View Full Version : Deer Hunting Season Precautions

12-03-2004, 07:27 PM
I know it's deer hunting season here in MA and all, but what lands are open... So basically, I'd like to know whether I'd be crazy to go for a sunrise hike on Pine Cobble in Williamstown, MA. Does Anyone know if hunting takes place there? I know that nearby Hopkins Forest is officially closed for the hunting season, but what about this area?



12-03-2004, 08:28 PM
if it isn't a wildlife refugue thats closed to hunting. or even a state forest thats closed to hunting. rest assured there will be hunters. but i wouldn't let that stop you. just take precuations like wear some orange for your own safety.

12-04-2004, 05:15 AM
FYI - there is no hunting on Sundays in MA.

12-06-2004, 08:14 AM
No hunting on Sundays in Maine, either. The wildlife get the day off.

12-06-2004, 09:27 AM
Regular deer season for the northern zone in NY (Adirondacks) ended on Sunday. The southern zone ends on Dec. 14. Keep in mind that muzzleloading season ends on Dec. 12 for parts of the northern zone and on Dec. 21 for southern zone.

12-06-2004, 10:00 AM
I feel the key to your question is "sunrise" hike. Its fairly safe to share the woods with hunters during daylight, whether you wear safety orange or not. If you're planning to start in the dark or in dim early morning light, I'd advise against it. Many hunters go into the woods by flashlight so they are settled-in and quiet for quite a while before first light. They do this knowing that deer move from their evening feeding spots to where they will rest for the day. The same happens late in the afternoon, just before its too dark to see.

A hiker walking in the woods in thin light could be mistaken for a deer by an too-eager hunter who only sees movement of a large animal. Orange clothing is of little use in very dim light. You'd be OK to leave the trailhead in full darkness, use a headlamp or flashlight, and be sure to be at your objective and not moving around BEFORE there is any light in the woods.

Mr. X
12-06-2004, 02:27 PM
Good advise Peakbagr, i was up north hunting this weekend. Closed up regular season good, but bagged nothing. I was thinking of you VFtt'rs alot, keeping my eye out for people etc.

12-06-2004, 02:28 PM
A couple additional guidelines I practice when hiking during hunting season.

Avoid popular hunting areas ... i.e. where the game is apt to be. Open areas such as small clearcuts offer forage for deer and a hunter would likely be waiting there. If passing an area like this it is preferable to pass well down wind ... that is most likely where the hunter will be waiting ... avoid passing through the no mans land between the hunter and the field.

Other popular feeding areas include flood plains. A hunter will often stalk from the elbow side of a stream where the vantage point up and down stream is best.

Smaller game such as predators often approach their prey from the downwind side, too, and after triangulating the position, say, of prey in distress (their easiest target) close in via low lying swales or tall grass. Avoid this kind of route if it is season for coyotes, foxes, bobcats.

Hunters have access to some remote areas by ATVs which can then be used to haul out their kill so be careful how you interpret the rule of thumb about hunters not going in too far from the road.

Play it safe. Accidents happen. Ask any dairy farmer how many cows he lost over the years to some flatlander that couldn't tell the difference! In general, I avoid likely hunting areas in favor of more popular areas that time of year. Better yet, coach soccer!

Though I'm not a hunter I do respect the tradition and I do love wild game ... properly dressed of course. It is enjoyable to learn about good hunting technique and the lessons apply equally to those who shoot with cameras.

12-06-2004, 08:41 PM
No hunting on Sundays in Maine, either. The wildlife get the day off.

Same in New Jersey - no Sunday hunting!