View Full Version : Ideas to keep stupid Hunters at bay

11-27-2002, 12:55
As far as I know there are no real laws to prtect hikers from hunter's mistakes. I read in another thread that there was a requirement of 300 ft. That is not alot room. e folowing is an e-mail I sent to a friend.
We as hikers have to take a stand. To have the ATC do it on there own wouldn't be effective. If we can let our voices be heard then I am sure that the ATC as well as others groups will come to our aid. I my self am not willing to sacrifice the life of even a stranger much less some I know or love. I am glad to hear that the "Wreckless" hunter was charged but I know that in it's self is not enough to satisfy me. If it is unlawful to camp close to the trail then how can it be lawful to discharge a firearm standing directly on it. We as hikers have rules to follow as do hunters but maybe we are in need of a few more for both groups. I would say, until such a law can be passed, that hikers use blazed orange before, during, and after hunting seasons. ( I say before and after due those few hunters who like to hunt out of season) Also I think hunters should use common sense in discharging their firearms. I am a hunter and I know that you must always be aware of your target as well as what is behind it. My question for you would be are you willing to participate in such an endeavor? Are you willing to put this cause to paper? I am open to any suggestions that y'all may have.


Thank you
Jason (Raven)

11-29-2002, 19:21
I have to think that the best idea is to take measures to protect yourself. More laws are not going to guide an errant bullet away from you or keep you from being mistaken for game by a visually handicapped hunter. True, hunters shouldn`t be hunting from trails. This puts them in close proximity to people hiking and increases the possibility of an accident. Your best bet would be to wear bright colors. Blaze orange is a good choice for starters. Avoid all earth tones. Pretty much any dominate color found in nature. Black and white,as the tend to disappear in the distance among the trees. Besides, wearing white you may appear to be the south end of a deer making a quick exit. Another idea would be to hang something off you pack or person that would generate noise. Such as a metal pot and lid. Something you might do in grizzly country. And last but not least, the last thing any hiker wants to hear. I myself included. Plan your trips around hunting season. Though I have found it to be nerve wracking and quite uninjoyable during this time of the year, these are the tecniques that I use. (so far so good!) And although the hunter is mostly to blame, your best protection is yourself. Make yourself be known!

11-29-2002, 21:34
trailjockey has the right idea. game laws and seasons are posted on state websites. be informed. here in PA the seasons to be aware of are rifle and muzzleloader for deer and fall and spring turkey seasons. there is no hunting here on sundays. the first day of rifle season for deer in PA it is estimated there are one million deer hunters in our woods. please be careful. i know that the AT is located right thru the center of several of our state game lands which have been purchased by hunters license dollars for the primary purpose of public hunting. presently other uses are encouraged, such as horseback riding and mountain biking and hiking but it seems that there is a tragic hunting accident somewhere in the state almost every year during deer or turkey season. please be careful. one million high powered rifles. i can pass on hiking the first two weeks of december on trails through public hunting lands.

12-01-2002, 21:23
i suggest using common sense. just did a four day hike in southern mississippi. all the hunters we met were well equipped, courteous and extremely careful. for every stupid hunter, there is a stupid hiker/camper/tourest.

12-02-2002, 14:29
All the hunters I've met in Indiana (a lot this fall) have been very pleasant. A few bone heads, though. I've seen several hunters on platforms in trees that were right on the trail I happenned to be hiking. I've passed a few others that seemed to be stalking something on the trail. I wear a blaze orange hunting vest that I got at Kmart for $8 and hope for the best.

SGT Rock
12-02-2002, 19:05
Most places I have hiked that have hunters are actually relatively safe. Most hunters I have met or know are very proud of how safety minded they are and are plesant to talk to.

On the other hand...

Louisiana hunters absolutly scare the HELL out of me. In my three years here I have seen the absolute worst of the lot. My commander's son was actually almost shot and run over by a guy driving through the pine forest in his Toyota while his passanger hunted from inside the truck - and this was not on a trail or road!

I went on a two night trip a month ago that was my four year old son's first overnight backpacking trip. It was close to hunting season, so I intentionally went on the National Forest Service land that was not open for gun season yet. BUT, at 0100 I awoke to the sound of multiple gunshots and 4 wheelers tearing ass through the woods. The next day, there was again multiple gunshots in rapid fire succession. Now I was a hunter, and hunting deer you might take one, maybe two shots; but honestly, this sounded exactly like some guy with an AK shooting up a herd of deer. No legitimate hunter would hunt that way - 30 round clip in an area closed to gun hunting, before dawn. Despite wearing orange, I ended the trip then and there.

I have more examples of things I've seen or know of around here. Lousiana is not the sportsman's paradise it says on the license plates.

I guess my point is it will not mater how safe you try to be, there will always be an idiot out there. In this case, no law would have changed the outcome because he was already in violation. It is already illegal to shoot before dawn like he did, and as I understand it - no hunting within 300 feet of a trail or road, which he also did. Every hunter knows to ID the target - which he didn't, and the only extra percaution would be hunter orange on the backpacker - but I don't blame her. So in the end, passing another law or rule will only change the guys that are already safe, not the guys that are not. As for financial funding for the backcountry goes, hunters support a lot of what we hikers enjoy much of the year. I don't think we should over-react and alienate them for the misconduct of someone that was already breaking the rules.

12-03-2002, 00:58
well said, rock!

The Weasel
12-04-2002, 19:53

12-08-2002, 13:00
I wanted to thank all of you for your responses. They are very practical and logical. I want to make one thing clear. I don't hate hunter or anything like that. I just don't like people who don't value life enough to follow simple rules. I have no respect for people like that. I know there are hunters who follow the rules,the laws, and are careful. That is the type hunter that I like. Good hikeers are responsible and so are good hunters. Again, thank you all for your insight.

12-08-2002, 17:57
As far as hunters go, any hunter who shoots a hiker [mortal or flesh wound] or even another hunter should receive life in prison w/no parole. I bet you shooting "accidents" would not occur as frequently with a strict ruling such as this.


I have to admit, I'm not in support of protecting/repopulating apex predators that pose a threat to hikers/bikers/hunters such as the grizzlies in Yellowstone. They're numbers are so small, and don't pose a great ecological threat if they "dissapear". However, they do pose a threat to those who travel into the woods, or even near them. Animals such as black/brown bears, wolves, etc do not apply here.

I'm planning a trip where I will be spending some time at Yellowstone. My time there was going to be spent in the remote south eastern portion of the park, but probably not any longer. Conservationists have provided ideal conditions for the bear, and now their numbers have doubled. I've been told that their numbers will yet double again next year (when I will be arriving there). There are so many grizzlies in this section of the park, that sightings are almost guarenteed im told. Now I'll probably be hiking in the north eastern part of the park, or lugging a 200w stereo blasting pre-recorded sounds of clanging pots and pans (lol).

12-09-2002, 01:29
Only 200 watts! RH, you must be a minimalist!

12-09-2002, 13:06
Personally I stay outta the woods during the gun deer season which lasts around two weeks. I do this because there is no real safe distance from hunters and stray bullets. If the hunter misses his target that bullet can travel a very, very long way and end up lodged in your head. During gun season hiking should be out of season.

12-09-2002, 20:49
"HUNTER ACCIDENTALLY KILLS HIKER" I have never heard the opposite, let's start shooting back haha.

05-20-2004, 09:47
Most places I have hiked that have hunters are actually relatively safe. Most hunters I have met or know are very proud of how safety minded they are and are plesant to talk to.On the other hand...Louisiana hunters absolutly scare the HELL out of me. .................................................. .................................

i know this is an "OLD thread"...but i have to throw down my 2 pennies worth.....

my wife ("D-bird") & i were day-hiking on Dec 1 2002 in the Roan Mtn area on the A.T. (we'd started @ Carvers Gap @ onlyhiking a few miles) when we happened upon a hunter...who looked like RAMBO....had a 30-06 in his hands & another rifle strapped on his back along with 2 ammo belts around his person.....what the HELL wuz he hunting for????? BIGFOOT?

AND, YES...he was walking ON the trail!

scared the HELL outta us....we kept on hiking...but @ a bit quicker pace to get outta range!

jersey joe
05-20-2004, 13:32
<CENTER>Reading this post made me think of the recent "Great Bear Hunt" we had in NJ late last year. I found this interesting and figured others would too considering most of the bears were killed near the AT.

2003 NJ Black Bear Hunting Season Results

</CENTER>According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, a total legal harvest of 328 black bears were taken during the 2003 Black Bear Hunting Season that was scheduled to run concurrently with the 6-Day Firearm Buck Season, December 8-13. Bears were harvested in five of the seven counties open to black bear hunting.

Sussex County led the harvest with a total of 233 bears, followed by 48 bears in Warren County, 26 bears in Passaic County, 20 in Morris County, and one bear in Bergen County. These results were expected by Division biologists, based on land area and bear density. Hunters recorded bear harvests in 36 of the 105 municipalities open to black bear hunting with Vernon Township, Sussex County tallying the highest with 38 bears taken.

More than 80% of hunters utilized a shotgun to harvest their bear. Of the bears harvested, 137 (42%) were taken on private property, 117 (36%) on state property, 50 (15%) on federal property and 24 (7%) on county or municipal land.

The average field-dressed weight of females over one year old was 190 pounds with a range of 99 to 350 pounds. The largest adult female bear had an estimated live weight of 413 pounds (350 pounds dressed) and was taken in Frelinghuysen Township, Warren County. The average field dressed weight of male bears over one year old was 299 pounds with a range of 116 to 573 pounds. The largest adult male had an estimated live weight of 675 pounds (573 pounds dressed) and was taken in Green Township, Sussex County. No hunting accidents were reported during the entire season.

05-21-2004, 22:04
Just replying to thread start.......wear orange.

05-21-2004, 22:48
You cannot outlaw stupidity.

Hunter education for AT areas would be the best solution.

05-22-2004, 00:26
That is already there...... in every state.
HMMMMM, you should know this already.

05-22-2004, 00:52
That is already there...... in every state.
HMMMMM, you should know this already.

I don't hunt in the states along the AT, so am not familiar with what is taught during hunter education.

05-22-2004, 07:43
You must not really hunt - oh yeah, you're in Florida.


05-22-2004, 15:05
You must not really hunt - oh yeah, you're in Florida.

Last time I checked, the AT starts in Georgia, not Florida.

05-22-2004, 16:49
"Most places I have hiked that have hunters are actually relatively safe. Most hunters I have met or know are very proud of how safety minded they are and are plesant to talk to."

Yes, but I have also met & talked to people who TRUELY believe that if the bullet doesn’t hit what they are aiming at it (Magically?) disappears. And if (honest, someone said this, and actually meant it) they “shoot a bullet into the air, It goes away” doing no harm I guess.
But then again, we give these same people 2,000 + Lb killing machines, and even give them licenses to drive them on the road, while drinking alcohol, and talking on their cell phones, and yelling at the kids, and, and, and, and.

I’m considering wearing my Kevlar vest when hiking during hunting season

Or at least hitting the ground everytime I hear a shot :-?


05-11-2005, 23:28
[QUOTE=RavenJ223] If it is unlawful to camp close to the trail then how can it be lawful to discharge a firearm standing directly on it.

I live about 3 miles from the trail just south or Port Clinton, PA. The Appalacian Trail for at least 15 miles south of me, and 15 miles north or here is owned by the PA Game Commission. They own the land and allow the AT to pass through it. They don't like camping on their land and don't allow it. (That is why the nearest shelters: Eagles nest and William Penn , are off the trail. The ATC had to buy some land near the trail that was not owned by the PA Game commission. So, it is not easy to tell the landowner who can shoot on their land. If you don't trust hunters, you'll have to either abide by their rules and wear lots of orange during hunting season or restrict your hikes when it is not the season.
We did a southbound winter hike in 01 and passed through deer season from Maine to Tennessee. We met nothing buy friendly hunters although there was more trash on the trail at this time. Share the wilderness! I know it's not easy but i'd rather deal with quiet hunters than ATVers with pistols. AT least the rifles are more accurate and you are less likely to get shot without being aimed at. fh

05-12-2005, 01:16
I want nothing to do with this. it's absurd

05-12-2005, 06:48
We did a southbound winter hike in 01 and passed through deer season from Maine to Tennessee. We met nothing buy friendly hunters although there was more trash on the trail at this time. Share the wilderness! I know it's not easy but i'd rather deal with quiet hunters than ATVers with pistols. AT least the rifles are more accurate and you are less likely to get shot without being aimed at. fh

Most of the hunters I meet on trails are polite, friendly, responsible, and interesting to talk to. They are in the woods for the same reason that you & I are. They enjoy the woods. Personally, I'd like to see deer hunting become more popular in some places. The deer herd in Harriman State Park in NY have just about destroyed the forest - and they are terribly unhealthy. Emaciated and everywhere.

Hunters have also been very very helpful in protecting places like Sterling Forest in New York. That is one of the earliest places that the trail was built. Second only behind Bear Mountain. The hunting community joined the environmentalists to form a coalition that resulted in the creation of Sterling Forest State Park - instead of the 14,000 houses and 6,000,000 square feet of comercial space that was planned in those 18,000 acres.

So, regardless of your personal opinion of hunting or some hunters, most of them are good folks. Remember, the hiking community has a few clunkers too.

05-13-2005, 02:02
most hunters are ok,most hikers are ok,i dont care for irresponsible hunters or hikers,so we all have to be responible:cool: neo

07-19-2005, 11:42
If hunting is a "sport", why don't we equip the animals with weapons? Or, make the hunters wrestle and kill their prey with their bare hands, now that would be a sport!

Nearly Normal
07-19-2005, 12:41
I'd like to know how many hikers have been injured/killed by hunters?

Most hunters are responsible conservationist.
They keep lands open with their support. I buy a hunting/fishing combo tag every year even though I have stopped hunting. I'm also a ATC member.
What do you do to support these resources in your state?
In SC you must pass a safety course.

07-19-2005, 13:04
The "crack and thump interval" started to get pretty short as I passed through southern Maine in 2003. Never actually saw a hunter but wouldn't have been too surprized to hear some shot go whizzing past my head at any moment. Got into Andover and bought a blaze orange watch cap and bandana. Figured if they were going to shoot at me I'd give them a bright target.

AT 2003

07-19-2005, 17:12
:clap I am an avid backpacker and avid hunter so this thread is a tough one. I have a picture I took along the trail in 2000 in Pa. It is of a sign telling you that you are in a game management area open to hunting and on the same tree with the sign there is a white blaze. The ridge lines in North Carolina often mark an area open to bear hunting and the AT shares the same ridge line. My Dad, who just passed away at 92 years of age, and I for years went partridge hunting in the Bigelow Preserve in Maine and we frequently crossed the AT, There are no signs warning hunters they are within 300 feet of the AT so it is an easy mistake to make. I own a farm in central Maine and my land is open to any hunter that asks permission. Backpackers have no fear from 98% of all hunters. With todays hunter safety requirement to pass before they get a licence most hunters are educated in how to hunt safely and most do. There is the exception, usually some yahoo froom the city, more intrested in drink than hunting that we have to fear. Most hunters have invested a small fortune in their gun, their gear and their trip so they are careful and very serious about their hunt. Of course we also have loud, stupid, and drunken backpackers too so it is a two way street. The backpacker might be wise to wear an orange hat or vest, don't be afraid to make a little noise and if he or she uses caution should have no problem with the hunters. I remember when a backpacker broke his leg in Georgia it was a hunter that came to his rescue and got hin to medical help the quickest way. Hunters aren't going to go away so if you see one be nice, smile and say hi, If they find out they have wandered onto the AT they will appreciate being told because deer and turkeys aren't going to hang around noisy hikers. The hunter may just have an extra apple or a cold soda so be as nice to him as you can, Being nasty to a hunter will do no one any good even if the hunter is in the wrong and hunting in a closed area. We all can get along and we don't own the woods nor do they so lets share it and enjoy each other.

07-19-2005, 19:05
I agree with moxie, I live in a area with lots of hunters, the ones I know are very conservation minded. They love the outdoors as much as I do. Very good people.

Lone Wolf
07-19-2005, 19:12
"Hippy hikers" suck way worse than so-called "redneck hunters."

07-19-2005, 22:37
"Hippy hikers" suck way worse than so-called "redneck hunters."
redneck hunters are cool,some of the nicest people i have met in the woods are hunters:cool: neo

07-19-2005, 22:45
Excuse me , but I think I resemble that remark. I used to be a hippy and may have hiked though I don't remember and in my younger years qualified as a redneck hunter. Now I'm just an old phart of a section hiker who chooses to hike during the fall. Some of my fondest memories have been the hunters we met . They have for the most part been friendly offering food , drinks , and helpful advice. There have been the occassional idiots such as the dudes using automatic weapons in southwest Virginia. Advice, wear lots of orange , make your presence known, and be nice . We want hunters to have positive , though not deadly , encounters with hikers.

07-20-2005, 08:17
Most of my friends are rednecks!... and tattoo artists!... and retired military!... and bikers!...oh my!