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  1. #1
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    Default Hiking During Hunting Season

    Hey everybody. Iím going to be doing some hiking in NC, TN, and GA during bow hunting season. Do I need to wear any blaze orange during my hike? If so, do I need to get a vest, hat, both, or other? I donít own any so Iíd have to purchase it and obviously carry it with me. I couldnít find any previous threads on the subject so any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    My pack cover is orange and this time of year I'd wear the brightest shirt I have. A bright orange hat or bandana wouldn't be a bad idea either.

  3. #3
    HIKER TRASH birchy's Avatar
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    HJ, First, are the areas you are hiking open to hunting. Second, yes a blaze orange vest is a no brainer. You can pick up a cheap "overvest" at Walmart sporting goods. Third, you need to rethink what you carry and tie onto the outside of your pack,

  4. #4
    Registered User The Old Boot's Avatar
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    I make sure that the orange is visible from all sides of me. Just using a pack cover means that it won't likely be seen from the front.

    +1 on the over-vests from Wal-Mart. They're cheap, way next to nothing and store easily when not in use.

    I have one for me and one that I modified for a doggie vest for the pooch. He's about the same colour as the leaves in the fall and if nothing else it helps me find him when he steps off the trail.

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    Thanks for the quick answers guys. I'll be staying on the AT during my entire hike. Looks like I'll need to find an orange pack cover and grab the Walmart vest at a minimum.

  6. #6
    Registered User Panzer1's Avatar
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    try tying cow bells to your feet...

    Panzer

  7. #7
    Registered User Sierra Echo's Avatar
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    I tie an orange banadana to the back of my pack and call it good. The color orange makes me very angry.

  8. #8
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    I don’t post much but being a hiker with over 2000 AT miles (no thru) and a hunter who has hunted on and near the AT in Pa.: my 2 cents= Orange is good but there’s a lot more to consider. Bow hunting is up and personal and bow hunters are usually top of the herd hunters so you don’t have to worry too much about being stuck with an arrow. Some rifle hunters are not so thoughtful and can be reckless and shoot even if visibility is poor or miss the shot and the bullet keeps going. (Not good but it happens. I’ve had a bullet meant for a deer wiz by my head within 5 feet. And felt shotgun pellets fall around me and other bullets not so close. Yelling didn’t stop one guy from continuing shooting, it just pissed him off! Until I returned fire…) Personally, I wouldn’t hike anywhere in Pa. during rifle season. Or hunt for that matter. Too many people swarm on to public ground. You can sometimes hear the shots up one side of the hill and down the other as a deer makes a run for it. If it’s getting close to you it’s time to lay low. Also hunting is best early morning and early eve. So heads up especially in low light dusk and dawn. All that being said, if it was the only time and place to hike I’d do it and stay aware of the area you’re in. You could ask the local wildlife and parks guys about what kind of hunting pressure to expect and their advice. One other thing from a hunter’s perspective- most all hunters are true outdoorsmen and women who love to be outdoors and enjoy the day just like a hiker, without ever pulling the trigger. A day in the woods is a good day, eh? Most hunters will respect other hunters by staying quiet and not disturbing the serenity (or game). By hiking through an area you will definetly spook someone’s game and keep other from approaching, so you will ruin someone’s hunt that they have waited a long time for and have lots of money in gear and travel and practice etc. It is a legitimate use of the AT and they will see you not as a knowledgeable outdoorsman, just an unthoughtful tourist in an area they probably know quite well. i.e. their hunting ground. You could have been polite and stayed home that day is what I’d be thinking. Been on both sides of this coin. Even took my big dog backpacking in hunting season to run all over the place and ruin everyone’s hunting. Here endeth the lesson, we can only hope… Happy trails!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by daverep View Post
    I don’t post much but being a hiker with over 2000 AT miles (no thru) and a hunter who has hunted on and near the AT in Pa.: my 2 cents= Orange is good but there’s a lot more to consider. Bow hunting is up and personal and bow hunters are usually top of the herd hunters so you don’t have to worry too much about being stuck with an arrow. Some rifle hunters are not so thoughtful and can be reckless and shoot even if visibility is poor or miss the shot and the bullet keeps going. (Not good but it happens. I’ve had a bullet meant for a deer wiz by my head within 5 feet. And felt shotgun pellets fall around me and other bullets not so close. Yelling didn’t stop one guy from continuing shooting, it just pissed him off! Until I returned fire…) Personally, I wouldn’t hike anywhere in Pa. during rifle season. Or hunt for that matter. Too many people swarm on to public ground. You can sometimes hear the shots up one side of the hill and down the other as a deer makes a run for it. If it’s getting close to you it’s time to lay low. Also hunting is best early morning and early eve. So heads up especially in low light dusk and dawn. All that being said, if it was the only time and place to hike I’d do it and stay aware of the area you’re in. You could ask the local wildlife and parks guys about what kind of hunting pressure to expect and their advice. One other thing from a hunter’s perspective- most all hunters are true outdoorsmen and women who love to be outdoors and enjoy the day just like a hiker, without ever pulling the trigger. A day in the woods is a good day, eh? Most hunters will respect other hunters by staying quiet and not disturbing the serenity (or game). By hiking through an area you will definetly spook someone’s game and keep other from approaching, so you will ruin someone’s hunt that they have waited a long time for and have lots of money in gear and travel and practice etc. It is a legitimate use of the AT and they will see you not as a knowledgeable outdoorsman, just an unthoughtful tourist in an area they probably know quite well. i.e. their hunting ground. You could have been polite and stayed home that day is what I’d be thinking. Been on both sides of this coin. Even took my big dog backpacking in hunting season to run all over the place and ruin everyone’s hunting. Here endeth the lesson, we can only hope… Happy trails!



    Well said. Bowhunting is different!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GA Red View Post
    Well said. Bowhunting is different!
    A blaze orange beanie will be sufficient for you during bow season. The wally world vest is just going to get tangled and be worthless in no time anyway.
    I'm a hiker and a bow hunter and echo what daverep said about bowhunting being up close and personal.
    Because of hikers likely scaring the deer anyway I would not have stand anywhere near the trail so chances of my seeing you and then mistaking you for a deer at even 30 yards is slim to none especially if you're wearing a blaze orange beanie.
    Gun season does change things significantly though.

  11. #11
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    Respectful and knowledgeable hunters should be hunting well off the AT. I am an avid hunter and I do sometimes use the AT to hunt, but my spots are far off the trail. They have no right to stop your progress or recreation just by it being a certain season. I would however be extremely upset if someone walked up on me in the middle of the woods just by hiking aimlessly. I would still wear orange to be safe. There are tons of idiots out there!

  12. #12
    Registered User XCskiNYC's Avatar
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    Good post daverep.

    My outfit hiking through CT in weekends in the fall 09 hunting season included an orange vest (and the free hat Cabelas included with it) and orange pack cover. There were not many other AT hikers around but of those that did pass me not a one had a stitch of orange.

    There was only one spotting of a hunter. They were in a group, standing on a dirt road in a large hollow. They were not far from the paved road. The one hunter with whom I spoke said he did not know the AT ran through the area. It's not surprising since if you're not looking for it the AT will often be nothing more than a faint treadway (especially with the fall leaves) with the occasional white blaze. Basically invisible.

    Between a hat and a vest you'll probably get more visibility out of the hat since the vest will tend to crumple and get hidden and because the hat's higher.

  13. #13

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    I've had a hunting license for the past 65 years, but lately I've drifted out of a desire to kill things for some reason. I wander in the woods 12 months a year, however. During big game seasons I wear a blaze orange hat and jacket or vest, depending on the weather. I do this partly for protection, but mostly as a courtesy to hunters. We don't like to be surprised. During the season, we expect everyone to wear some orange.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    During the season, we expect everyone to wear some orange.
    During season, above rt 2 in Maine, I wear an orange hat pumping gas.

  15. #15

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    I recommend buying one of the heavy duty orange pumpkin garbage bags that are so common around Halloween and putting that over your pack. It's the cheapest way to go blaze orange and the pumpkin faces can earn you some smiles from anyone you meet. Combine it with an orange hat, which you'll want to wear whenever you're not in a tent, such as during breakfast and dinner.

    Bow hunters and primitive weapons hunters are different, as they only have one chance to get a shot right. ( Speaking of primitive weapons, don't do anything stupid like wear a coon-skin cap or a carry a pack made from a deer hide, as some people do who are into re-creating primitive times.) I learned quite a bit about tracking from a bow hunter I met while hiking and I've had many pleasant conversations with hunters going after birds in the spring. Rifle season on deer or bear is different because it attracts inexperienced (and sometimes worse) people to join the hunting crowd.

    So forget the bell, always wear some orange and enjoy! And the garbage bags will go on sale November 1, if you can wait that long.

  16. #16

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    Well said guys. I wear the Walmart vest-do the orange garbage bag on my pack AND wear an orange bandanna. P.S. - If you hunters are listening - PLEASE - bring your hunting dogs home with you ! I know they run off and get lost - but seek them out - have your son hike up to the top of that ridge for that ol' dog ...whatever it takes. I have been involved in several hunting dog rescues - one which I payed for with a hernia a few Novembers ago on the AT in TN.

  17. #17

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    This might be a dumb comment, but aren't the leaves blaze orange in the fall?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wnderer View Post
    This might be a dumb comment, but aren't the leaves blaze orange in the fall?
    Not in any place I've ever been. Blaze orange is not a natural color.

  19. #19
    Registered User Sierra Echo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudhead View Post
    During season, above rt 2 in Maine, I wear an orange hat pumping gas.
    Bah hahahhahahahhahaaaa!!!!

  20. #20
    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-Packs-Alot View Post
    Well said guys. I wear the Walmart vest-do the orange garbage bag on my pack AND wear an orange bandanna. P.S. - If you hunters are listening - PLEASE - bring your hunting dogs home with you ! I know they run off and get lost - but seek them out - have your son hike up to the top of that ridge for that ol' dog ...whatever it takes. I have been involved in several hunting dog rescues - one which I payed for with a hernia a few Novembers ago on the AT in TN.
    Not to mention the danger of feral dogs running in packs. I've had a couple of scary encounters.
    "You're a nearsighted, bitter old fool."

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