Life-Saving Tips for Hikers During Hunting Season

Follow safety tips for hikers during hunting season along the Appalachian Trail. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Follow safety tips for hikers during hunting season along the Appalachian Trail. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Autumn is a wonderful time to take a stroll on the Appalachian Trail during "leaf peeping season." Autumn is also open season for hunters in the vicinity of the Appalachian Trail (AT). You can lessen the danger by following a few safety tips for hikers during hunting season.

No one is stupid enough (probably) to walk into the line of fire at a shooting range. At least, not twice. Unfortunately, when you're hiking along many portions of the AT, the forest hides many hunters stalking their prey on foot, in tree stands and in concealed blinds. They're waiting and listening, adrenaline pumping, for any sounds of activity.

If you're wearing colors that blend into the scenery and walking quietly, the truth is you might be confused as a target, not a hiker.

None of this is intended to frighten you out of the forest. We want you to be safe from threats of all kinds. We want you to be wise as you walk your walk.

National Forest Safety Tips for Hikers During Hunting Season

  • Wear bright clothing. Make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like red, blaze orange or green, and avoid white, blacks, browns, earth-toned greens and animal-colored clothing. Orange vests and hats are advisable.
  • Don't forget to protect fido. Get an orange vest for your dog if he/she accompanies you.
  • Make noise. Whistle, sing or carry on a conversation as you walk to alert hunters to your presence. Sound carries well across mountain basins, and hunters should be listening for any sounds of animal movement.
  • Be courteous. Once a hunter is aware of your presence, don't make unnecessary noise to disturb wildlife. Avoid confrontations.
  • Make yourself known. If you do hear shooting, raise your voice and let hunters know that you are in the vicinity.
  • Know when hunting seasons are. Continue to hike, but learn about where and when hunting is taking place.
  • Know your own comfort level. If hunting makes you uneasy, choose a hike in a location where hunting is not allowed, such as a national park or a state park, or schedule your outings for Sundays.

Our friends at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) have posted safety tips for hikers during hunting season on their website.

Click Here for Safety Tips for Hikers During Hunting Season

Click Here for General Safety Tips from the ATC

Click Here for ATC's State-by-State Hunting Season Guide


Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, News, and Safety

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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