MA Hunting Seasons

Woods Walking Advice
from the Back Roads Ramblers

Wear Blaze Orange or Another Bright Color When Hiking During Hunting Season You can keep yourself safe and make a fall fashion statement by sporting your blaze orange hat, vest, and coat during hunting season. If you are hiking during hunting season, this is really your best line of defense. Seriously! Bright orange is not exactly my color, but a few years ago I watched the video below and was totally convinced that it was the safest way to hike. The video was created for hunters, but it really helped me realize how important being seen is! If you don’t have blaze orange attire, bright red or another bright color is better than nothing. Please do not hike during hunting season in brown, grey, or green — you’re just asking for trouble.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash When Hiking During Hunting Season My dog is my all-time favorite hiking companion, but hiking with dogs during hunting season can be quite risky, especially if they hike off-leash. No matter how well behaved your dog is, please keep him on a leash during hunting season. In many states, dogs who chase deer can be legally shot, and dogs are much more likely to be accidentally shot than people are. I also recommend dressing your pup up in blaze orange when you hike. Now you’ll both be safe, and you’ll match.
Make Some Noise While Hiking During Hunting Season As much as I love tiptoeing through the woods looking for birds and other wildlife, when hiking during hunting season, it’s better call attention to yourself.  I spend a lot of time talking to my dog in the woods during hunting season. Sometimes he even talks back. I’ve also been known to whistle, but I never sing (that would be mean). If you don’t want to talk to yourself or your dog while hiking in hunting season, how about rounding up some of your rowdiest friends for an autumn hike? Hunters may not appreciate your revelry, but at least everyone will stay safe.
Stay Out of the Woods When Deer and Hunters are Most Active Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, and so are hunters. Try and plan your hiking excursions during the middle of the day, and you are much less likely to run into hunters in the woods. Deer aren’t exactly weekend warriors, but you’ll find fewer hunters in the woods during the work week. There are also eleven states in the USA where hunting is prohibited or restricted on Sundays. If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia or West Virginia, you may have an easier time hiking on Sundays during hunting season. Check your state’s hunting regulations for more specifics.