Putting one on a hiking stick is a great way to be seen.
If you’re not keen on an orange accessory to hike in, wear other bright colors such as bright greens, purples, reds, or blues. Try to stay away from neutral colors like browns and greys that blend into the colors of fall.
Stay on the trail
Most hunters know where public hiking trails are located and often use them to get to their camp. However, because they know they are open to public use, hunters typically won’t plan on hunting close to them. Foot traffic tends to scare wildlife away and hunters want the wildlife to come to them, not be scared off.
Going off trail can be fun at times and brings along a challenge. However, this time of year it can lead you right into a hunter’s hunting ground. Not only will the hunter be upset that you scared away their prey, they also could mistake you for an animal. And we definitely don’t want that!
Of course it is safe to step off the trail a few yards if you need to relieve yourself, but don’t wander too far.
Make Some Noise
Grab a friend so you have someone to chat with, whistle while you walk, or sing your favorite tunes, you could even consider throwing a bear bell around your neck. You want to respect the wilderness and practice Leave No Trace principles, so remember to keep it at a reasonable noise level. Creating a soft noise alerts hunters that you’re approaching.
Try Out Something New
There are countless ways to continue enjoying the last few days of fall! It’s never too late to try something new and fall hunting season could be the perfect time to give a new hobby a try. If you’re not comfortable exploring the trails during hunting season, there are plenty of other activities still to be explored.
Take a rock climbing class or ask your experienced climbing friends if you can join them. Explore lakes and take out a canoe or a paddle board once more before cold temperatures freeze it over. Hop on a bike and enjoy local paved trails or give road cycling a try. The options for adventure are endless.
If you’d prefer to stay close to home and keep it low-key, invite friends over and campout in your backyard. To help create a backcountry atmosphere, build a fire or pull out your Littlbug Senior Stove and cook up a hearty backcountry meal!
Whatever it is you decide to do this hunting season, remember to be safe and have a blast doing it!