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Thread: Hiking during hunting season ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    Hiking during hunting season ?

    Is hunting in the WHITE MTS. allowed near the hiking trails? Is it necessary to wear “hunter orange “ during the season? I’d like to know just to be sure. Especially around the 4000 footers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Yes it is permitted, and blaze orange is necessary. However, most deer hunters do not stray much beyond a mile away from roads due the the difficulty of getting their kill out of the woods. The best deer hunting takes place in relatively.
    lower elevations due to the lack of food higher up. Here in Maine many wear blaze orange all during "rifle" season, even when working in our yards when woods are nearby.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/09/u...-in-maine.html
    https://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/...ved-in-hebron/
    http://outthere.bangordailynews.com/...n-maine-woods/
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...OLI/story.html

  3. #3
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    Hike on the Maine side of the WMNF and there is no hunting on Sunday. Many local hikers head to the woods on Sunday. NH does not have that exclusion.

    Blaze orange and not dressing like a deer is definitely recommended. Hunters tend to look for white flashes so wearing white is not recommended. Blaze orange ups your visibility substantially.

    As mentioned hunters tend to stay near roads to make hauling the carcass out easier. That said some trails skirt by logging roads well in from the main road so its important to have the blaze orange as you drop down in elevation. Most hunting activity is in the early morning or late afternoon around dark including 1/2 hour after sunset. Some folks may tend to take riskier shots during civil twilight so if you are concerned many LED headlamps have flash mode that will up you visibility further.

    In Maine and NH the presumption is that a person can hunt anywhere that isnt posted specifically against hunting. There are some game preserves most notably much of Baxter State Park but they tend to get a lot of hunting pressure in the surrounding lands outside the boundary. The reality of the deer herd is the biggest herd is in Southern Maine and in south to central NH. The deer up north are far lower density and therefore there are fewer hunters. Thus 4K hikes in the whites are probably low risk.

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    Make sure to check out the open seasons on the states' webpages. Generally speaking, the season starts with archery and muzzle loader and progresses to rifle season in December. So IMO the risk increases as the season progresses. I start by wearing a blaze orange panel on my pack and a blaze orange hat as early as October 1, then add an orange jacket around Halloween. I reverse this trend after new year.

    I'm just as amazed to see hikers and mountain bikers with no orange clothing during hunting season as others are to see completely unprepared hikers in the Presidentials in summer.
    Steve H.
    NH4000 1976-1984
    NE4000 1984-1991

  5. #5
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Firearms (NH) for deer is 11/14 thru 12/9, FYI

    Archery: September 15 - December 15, 2018 (closes December 8 in WMU A)
    Muzzleloader: November 3 - November 13, 2018 Statewide
    Firearms: November 14 - December 9, 2018 (closes December 2, 2018 in WMU A)
    Youth Deer Weekend: October 27 - 28, 2018
    Opening day for regular firearms is November 14, 2018.

    https://wildlife.state.nh.us/hunting/deer-wmu.html

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Yeah, to say nothing of the spring hunting seasons. It's best to assume there are hunters in the woods all the time.
    Tom Rankin
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  7. #7
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    "Near" the trails? Yes. WMNF rules prohibit firing guns "on or across" the trails, and also within 150 yards of a campsite or road. State park rules say no firing within 150 feet of trails. In practice, since trails curve and bullets can travel far, hunters generally turn their backs to the trail and then walk well out of sight (preferably over a small rise) before taking up a position. There are always a few, though, who are less adept at thinking ahead. In Maine a couple years ago the trail took me alongside a clearing. At the edge of the clearing, with his back to the trail, was a hunter waiting patiently for twilight and deer. After passing the clearing, the trail crossed a logging road. Looking down the road, I saw the hunter's truck. His firing position had him aiming straight towards it.

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    The concern is not the vast majority of law abiding hunters. The concern is not getting shot by those breaking the laws. I still remember hiking the Eagle Mountain Path in Jackson years ago and startling a hunter still out there at dusk, wearing a red sweatshirt instead of having any orange, and not knowing or caring that he was on a hiking trail.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    We were heading to a whack off Nash Stream Rd. We saw a couple guys that looked like they just jumped off the a screen playing The Deliverance. Glad they were coming out and not in there locked and loaded while we were on the whack.
    Joe

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    We were heading to a whack off Nash Stream Rd. We saw a couple guys that looked like they just jumped off the a screen playing The Deliverance. Glad they were coming out and not in there locked and loaded while we were on the whack.
    You'd think the banjo would scare off the deer.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    You'd think the banjo would scare off the deer.
    I happen to wear camo under ware. Do they sell that in the flatlands?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  12. #12
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    We saw a couple guys that looked like they just jumped off the a screen playing The Deliverance. Glad they were coming out and not in there locked and loaded while we were on the whack.
    Those guys were probably cooking meth. Not to worry!

    cb
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    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  13. #13
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I happen to wear camo under ware. Do they sell that in the flatlands?
    Well, one can always get it delivered: https://www.amazon.com/Mossy-Oak-Men.../dp/B00MFBVYC0
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  14. #14
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    Not sure if the last few posts are particularly productive. Its going back on a stereotype from years past. Sort of like all hikers are hippies.Its easy to set up the us versus them attitude but like it or not hunters fill the niche that predators used to fill and due to unnatural development patterns introduced by people there are some major imbalances in the animal population that are partially offset by hunters. There some pretty good research that whitetail deer are substantially changing the woods due to overpopulation and who can forget that there is a very direct link between deer populations and Lyme Disease. Deer and hunters do not tend to be a big issue in the majority of the whites although the Lakes region and the WOC area of the Whites do have more of population. I have never been a hunter but the ones I know are responsible folks who like to get outdoors and appreciate the woods. As there are irresponsible hikers there are irresponsible hunters.

    To link up with a recent thread, hunters and fisherman contribute heavily towards Fish and Game. Without their license fees there wouldn't be a professional rescue service available to do the S&Rs. Various federal taxes on hunting supplies are routed back to the state for land conservation and non game animal research. Although I hike year round, the vast majority of hunting in the whites tends to be in the "shoulder season" when there are far less hikers in the woods. I also realize that the vast majority of hunting tends to be near roads so they tend to be an issue for only the beginning and end of a hike. I expect that a lot of the animus between hikers and hunters are firearms. I was exposed to firearms when I was young a realize the sound carries for much farther then the bullet does. For someone not familiar with this, they tend vastly overestimate the risk associated when they hear a shot in the woods.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-16-2018 at 06:07 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    I have no problem with people hunting for food. I am the beneficiary some some frozen venison right now actually. I don't know if I know anyone who is against hunting - in my experience any issue with it is expressed as a personal preference (e.g. 'I don't hunt', or 'I couldn't kill a deer'). I'm pretty sure if push came to shove most people would kill a deer in lieu of staving to death. While hunger might not be an issue for most people (though it's definitely a societal problem), the environmental piece is also quite important. The deer population needs culling by some means. Hunting seems like a fair solution.

    Anyone familiar with the carbon footprint of a deer vs cow (on a per pound of meat basis)? A quick googling didn't give me any obvious answers.
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