Diane Chase: Adirondack (ADK) Hiker Safety Tips During Hunting Season

Don't be afraid to wear that Blaze Orange vest.
It's a color that goes with everything! It will
bring out the safety in your children's eyes. 
When I first moved to the Adirondacks I never took in consideration hunting season as having an effect on my outdoor activities. Yes, I realize that was na├»ve of me but I have no experience with hunting and had only hiked in the summer. During those warm months gun safety is not on a non-hunter’s radar. Since I can’t be the only person in this predicament, here are some simple rules to keep in mind.

There is room enough in a six-million-acre park for hunters and hikers. My children are well aware of what they need to do to be safe while hiking in the woods. We unpack our blaze orange vests and hats and stick to the trail. It is this time of year that I encourage them to talk loudly and stick together.

Playing it safe during hunting season
1)    Don’t be afraid; be cautious.
2)    Be informed of what is “in season.” There are a variety of hunting seasons from muzzleloading and bowhunting to rifle season. For the Northern Zone, Big Game (deer and bear) “regular” hunting season starts the last Saturday in October and runs through the first Sunday in December.
3)    All state land is open to hunters.
4)    As much as fluorescent clothing is an 80s fashion faux pas, it should be a hiker’s Vitamin C – as in “very good for your health.”
5)    Keep in mind that hunters do not want to hunt you so wear bright colors as a precaution.
6)    Keep to the trail. Assume hunters are aware of where the trails are.
7)    If you are still worried, choose a safe place to hike like the Adirondack Mountain Club Reserve (AMC), Lake Placid's Henry's Woods or Adirondack Visitors’ Center in Newcomb where no hunting is allowed.
8)    If you hike with an animal remember to dress the dog in highly visible gear. An orange bandana and vest usually does the trick.
9)    There are a lot of areas that are not laden with game so choose those places to go hiking and keep away from really popular spots.
10)  Talk in a loud voice if you feel that you are in a dangerous spot. If you have children this shouldn’t be an issue, at least not with mine. They are rarely silent so any “game” would either cling to them for safety or is long gone.

Most importantly enjoy yourself and know that with a little bit of knowledge there is room for all to enjoy a hike in the woods.


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