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Caches In Hunting Areas?


dkwolf
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A post in another thread brought up the point of wearing blaze orange while caching in the coming months as hunting seasons open up--which is a VERY good idea, especially if you've seen how they hunt around here sometimes (on that thought, not caching for a few months is a viable--and possibly wise--idea)

 

My question is for those who have caches placed in known hunting areas-public access lands specifically. Do you keep your cache active through the seasons and warn people of the activity, or do you temp. disable for a month or so? I ask because one of my caches is placed in a popular hunting area, in fact, my treestand will be set up there in a few weeks. During bow seasons, the risk to cachers is minimal at best; most bowhunters won't take a shot at anything beyond about 40-50 yards. However, it would be very easy to upset a bowhunter who's been in his stand since 5 am if you come aimlessly wandering in and spook a buck he's been waiting for the last two weeks. (I did this on accident to a couple turkey hunters this spring while doing cache maintenance) Now, shotgun season here in Iowa is a completely different story. People frequently hunt in groups, and when a deer kicks up in their line of sight, all hell breaks loose. I will say that I have been in this particular public land area during shotgun season (hunted it the last two years---solo) and I don't think the risk to cachers is real high; where the cache is located is open enough that an individual wearing blaze orange can be seen from all directions, but there is always the possibility of an errant shot.

 

And, there's always the possibility of a bowhunter watching a cacher make the find and then finding & destroying the cache. (remember, we sit way up in trees, and are usually camoflauged quite well; in fact, a fellow hunter had a couple lay down in front of his stand and proceed to....well, you get the idea. Ruined his hunt, but not his day)

 

Anyway, what would you do in this situation? Disable the cache during the seasons, or just add a note to the cache page (which I have done) Cache in question is GCNPR0 River Rapids Lookout

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Interesting enough, I have an iFinder Hunt GPSr. It has hunting areas in detail. I've never thought of turning on that feature until now.

 

Just the other day, I found an orange safety vest. I thought it'd be a great activity cammo. I'd be so noticable, no one would notice me. There I'd be, in bright orange, with a GPSr and a printout in my hand. Kind of looks official when you do it in a public place.

 

Next time I'm in the woods, I'll be sure to bring my vest. Thanks for the reminder.

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Just east of me, in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of caches on public hunting land. They stay active all year round, and most cache owners include on their page a reminder to wear blaze orange and be alert for hunters during the season. Personally, in the fall and winter, any time I'm in the woods I wear a blaze orange hat. Then I don't have to keep track of what's in season when.

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We hava a lot of deer and hunters in PA. For the most part we all coexist. As an event director for numerous Orienteering events held during hunting seasons over the years I have been careful to avoid the early morning hours on Saturdays in Archery season, the entire first day and all Saturdays in the main deer season when setting up our courses to be run on Sundays. The after Christmas archery and black powder seasons are not so popular and anyone that still has not seen a deer by then probably won't hear you or see you either. The land is open for walking and caching on Sundays. Penna Gamelands do have rules that keep cachers and hikers out during the big game seasons except on Sundays. The rules are posted at the entry points. I would not disable the cache even if it is only accessible one day a week.... or perhaps a hunter like me would even take a break from the treestand and log in.

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I have a good number of caches on land where hunting is allowed. On those pages I advise seekers not to wear suede jackets, white fanny packs and not to tie branches to their heads.

 

Seriously, I use this icon on my cache pages where hunting is allowed:

 

hunting.gifHunting in area - Use caution!!

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I don't expect others to, but I usually like to disable my Northern Michigan hides for the fifteen day hunting season or at least give stern warnings in the cache page or in a post. I just don't want anybody getting seriously hurt or killed finding my caches during hunting season. That's just me and I don't expect any of the neighboring caches to be disabled with them. It would just get on my consious if I didn't give some serious warnings.

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All but one of my caches are placed in state game lands. Being a hunter I enjoy the outdoors and if I am not having any luck hunting at least I can find a cache or conduct a maint. visit. I inform on the cache listing that the area is in a state game land and to follow the regulations and use caution during hunting season. None of these caches are easy park & cache types, they all involve a short hike so the seeker will have to invest a little time to get the cache. I have and will keep all of my caches active through hunting season, if you are going after a geocache you do so by your choice, plus you will get the critters moving for me. Deer season is not the only open hunting season, check your local regulations if you are concerned before you go out.

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don't expect others to, but I usually like to disable my Northern Michigan hides for the fifteen day hunting season or at least give stern warnings in the cache page or in a post.

 

The problem in most areas is that hunting season lasts all or most of the year. In NJ there is hunting 7 months out of the year. Shotgun deer season is only a week (or two I forget), but they also have bow season, black powder season, doe season and that's just for deer. There are also small game, woodchuck, upland bird, waterfowl, migratory bird, turkey and bear (in some years) seasons.

 

Most people equate hunting season with deer season. In reality most state's hunting seasons go far beyond just deer season.

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Here in northern MN, most cachers are locals and well aware of the dangers, besides, every male out of diapers has blaze orange on up here from September to December, whether sitting in the deer stand or going to the dentist--you'd have to be completely oblivious to not know something was up.

 

Up here you can use rifles for deer hunting which puts cachers at a higher risk.

 

I usually won't cache (or do anything else in the woods) where rifle hunting is allowed during deer season. Occasionally I'll break that rule, but I wear lots of orange and never take my wife or son.

 

dkwolf is right, bowhunters can be VERY well camoflaged. I have walked RIGHT up to guys in the woods before realizing I was about to bump into them. Incredible.

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don't expect others to, but I usually like to disable my Northern Michigan hides for the fifteen day hunting season or at least give stern warnings in the cache page or in a post.

 

The problem in most areas is that hunting season lasts all or most of the year. In NJ there is hunting 7 months out of the year. Shotgun deer season is only a week (or two I forget), but they also have bow season, black powder season, doe season and that's just for deer. There are also small game, woodchuck, upland bird, waterfowl, migratory bird, turkey and bear (in some years) seasons.

 

Most people equate hunting season with deer season. In reality most state's hunting seasons go far beyond just deer season.

Agreed, here in Iowa, you can hunt for something literally 365 days a year, but really, deer slug season is the only season that you see guys getting 'buck fever'. Virtually every other form of hunting around here typically involves moving very slowly or remaining stationary in the woods, concentrating on getting as close to the game as possible, and usually only firing one shot. Shotgun slug season, on the other hand, sounds like WWIII is breaking out across the county. I've honestly heard 30-40 shot volleys--at one or two deer. Figure that your standard shotgun holds 5 rounds, that's 6-8 hunters emptying their shotguns at one or two deer....

 

<....stopping now before I launch into my anti party-hunting tyrade....>

 

Anyway, I think I'll likely temp. disable the cache, at the very least for the two shotgun seasons, and leave the note on the cache page to abort the search if there is a truck or any other sign of hunters present during the deer seasons.

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I grew up in upstate ny in the country after hearing some of the stories about what the city foke shot thinking iw was a dear I usaly avoid hunting areas durnig deer season. But thats just me I think the best thing to do as a cache owner is to make shure to post on the page that its in a hunting area and let the hunter make his own choice on if he wants to go for it.

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Nearly all my caching are in areas with hunting. On most of them I post the actual hunt schedule ( I have caches in 7 different management areas with 7 different hunt schedules):

Citrus Hunt 2005-06 ARCHERY: November 12 through December 4. MUZZLELOADING GUN: December 10 - 11 and December 31 through January 1. GENERAL GUN: December 17 - 18 and January 7 - 8. SMALL GAME: January 9 through March 5.

 

Some of the hunt schedules are so complicated that I've just given up and post a link to the schedule. I also use the hunting attribute. Personally I stay out of the woods on the opening and closing weekends of the General Hunt (deer - guns) and the swamps for the whole 10 days AFTER deer and hog, as the hunters use dogs and spend the next 2 weekends finding them.

 

I found cheap plastic orange vests ($1) and drop them here and there in my caches. For some reason folks tend to ignore small game season and Spring Turkey. I often get "took vest!" logs from folks who hear gunshots while caching.

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Just putting in my two cents......

Most of the public land that we go caching on....Was purchased with Hunters dollars (License fees and Pittman-Robertson act dollars) So next time you go cacheing on W.M.A's, State Game Lands or whatever your state calls it....Thank a hunter!

trail hound--

 

Thank you for bringing up this point, it's one of those things I take for granted. The same goes for much of the wildlife people take for granted--they would not be here, or would not be around with the quality of herd (flock, whathaveyou) without the efforts of hunters. A little known fact is that the two largest lobbying organizations when it comes time to write a new farm bill are Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.

 

It probably also is worth mentioning that should you encounter a hunter in the woods, despite what your personal convitions regarding hunting is, do NOT interfere with the hunter in any way. Many states, this is in fact illegal and could land you a nice fine, as well as seriously tarnish the reputation of geocaching among a very prolific outdoors group.

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It probably also is worth mentioning that should you encounter a hunter in the woods, despite what your personal convitions regarding hunting is, do NOT interfere with the hunter in any way.  Many states, this is in fact illegal and could land you a nice fine, as well as seriously tarnish the reputation of geocaching among a very prolific outdoors group.

Besides the fact that most hunters carry guns. ;)

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Just putting in my two cents......

Most of the public land that we go caching on....Was purchased with Hunters dollars (License fees and Pittman-Robertson act dollars)  So next time you go cacheing on W.M.A's, State Game Lands or whatever your state calls it....Thank a hunter!

trail hound--

 

Thank you for bringing up this point, it's one of those things I take for granted. The same goes for much of the wildlife people take for granted--they would not be here, or would not be around with the quality of herd (flock, whathaveyou) without the efforts of hunters. A little known fact is that the two largest lobbying organizations when it comes time to write a new farm bill are Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.

 

It probably also is worth mentioning that should you encounter a hunter in the woods, despite what your personal convitions regarding hunting is, do NOT interfere with the hunter in any way. Many states, this is in fact illegal and could land you a nice fine, as well as seriously tarnish the reputation of geocaching among a very prolific outdoors group.

It is also probably worth mentioning that trespassing is a crime also. First off I have met some very responsible hunters who abide in the law but in the area I live which is mostly forest and private land there is an increasing number yearly of hunters who show no concern for trespassing on private land well marked. In the last few years many property owners here have had to resort to private patrols of their own property due to this increasing problem. I am not against hunting, but people's property being turned into a war zone each year by irresponsible hunters who have no regard for the safety of human life needs to be addressed as well. We have seen a big increase of intoxicated hunters which frankly are a danger to us all. And let us also rememeber that taxpayers have paid for most of the state and federal lands in the U.S. not just hunters. Every citizen has the right to use these lands and responsiblity is the key and respecting the rights of private property owners as well. Hunting season (fall) is also the perfect season for geocaching, especially in the woods and no one should have to fear for their safety in doing so.

Edited by Frankyguy
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There are alot of caches in PA on state game lands, some of the best hikes are found there. Be aware that wearing orange in PA during hunting season is not an option, you must have 250 square inches of hunter orange on you, per their regulations. When i take dog in the gamelands during hunting season, i also put orange on them too.

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It is also probably worth mentioning that trespassing is a crime also. First off I have met some very responsible hunters who abide in the law but in the area I live which is mostly forest and private land there is an increasing number yearly of hunters who show no concern for trespassing on private land well marked. In the last few years many property owners here have had to resort to private patrols of their own property due to this increasing problem. I am not against hunting, but people's property being turned into a war zone each year by irresponsible hunters who have no regard for the safety of human life needs to be addressed as well. We have seen a big increase of intoxicated hunters which frankly are a danger to us all. And let us also rememeber that taxpayers have paid for most of the state and federal lands in the U.S. not just hunters. Every citizen has the right to use these lands and responsiblity is the key and respecting the rights of private property owners as well. Hunting season (fall) is also the perfect season for geocaching, especially in the woods and no one should have to fear for their safety in doing so.

You're painting with a pretty wide brush there--virtually every group of people that do anything in the outdoors has a few members guilty of every vice you listed. NOT that I'm condoning it; you should always respect private land, and NEVER mix guns and alcohol. But, the morons that do, as you have demonstrated, give the rest of us a bad name. And trust me, more money went into the purchase of that state land from hunters/fishers than the average taxpayer than you might think. And especially the state and county lands, without the money raised from license sales and taxes on guns and such, MANY of them would be closed and sold back to private domain. Here in Iowa, the DNR budget comes almost exclusively from these very sales.

 

Anyway, this is starting to get a little off topic...

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