Should popular/shared trailheads be marked as hunting areas during open season?

ODB

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The kid and I did some fishing over in Ketchum, then took to the hills to look for a few grouse. There were other hunters in the hills, although well above us. On the way down the hill, we ran into two hikers on the way up. We waved and said hello. We had guns and were wearing orange. They were dressed in hiking gear, no orange. We took a side trail and stopped to check things out. The hikers continued up maybe another 25 yards, then turned around, hiked down the hill and left.

My guess is that they weren’t really aware it was open season and they had walked into an active hunting area. Maybe a kid with a gun and me with my Glock got their attention, too

The trailhead mentions nothing of this, which leads to the question...

Should shared trailheads be more obviously marked that they are hunting areas and that hikers, should they choose to continue, should wear orange for visibility? And also perhaps that harassing hunters is a violation of the law 36-1510 and post A brief summary .

the goal would be to inform hikers well ahead of entering the trail so they can decide whether to proceed or not, and to mitigate any conflict. I know we talk a lot about personal responsibility (see the moose/llama/elk thread) but it’s reasonable a hiker is not going to spend time studying hunt maps to time their hike.

Discuss...
 
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Felix40

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Seems impossible to post every trailhead with signs like that. People who spend any decent amount of time outside should already know that hunting is a legal activity.

I had a funny encounter this year while grouse hunting. A lady on a mountain bike asked if she should wear a bell or something so she didn’t get mistaken for a grouse. I just laughed and told her that I don’t shoot wildly into the bushes at anything that moves and she was perfectly safe.
 

Bubblehide

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Sure, there should also be signs for open mountain biking area, open hiking area, open equestrian area....

On a serious note, no. Hunting is a legal activity. In most places, hunting is legal year round. There is enough anti hunting crap going around, and signs would just fuel that.
 

Runwilderness

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I am a believer in person to person outreach and education. Prior to starting to hunt myself, I encountered hunters every fall hiking the SNRA or Whiteclouds or running a trail race outside McCall in the middle of archery season. A smile, a quick have a good hike/have a good hunt, and an occasional longer conversation about what was being hunted left me feeling comfortable using the trails as I was using them and I hope left the hunters feeling that they were respected for using the land as they used it, too.

The wood river valley sees a lot of tourists that may not “understand” hunting, but I think chatting or a quick hello will do more to make them feel comfortable (and realize that you know they are there and unlikely to mistake them for a grouse) then a sign saying “hunters/legal gunfire ahead”.
 

granite7

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They post one area that I hunt in Colorado. I thought last year the area was closed to anything but hunting. This year they just posted season dates.
 

dtrkyman

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I believe it was North Carolina somewhere I saw signs stating hunters may be in the woods or something like that.
 

Wmmichael20

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I've seen it in Michigan as well where in the national forest/State game areas that it is open to hunting and all should be wearing orange during season.
 

brsnow

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Hunters responsibility to be aware of recreational users. You can target shoot year round in the mountains, no different in hunting season.
 

Zeke6951

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We had a funny (not haha) incident while archery elk hunting in CO this year. We came out on the road we were parked on, about 200 yards from our truck. As we were walking up the road, bows in hand, to our truck an older couple pulled up beside us and stopped. The driver, a man asked, "Did bow season open today?" I answered actually 2 days ago. The lady then spoke up and said "We will be hiking on this road today, Please Don't Shoot Us." She seemed to seriously think that we might put an arrow in them by accident. What do you say?
 

11boo

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Just remember it's multi use land. Not us vs them....us AND them.
That works both ways. I had some mt biker try and tell me I shouldn’t hunt a particular area because there was a Mt bike trail In there. He got the us AND them speech, still said he was calling LE. Lol.
 

brsnow

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I mountain bike and hike during hunting seasons. I live here and enjoy getting out when it is not my turn to hunt. I do put an orange vest on my dog, he is a black lab and error on the side of caution.
 

IdahoElk

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I avoid those areas like the plague now during hunting season, long time locals are usually cool when you run into them BUT there’s a segment of new residents that are clueless as to what actually goes on out here and don’t mind proving how ignorant they are.
Same people give me grief in the summer when they see me on a trail bike until I tell them the chain saw on the bike is to maintain the trails you’re enjoying.
 

LongWayAround

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Most hikers that I have run into are curious about season dates and such.

I did have one guy tell me his dog was not a deer... Really couldn't tell how serious he was.

A few other people have had that "why do you have to hunt HERE" attitude. That one is a little tough for me to be friendly about.
 

Dos Perros

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Why are signs even needed? Is it more risky for a non-hunter to do non-hunting activities in a hunting area? I'd have to think the incremental risk of getting shot is outweighed by the incremental reduction in risk that if a non-hunter were to experience a serious issue (getting lost, dehydration, hypothermia, other health issues, etc) a hunter might be there to render aid.
 

Rokbar

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WNC
We had a funny (not haha) incident while archery elk hunting in CO this year. We came out on the road we were parked on, about 200 yards from our truck. As we were walking up the road, bows in hand, to our truck an older couple pulled up beside us and stopped. The driver, a man asked, "Did bow season open today?" I answered actually 2 days ago. The lady then spoke up and said "We will be hiking on this road today, Please Don't Shoot Us." She seemed to seriously think that we might put an arrow in them by accident. What do you say?
Should have told her old people are too tough to eat. Besides hiker season doesn't start until January 1!
 

wiiawiwb

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In the mountains
When hiking during hunting season, I always wear a blaze orange hat, fleece, and vest across my backpack when in the woods. I can be spotted by a satellite 20 miles above Earth. Ten years ago, I had a group of hunters lecture me (screaming) that I just spooked a deer and for me to get out of the woods. I was on a well-marked and popular hiking trail.

Clearly, their opinion was no one had the right to be in the woods while they were hunting.

A hiker/backpacker should be prudent and wear blaze orange. A hunter should be prudent and know the woods are mixed use and that an errant shot could potentially injure or kill someone hiking (know your target and what's beyond it).

How can both peacefully, and safely, coexist during hunting season?
 
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