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#155058 - 09/25/11 02:53 PM Avoiding Hunting Area's??
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
I took a 4 mile hike this morning on a short section of the PCT that runs just south of Hesperia, Calif. where I live. I occasionally hike here but mostly in the winter and spring months since the summers are just to hot, for me anyways. Today I ran into a guy and his dog and he mentions he was just checking the area out for hunting sites. I guess I never really paid much attention to it since I just figured the PCT was off limits. The area I'm referring to is Deer Hunt Zone 14 - San Bernardino Mountains. I really don't mind hunters but would like to keep my distance when there doing what they do. I did a little browsing and October 8 - November 6 is open season so I will try another area. For safety reasons, can anyone here shed a little more light on the subject of avoiding hunt area's? Thanks

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#155059 - 09/25/11 03:48 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: intrek38]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3886
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Firearm season here starts is from Nov.12-22 . I generally get a backpacking trip just before it starts because that's really the prime time to be out there.

But I strictly avoid being out in the forests for a week starting on opening day of the firearm season. After that, I'll start backpacking again during the middle of the week and I'll avoid the weekends until it's over.

I always wear blaze orange while hiking here, even on my own property. It's always hunting season here for something, so I buy cheap lightweight plastic hunter's vests that I tie to my backpack, and have blaze orange flagging tape streamers dangling all over the place.

I also keep a sharp eye out for blaze orange. If I'm bushwhacking and I spot a hunter wearing it (they have to by law) then I just hike the other way.

If your hiking a mile or more from any road or ATV trail, you probably won't even see a hunter here. They don't like to haul their game that far.

On the whole, hunters here in the Ozarks are some of the best I've ever encountered. They're generally not a bunch of drunks shooting guns like a few places I've been. Most all of them have been hunting with firearms since they were kids. Each year the newspaper post photos of boys and girls that have "Bagged their first deer". Right now I can already hear people shooting their rifles and tuning up their skills all around me.

I rarely hear of accidents here. I found 17 reported in all of Missouri last here, but not all were firearm related. Same number in California ( source)

So I don't worry too much about it. But, here in the Ozarks, the first couple days of firearm season for deer you'll hear shots fired at the very crack of dawn, and keep hearing them until just before sunset. I make a point to know when opening day is and stay out of the forest then.

It tapers off pretty fast after that first week. After the last weekend of firearms season for deer I feel plenty safe wearing my blaze orange and bear bell.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#155060 - 09/25/11 04:39 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: billstephenson]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I worry mainly about the modern firearm seasons for deer and elk. Bowhunters and muzzle loader hunters are a relatively small group, have to get closer to their prey and normally get only one shot.

Like Bill, I avoid opening weekend of the general season and generally go out midweek (which I do anyway, to avoid the weekend crowds), with a blaze orange vest on me and a blaze orange scarf on Hysson (in addition to his red pack). Some years back I found a sale of blaze orange vests, 2 for $10. They are evidently made for 300-pounders--plenty big enough for me to wear over my backpacking pack and still have it loose! I cut up the second vest to make a scarf for Hysson and a band for my hat.

I figure that wearing blaze orange is a courtesy to the hunters as well as protection for me. Contrary to popular opinion, most hunters are really nice folk and are really enthusiastic about the out-of-doors and conservation. It's their license fees that pay most of the cost for state wildlife conservation and research and the Federal tax on their firearms that pays for most Federal wildlife conservation (such as refuges) and research. The hunters I know personally are all real sticklers for firearm safety. It's actually only a small minority of hunters that race around in pickups or ATVs drinking beer, banging away at anything that moves. Of course it's that quite visible minority that worries most of us!

Western Oregon's modern firearm deer and elk seasons start October 1 and basically run through November. Eastern Oregon deer hunting is all by special permit but it appears they also start shooting October 1.

Washington's general modern firearm season doesn't start until October 15 this year (it varies so opening day on a Saturday). Guess where we Portland-area hikers will be hiking the next 2 weeks! There is a "high buck" season September 15-25, but this is only in designated wilderness areas north of I-90 (and, I believe, on the Olympic Peninsula). Also, those hunters have to be sure there are 3 points per antler before shooting. The main problem with "high buck" season is that the high country gets rather crowded at that time. Oregon has one about the same time, but I didn't see it listed this year.

With both states, some form or other of hunting season runs through November and sometimes into December.

Of course bear seasons in both states start August 1 and run through December. Since the fatal shooting in Washington of a hiker mistaken for a bear a few years ago, we hikers tend to be a little more cautious. Cougar season in Oregon is year-around, and since it's common knowledge that many so-called cougar sightings turn out to be golden labs, I worry a bit about Hysson. So far I've relied on his red pack, but I may just sew some blaze orange ribbon on the upper black part.

In addition to blaze orange, it's a good idea to make noise as you hike, especially in brushy areas, unless, of course, your singing sounds like a bull elk bugle!
lol
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#155063 - 09/25/11 05:43 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: OregonMouse]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Blaze orange stocking caps are about $3 and maybe are worth a lot more as they also keep your head warm, smile HOWEVER many hunters are men and many men are color blind. frown
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#155066 - 09/25/11 06:29 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
About 1 out of 10 men are color-blind. Since it's a sex-linked genetic trait, you really can blame your female ancestors for this one. Nearly all of these have red-green color blindness. A few have blue-yellow blindness. That's why neither red nor yellow will protect you in hunting season. Achromotopsia (total color-blindness, seeing all colors as shades of gray) is very rare.

The legally-prescribed (in most states) blaze orange for hunting gear is not just orange! It is required to have enough reflectivity that it is obvious even to those with achromotopsia. It certainly is obvious to those with red-green and blue-yellow color blindness. Be sure that what you buy meets the legal requirements of states that require blaze orange for hunters. Just plain orange won't do the job.

Oregon is one of the few states that doesn't require blaze orange, although they recently instituted the requirement for juvenile hunters. Oregonians should check the labels of anything blaze orange before buying to be sure it meets the legal requirements of other states. An OSU (Oregon, not Ohio) Beavers cap may look bright orange, but it won't meet the reflectivity requirements. Besides, a UofO Ducks fan may get tempted to be trigger-happy!

EDIT, later: I just looked up the various state requirements for hunter orange and found that quite a few states "recommend" it rather than requiring it. In case you planned to hike in Rhode Island, all other recreationists (hikers, bikers, etc.) are also required to wear blaze orange on RI state managed lands during the various hunting seasons.


Edited by OregonMouse (09/25/11 08:09 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#155070 - 09/25/11 10:56 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: OregonMouse]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
These posts pretty well cover the subject, but I must mention that the hunting season is a good time to patronize your National Parks, as well as other preserves that may be off limits to hunters.

There are quirky exceptions, even in NPs. This year is the final year for the elk and deer hunt on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park. In 2012, the island will be wide open to hikers for the first time ever during the fall.

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#155072 - 09/25/11 11:05 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: oldranger]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3886
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
oldranger, I would've loved to hike those islands when I lived out there. Hard to believe they've allowed that. Hope it works out great and people appreciate it.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#155073 - 09/25/11 11:11 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: billstephenson]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
When Santa Rosa Island was privately owned, and nobody got to visit it, the ranchers stocked the island with deer and elk for private hunting parties; typically the charge was around $10,000 for a week's hunt, and your trophy was guaranteed. The owners made as much profit from the hunt as from the entire cattle operation.

When the island was sold to the gov't in 1987, the agreement was that hunting would continue for twenty five years. My, how time flies!

2012 will launch a whole new era for a very wonderful island.


Edited by oldranger (09/25/11 11:13 PM)

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#155076 - 09/26/11 06:41 AM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: OregonMouse]
FredMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 38
Just a couple minor misconceptions on bad hunters. Most hunters are good, but the bad ones draw no lines on how bad they will be. One year three of us filled elk tags without firing a shot. Two guys running through a small herd shooting from their hips left them laying with no intent to return. Two cows, which a couple of people in our group had tags for just laying out in the clearing. The bad guys obviously had no special permits. Also one two point, legal on any tag, in the trees. I guess it wasn't big enough for them. If the regulation says 3 point, that doesn't mean don't shoot it, just don't take it home or through a check point. Also, they shot at two of our party because they heard rustling in the bushes. We all wear full blaze orange. I have been shot at twice since. I had to quit hunting, because I know that the next time it happens I will be locked up. I will shoot back and I never miss.

Do NOT make noise. Make yourself seen.

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#155078 - 09/26/11 07:42 AM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: oldranger]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
What he said. There aren't many places in California where hunting isn't happening.

I tend not to worry much on the trail - most hunters who do get out and walk around here don't go very far from the roads. But we do wear bright colors.

I also recall one of the Yosemite rangers talking about poachers who hunt in the park - a number of them have been caught slaughtering (no other word for it, the deer are pretty much tame) some of the trophy bucks. But while this sometimes happen, it's not the same as being in Ansel Adams wilderness and walking up to a hunter's camp made right in the middle of the trail, with a pile of empty beer cans, a badly hung bear bag, and six guys telling tall tales of the one that got away. You can hunt in most of the wilderness areas outside national parks.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#155083 - 09/26/11 01:05 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: lori]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
It gets pretty bad and I completely agree the poachers are the biggest threat, for a sackful of reasons.

I have a problem figuring out just when and where and what kind of hunting is allowed on a given day. Yes, they're posted on line but it's not a simple task sifting through them all. Friends like this don't help either.

Hunter shoots hunter during bear attack.
_________________________
--Rick

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#155088 - 09/26/11 02:30 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Rick_D]
FredMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 38
I thought that if someone died during the commission of a crime, it was automatically a murder charge? Bell ILLEGALLY shoots a grizzly, things go bad, then he shoots his partner. The guy should NEVER have been issued a permit if he can't take the time to figure out if it is a Griz FIRST! Shoot first and ask questions later? It seems like all the crazies come here to play out their wild west fantasies. That is in the very least negligent homicide, and ignorance should be no excuse for breaking the law.

I shouldn't even need to say imho after this. He committed a crime, and his friend is dead as a direct cause of his ILLEGAL actions. If you can't recognize a Griz, don't go hunting bear!

And what was the guy thinking, taking a shot (at any animal) that wasn't a kill shot? He obviously never got a good full look at the bear, just shooting at anything that moves.

Getting a good clean shot right behind that big huge shoulder blade would have been an obvious give away that it was a Griz!!!


Edited by FredMT (09/26/11 02:43 PM)

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#155104 - 09/26/11 08:39 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: FredMT]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
Thanks for all the replies everyone. Looks like no hiking for a month or get a vest and stay on the trail.

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#155131 - 09/27/11 12:22 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Rick_D]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Although the incident was tragic on all parts, it did remind me of this funny video.

Hunting accident
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#155389 - 10/04/11 04:13 AM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: finallyME]
Whiskeyguy Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Northern California, USA
I'm a hunter (although not really a very active one) but I only hunt on private property (of which I'm a guest, of course). While most hunters are very capable and safety-conscious outdoors-men, the possibility of an accident is multiplied with a bunch of hunters in one area, who you can't communicate with. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. If possible, just avoid areas where hunting is happening. You can reference the fish and game website for seasonal information. If this is not an option, avoid opening weekend if at all possible. This is easily the busiest weekend of any hunting season.

2. Wear bright orange, and not a camo variety.

3. Avoid traveling through dense vegetation... you might sound like a deer. Hiking in open areas or along ridges where you are visible is better.

4. Be more careful around bears, even black bears. Hunters disturb them, and sows especially are more prone to be moody.

5. Don't wear a hat with antlers.

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#155774 - 10/13/11 05:00 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: intrek38]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
When I lived in Wyoming, hunting season started in Aug and ran into eary Dec for big game, birds seasons even longer. I just got in the habit of wearing an orange Filson visit whenever I did field work during those months. You cannot avoid hunters entirely, but you sure can look around more.

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#155786 - 10/13/11 06:39 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: ppine]
immortal.ben Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
Being a hunter, I can tell you that a GOOD hunter should spot a hiker before the hiker spots the hunter.

Also, keep in mind the area you are in. Out here in the west, we do mostly spot-and-stalk hunting. This means that the hunter will likely be glassing from high up on a ridge and is likely to see a hiker. I know if I, or any of my buddies, saw a hiker in an area we were glassing, we would keep an eye on their progress and make sure to look elsewhere for game to track. We hunt sunup to sundown.

Those of you who hike in more densely vegetated areas, especially in the mid-west, south, or back east, are more likely to run into a tree stand or ground blind hunter. They like to hunt edges of feed plots (corn, beans, wheat, etc...), edges of timber, and natural terrain funnels (deer like to take the easy route too). Most tree stand/ground blind hunters like to get to their spot before light, head back to camp for the afternoon, and return to their stand for the evening hours.

You may also try picking up a copy of your state's yearly hunting and trapping regulations handbook(s). Every one I have ever seen was free. They can be found at most any store that sells hunting equipment, long guns (rifles and shotguns), some sporting goods stores (Big 5), and are also available online. They are easy to use and come with maps showing hunting areas.
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#155796 - 10/13/11 09:52 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: immortal.ben]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
The good hunters aren't the problem. I found that once I was more than about a half mile from a road, I rarely encountered a hunter. I have no idea of how many were watching me through binocs.

Most of this experience was acquired in Arizona, around both Flagstaff and Tucson. At the height of the season, we would just schedule our trips in a handy no hunting park.

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#155954 - 10/17/11 01:24 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: oldranger]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3886
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By oldranger
I found that once I was more than about a half mile from a road, I rarely encountered a hunter.


That's true here too. Most the hunters here in the Ozarks might hike a few hundred yards from where they've parked, but I've never seen one a mile away from that.
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"You want to go where?"



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#155959 - 10/17/11 02:08 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: intrek38]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Since I went out last weekend, I thought I'd do the smart thing and figure out whether it was still deer season. Turns out there are two schedules.

Deer season and tag quotas by zone
"Additional" season

But there's also elk season:
Elk

Bighorn season:
Bighorn

Pronghorn season:
Pronghorn

And bear (I can't figure whether there's a season or not):
Bear

If somebody can come up with an iphone app that keeps track of all these, I might just buy an iphone. In the meantime, just assume somebody's hunting something and wear your lucky charm.
_________________________
--Rick

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#155965 - 10/17/11 02:28 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Rick_D]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
My experience has been that you really only need to watch deer season, may be elk. Folks hunting bear, pronghorn, and big horn are hard core and generally fairly experienced and competent.

We always had a few hunter generated searches and rescues during deer season, but never during the other hunts.

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#155972 - 10/17/11 03:03 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Rick_D]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3886
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Rick_D
Since I went out last weekend, I thought I'd do the smart thing and figure out whether it was still deer season.

...

If somebody can come up with an iphone app that keeps track of all these, I might just buy an iphone. In the meantime, just assume somebody's hunting something and wear your lucky charm.


Here in the Ozarks it's safe to assume there is a season on something most everyday, but deer are what most hunters are after here and opening day for them is a tradition as strong any there ever was. The roads bordering The Ozark NF in AR will be lined with pickups every few hundred yards for that.
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"You want to go where?"



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#155979 - 10/17/11 03:41 PM Re: Avoiding Hunting Area's?? [Re: Rick_D]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The state of Washington publishes a nice summary schedule of hunting seasons. I wish all states would do this! To find the Oregon seasons requires waiting for a horrendously long .pdf document to load and then searching through it!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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