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View Full Version : Backpacking Options During Hunting Season?



MattC
11-07-2005, 06:23 PM
Okay, I have a friend who has been wanting to get out for a night or two for a while now, but he's been absolutely buried w/ work. Finally, he may be free the weekend of 11/19-20... which is of course, the beginning of rifle season in the Catskills, where we wanted to go. I know all the usual precautions, blaze orange, keep up the chatter, etc. Even w/ the usual precautions I'm not crazy about going for an overnight the first weekend of the season. I haven't completely ruled out the Catskills that weekend, but I'm thinking over some other possibilities.

First, I know there is no hunting in Harriman State Park, so that's a strong possibility. I was just down there for my first time over the weekend, and enjoyed it. I'm also thinking about Fahnestock State Park over in Dutchess County, although I imagine there's hunting there. I'm going to make a phone call or two to find out. Then there's the area covered by the NYNJTC South Taconics map. Does anyone know the season dates for Mass and CT? I looked 'em up on the net and it appears that Mass rifle season starts 11/26, while the CT site had two different dates for "A" and "B" areas.

If we were to hit the Catskills, does anyone have opinions
about areas that might have little hunting use? I was thinking maybe the Overlook Mt./Echo Lake area. Any other ideas for areas within an hour to an hour and a half from the Mid-Hudson Valley?

Matt

una_dogger
11-07-2005, 06:34 PM
Hunting season has never turned me out of the Catskills, such a big area and so heavily hiked. I'd avoid Kanape Brook/Sundown Wilderness and the Colegate Lake area, lots of acorns=lots of deer=good hunting. Probably a few days on the Devil's Path would be OK, I can't see any hunter dragging a deer out of there by choice.
But I do use caution here in Dutchess County during hunting season.
Harriman is OK but very crowded on weekends. I don't think there is hunting in Fahnstock but I'm not 100% sure. If you find out, please post? :p
There is no hunting allowed along the AT corridor. The section between Nuclear Lake NY and Cornwall Bridge CT is very nice walking and the leaves are just grand right now.

In Mass, what about Mt Greylock?

Have a great time
Sabrina

MattC
11-07-2005, 06:47 PM
There is no hunting allowed along the AT corridor.
Sabrina

The entire corridor? The South Taconics area I was thinking of includes an AT section.

I will post if I find out about Fahnestock. Maybe we'll just end up in the Catskills after all. We'll wear blaze orange afro wigs and blow kazoos the whole time we're in the woods. :p

Matt

Chip
11-07-2005, 07:50 PM
There is no hunting allowed along the AT corridor. Sabrina

That's very incorrect, at least in CT. Most of the trail between Cornwall Bridge and Limerock is in State Land where hunting is not only allowed, but encouraged. (think Junior Hunter days and New Hunter/Mentor days)
Most of the trail in CT borders private land where hunting is allowed, as well.
And if you continue west instead of making the north-bound turn to 10 Mile River, you immediately enter a private hunting preserve.

I think the MA suggestions are good ones. Opening day is better avoided in the Catskills.

WCTDave
11-07-2005, 08:50 PM
No hunter worth their salt would ever consider hunting near a hiking trail...but that statement in itself shouldn't be very comforting because there are a lot of worthless hunters...or worse, poachers. But, deer are going to tend to avoid any area regularly traveled by humans, such as a hiking trail...at least during the day. Sunday isn't necessarily a safe option either because you're probably more likely to be involved in an "accident" at the hands of poacher anyway (ie. person hunting illegally).

jjo
11-07-2005, 09:04 PM
Wear lots of orange. Both of you. Be careful..I generally try to avoid the first few days of gun season. Many accidents occurr then.

funkyfreddy
11-07-2005, 09:48 PM
IMHO the beginning of hunting season is a good time to clean house, play some guitar, work some overtime, go to the gym, see a film, play games, drink some beer, watch TV..............I think you get the picture. Maybe Harriman might be OK for a backpack, maybe not as stray bullets don't observe property boundaries. I know the chances are small but all it takes is one, leave the bear costume at home! :)

Matt, you might want to call Josef up and ask him his opinion as their property borders state land in the Catskills.

MattC
11-08-2005, 03:17 AM
Thanks for the feedback all. Normally, I wouldn't even consider going out that weekend. I'll only half considering it as it is, and that's only because my friend is so dying to get out. Last year during hunting season, I stayed in the Gunks, where there is either no hunting or it's only in restricted areas. I'll give the MA option some consideration. WCTDave makes a good point that there may be poachers out, even on Sundays.

Matt

hermit
11-08-2005, 04:06 AM
Don't let hunting season stop any of your hiking. You have more of a chance of getting into a car accident on your way to the trailhead than being shot at. Wear a blaze orange hat or vest. Statistics speak the truth.There will always be a few poor hunters out there , just like drivers. The vast majority are safe , but you only get to read about the bad apples.

Chip
11-08-2005, 10:28 AM
Don't let hunting season stop any of your hiking. You have more of a chance of getting into a car accident on your way to the trailhead than being shot at. Wear a blaze orange hat or vest. Statistics speak the truth.There will always be a few poor hunters out there , just like drivers. The vast majority are safe , but you only get to read about the bad apples.
I agree, but why let concern re. opening day ruin a hike ?

This is the Appalachian Trail Conservancy page re. hunting. (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.795531/k.AE1B/Hunting_and_the_AT.htm)

About half the entire trail is located on land where hunting is allowed.

"Hunting is allowed on or near most of the Appalachian Trail. Hunting has been a traditional use of the land along many sections of the Trail, both on public and private lands, and fishing and hunting groups are among the biggest supporters of protection of public lands.

In sections where hunting is prohibited, hunters on nearby properties may wander near the Trail, not knowing that they are near the Trail. As a practical matter, we cannot post (and maintain) signs at frequent intervals along all the more than 4,000 miles of boundary hunters might cross onto A.T. lands from."

keb
11-08-2005, 01:49 PM
Yeah, I agree with Hermit (partially because I am desperate to get out and that is an open window). That said, I would lean toward the more popular areas and would definitively avoid bushwacking this weekend.
We're considering Harriman as well, but will likely end up in the Cats.

WCTDave
11-08-2005, 09:58 PM
I personally wouldn't hesitate for a second to go out during hunting season myself. I think you'll be fine on any legimate trail in any state/national park. But don't quote me on that.

Peakbagr
11-09-2005, 06:42 AM
Matt,

Pick a trail that climbs steeply right from the trailhead. Once you get up a ways, you'll probably lose almost everyone that might you be concerned about. The clothing and gear for hunting weighs a lot and many hunters will find terrain that is a little easier to navigate.
IMHO, the hunters you encounter in steep terrain are more likely the dedicated ones, and careful to pick out their targets. They are also unlikely to hunt the trail, as they don't want you spooking their quarry.
Like any sport, including hiking, there are those who are irresponsible slobs. The small portion of the hunting population that fits into that category is probably unlikely to want to put in the effort of a steep workout. Anyone high up will probably be real hunters, and you probably won't see them.

jjo
11-09-2005, 11:08 AM
Matt,

Pick a trail that climbs steeply right from the trailhead. Once you get up a ways, you'll probably lose almost everyone that might be concerned about. The clothing and gear for hunting weighs a lot and many hunters will find terrain that is a little easier to navigate.
IMHO, the hunters you encounter in steep terrain are more likely the dedicated ones, and careful to pick out their targets. They are also unlikely to hunt the trail, as they don't want you spooking their quarry.
Like any sport, including hiking, there a those who are irresponsible slobs. The small portion of the hunting population that fits into that category is probably unlikely to want to put in the effort of a steep workout and any you probably won't see the good ones you encouter high up.
Good sensible advice...

una_dogger
11-11-2005, 08:43 PM
Hey all
I may stand very corrected! I used to volunteer for the Dutchess County AT Mgmt committe and we put up lots of signs along the trail here in DC during hunting season stating "no hunting". Perhaps that's only the policy in Dutchess County NY. I should have researched my trail guide for the CT section north of DC before making that call. Its a really nice stretch of trail that's easy to accomplish in a couple of days, though.
Sorry for any confusion or misinformation!!!!
:eek:
Sabrina

post'r boy
11-12-2005, 04:09 AM
wear orange, go anywhere. i do,haven't been shot yet,and most of the time i'm off trail!! :eek: :D :D :D

Snowflea
11-12-2005, 02:46 PM
>>haven't been shot yet,and most of the time i'm off trail!!<<

A nail gun doesn't count?? :D

post'r boy
11-12-2005, 04:28 PM
>>haven't been shot yet,and most of the time i'm off trail!!<<

A nail gun doesn't count?? :D
har dee har har!!! no, a nail gun with an 8 penny ring nail right between the eyes ;)so deep the doctor didn't think i had a nail in my head, note the wink,that's how close it was. :eek: :eek: :D :eek: (more specifically)in the triangle of death, doesn't count!!!! at least not while bushwhackin'!! did i tell you about the time i was shot............ never mind :D :D
p.s. it's all true. hi stinky!!!!!!