Hiking Safe This Hunting Season

Fall has arrived, the bugs are gone, and the hiking trails are quieter.  This is a beautiful time to be outdoors for hikers AND hunters.   Michigan deer hunting has already started, and regular firearm season is November 15-30.

Here are a few simple steps to help keep you safe outdoors during the hunting season.

Be Informed:  Know when hunting seasons start and end and about particular regulations that affect hunting.  Read up on regulations.  Check Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Be Visible: Wear a blaze-orange hat and vest.  These will increase your visibility in the woods.  Many hunters are out at dusk and dawn, be sure your vest has reflective panels.

Be Heard:  If you hear voices or shots, let your presence be known.  A loud “Hikers on the Trail!” will let everyone be aware of your presence.

Stay on the Trail:  Hunters know to expect people on designated trails, but if you venture far off the beaten track, hunters may assume that those noises in the brush are deer. Stay on the trail and save off trail exploration for another time.

Leash Your Pets and Make Them Visible:  Put a blaze-orange vest on your pet and keep them leashed. If a hunter isn’t following the basic hunter safety of knowing your target and what’s beyond it, a dog running through the brush can be mistaken for game. Hiking with your dog on a leash will keep your dog from wandering off trail.