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Hunter etiqutte (meaning the kind with guns)


Vartan84
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I am sure a question has been asked about this in the past, but since the words like "hunter" are so common here on the geocaching board it is too hard to find it via the search. I'd like to give my personal experience from today and see what everyone thinks.

There is a small colonial cemetery in the woods of a state park which I have been wanting to find for years, and turns out a cache is there which I have been eagerly awaiting to do. A friend was in town who had never cached so we went and found our way to ground zero. We made it to GZ and I started to enjoy reading the signs and graves when suddenly we started hearing a thick barrage of cursing. I looked up to see a hunter up in a tree about 20 feet away and he was absolutely livid. In between f-words we could hear him whisper-yelling that he had been out there for 7 and a half hours trying a shoot deer (no idea if he had ever gotten one or not). That's the only part I actually understood because he was essentially screaming in a whisper, but assume the rest of it was how we were ruining it/scaring off deer/whatever with our presence and the leaves crunching under our feet. The guy was holding a crossbow so we retreated, but were really angry to have gone all that way to have this guy chase us away.

My question is what is caching etiquette in regards to hunters, I mean real hunters with guns, not geohunters. On our way to the cache we saw signs saying we were in "SAFE" zones where hunters were not allowed, but presumably the cache itself was in an area of the park where hunting is allowed.

I have never hunted but I felt that as we were in a state park we had the right to be there as much as that hunter. I don't think he had the right to chase us off like that, and of course the fact he started cursing at us without talking anything over with us or anything, just jumped right into livid mode, is beside the point. I know he was wrong there, but my question is do hunters with guns have some sort of extra right which trumps geocachers right to find caches in the same park at that time? Of course if you are just fooling around there or purposely trying to scare off the deer that's one thing, but we were just trying to be in and out.

We decided a few minutes later to make another attempt at GZ, unfortunately I couldn't remember the clue to make it quick. We walked around for a couple minutes searching as quietly as we could, but the hunter was still up there in the tree cursing again. This time he got out a cell phone and called someone (a hunting partner we think) cursing profusely about the kids who were walking around below ruining everything. The sun was about to set and so frankly he should have been wrapping things up anyway. We decided the barraging of quiet curses was just not worth it and had to give up on the geocache, also seeing as he had a crossbow, was furious, and rather unhinged we didn't want to stay around to see what he might do with it. We got back to our car after the sun had set to see at least 6 deer around our car in the parking lot. Serves him right, the hunter didn't deserve to have them.

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In some states, it is illegal to harass hunters. Whether or not you were harassing him in the eyes of the law, is not for me to say.

 

Personally, If it had been me, as soon as I saw the hunter, I would have left immediately. Some people geocache in the woods, others ride mountain bikes, and others hunt. We all have to share, and deer season is only a couple weeks.

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Let's see. I am armed with a GPS and they are armed with a weapon intended to kill a large animal.

 

I say it's no contest.

 

On a similar note. Today I went to do some cache maintenance on one of my caches and when I was done and about to get back on the trail, I saw a pair of hunters coming up the trail. If I had known they were down there, I wouldn't have done the maintenance today.

 

You see, my theory is that hunting goes hand in hand with heavy drinking. A human can be, and has been, mistaken for a deer or even elk. When it comes right down to it, the hunter would be wrong to shoot you but it won't matter if he is a good shot and you are dead.

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I am sure a question has been asked about this in the past, but since the words like "hunter" are so common here on the geocaching board it is too hard to find it via the search. I'd like to give my personal experience from today and see what everyone thinks.

There is a small colonial cemetery in the woods of a state park which I have been wanting to find for years, and turns out a cache is there which I have been eagerly awaiting to do. A friend was in town who had never cached so we went and found our way to ground zero. We made it to GZ and I started to enjoy reading the signs and graves when suddenly we started hearing a thick barrage of cursing. I looked up to see a hunter up in a tree about 20 feet away and he was absolutely livid. In between f-words we could hear him whisper-yelling that he had been out there for 7 and a half hours trying a shoot deer (no idea if he had ever gotten one or not). That's the only part I actually understood because he was essentially screaming in a whisper, but assume the rest of it was how we were ruining it/scaring off deer/whatever with our presence and the leaves crunching under our feet. The guy was holding a crossbow so we retreated, but were really angry to have gone all that way to have this guy chase us away.

My question is what is caching etiquette in regards to hunters, I mean real hunters with guns, not geohunters. On our way to the cache we saw signs saying we were in "SAFE" zones where hunters were not allowed, but presumably the cache itself was in an area of the park where hunting is allowed.

I have never hunted but I felt that as we were in a state park we had the right to be there as much as that hunter. I don't think he had the right to chase us off like that, and of course the fact he started cursing at us without talking anything over with us or anything, just jumped right into livid mode, is beside the point. I know he was wrong there, but my question is do hunters with guns have some sort of extra right which trumps geocachers right to find caches in the same park at that time? Of course if you are just fooling around there or purposely trying to scare off the deer that's one thing, but we were just trying to be in and out.

We decided a few minutes later to make another attempt at GZ, unfortunately I couldn't remember the clue to make it quick. We walked around for a couple minutes searching as quietly as we could, but the hunter was still up there in the tree cursing again. This time he got out a cell phone and called someone (a hunting partner we think) cursing profusely about the kids who were walking around below ruining everything. The sun was about to set and so frankly he should have been wrapping things up anyway. We decided the barraging of quiet curses was just not worth it and had to give up on the geocache, also seeing as he had a crossbow, was furious, and rather unhinged we didn't want to stay around to see what he might do with it. We got back to our car after the sun had set to see at least 6 deer around our car in the parking lot. Serves him right, the hunter didn't deserve to have them.

Don't know the laws in PA, here in Michigan you have as much right to be in a state park during hunting season as a hunter.

The etiquette during hunting season around here is to wear safety orange and not make a spectacle of yourself.

A family with noisy kids, wile rude, is fine.

Single person hooting and hollering is breaking the law and asking for jail and or a fine.

 

In regards to the bold. Is that PA law or your assumption?

In Michigan the hunting hours for deer are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

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I bet there are lots of stories among hunters of other hunters getting in the way just as you did. what was to stop another hunter from walking through the woods in the same place not realizing they were disturbing this guy? perhaps stopping to eat lunch in that very place? So, I wouldn't label yourself as a geocacher in this case. you were just another human in the woods.

 

I, personally, don't hunt but respect the sport. I would therefor avoid certain areas in November (hunting season). Too bad, since right now is a beautiful time to be in the woods with all the colors on the leaves. Good thing I hike in a big state park (harriman, ny) that does not allow hunting.

 

BTW, I just remembered, aren't there some caches in tree stands? they make for good 4 and 5 star terrain caches. I've never done one but I've read a cache page or two. Wonder if they are off limits in November, right? Imagine you wanted to climb into the stand with him to get to a cache! (here it is in NY: GC1QVJZ)

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do hunters with guns have some sort of extra right which trumps geocachers right to find caches in the same park at that time?

 

Does hunting season mean everyone else keep out in your area?

Personally, I don't consider hiding up in a tree until a deer passes by as 'Hunting', but that's just me.

Perhaps the 'hunter' should have done a bit more research and chosen a location not close to a Geocache?

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in BC i belive it is a hour before and a hour after sun set. And two weeks before the season opens is generally open for bow season only and there are areas that are foe shootgun and bow only(these are areas were there are morelikly to be people but still far from town and the shootgun and bow have a very limited range compared to a rifle

unfortunitly i can somewhat understand the hunter 7 hours is a long time to sit in a tree and the best times for hunting are right before dawn and right after. as for the etiqutte.... you got me on that one i like to do both, and if i were sitting i a tree for 7 hours waiting not only for a deer to come by but for just for everything to settle down from setting up the tree stand i would be very upset..

But i would also be very upset to make a trip to get a cache with a friend to get yelled at by a guy in a tree with a crossbow

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I'm a hunter in Maryland. By a look at your profile, it appears that you are caching in Pennsylvania. I've never hunted in PA, but I'll do my best to give good advice. Be advised that I'm not a lawyer, and this is just my opinion, not definite legal advice. To be sure, ask a lawyer or game warden.

 

Most states have a law that prevents interference in hunting activities. In PA, the applicable statute is found here: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.as...p;q=151077#2302

 

Briefly, it appears that you are entitled to cache just as much as a hunter is allowed to hunt. The law is intended to prevent people from intentionally interfering with legal hunting. If you're doing your thing without intending to disrupt his hunt, he has to allow you to do it.

 

The guy in the tree should have held his tongue and waited for you to leave. He was just being an inconsiderate jerk. I can understand that he paid for a license and has limited time to hunt. Even so, hunting should teach patience, which this guy clearly lacked.

 

Next time, tell him that you have as much right to do what you are doing as he has to do what he's doing, and that you'll be gone in a few minutes. That should work. Remind him that you're not trying to interfere with his hunt, what you are doing is legal, and sometimes we have to share public resources.

 

BTW: Hunting is (mostly) prohibited on Sundays in PA. You might have less trouble then. I also recommend checking the schedule: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.as...60&q=161003 and avoiding caching on the first day of any given deer season. Things can be a little crazy at those times. The worst hunters come out of the woodwork. They're often stupid, ignorant, intoxicated, and will shoot at anything that moves. Maryland actually prohibits any hunting but deer hunting on the first day of deer season, because of the problems it creates.

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I will tell you a true storey.

 

My bro. and I were young kids (17 and 15). We had driven the 3 hours out to our hunting area 2 weeks before to scout and set up our tree stands for bow hunting. After spending hours setting up the home made ladder, pacing out ranges, installing the stands, analyzing the wind etc. we were sure we would have success once the season started. First week of bow season, we again drove out the the area, spend a day setting up camp a couple of miles away. First day we hike in to the tree stands before dawn and get ready. Then just as the sun comes up, a huge crew of power company workers arrive, and start installing a new power line about 75 yards from our trees. And that about did it for our tree stands for the week.

 

The point of the storey is, that as a hunter, there are many unexpected problems, and you have to adapt to them as they arrive.

 

As for the legal, it varies from one jurisdiction to the next, so you may need to get legal advice. Generally, in Canada at least, hunting in parks is prohibited anyway. On public land (we call it Crown land), everyone has the same rites to use the land. Because safety is really the most important issue, during hunting season, you should probably wear bright orange jacket when out in hunting type areas.

 

PS most jurisdictions prohibit the use of firearms while intoxicated. In all the hunting that I have done, I have never seen a hunter drunk during the day, only at night after hunting is finished for the day.

Edited by Andronicus
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Rather than think of this as wether geocachers or hunters have more rights, how about asking yourself how you would respond to a livid, yelling, cussing, unarmed muggle. Like most people, I would leave and come back later. Yes he was rude, but it doesn't sound like he threatened you in any way. This is the same as any other unfortunate encounter with a park visitors who feel like they are both being interupted.

 

By the way, if it was light enough to cache without a flashlight, it was prime legal hunting time. So no, he shouldn't have been leaving at that time.

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Now that you're aware that some caches are hidden in areas where there is hunting, I'd say proper etiquette is to limit your visits to those places to midday during the hunt season (and preferably midweek, if that's an option for you). Proper etiquette for the cache owner would be to use the Hunting Attribute.

 

The best hunt times for many game animals are at dawn and dusk. Hunters have a very limited number of days, especially weekend days to hunt. I try to let them have that time, undisturbed.

 

That said, you may have as much right to be using the land as the hunter. Your guy was rude, and would have been better served to shut up and wait for you to leave.

I say "may have" as in my part of the world there are some large tracts of land where access is limited to hunters with permits through the hunting season ( hikers through-hiking the Florida trail allowed to continue on the their hikes.) No other access during those special permit seasons.

 

Most public property here (Florida) remains opened to all users through the hunts, with a recommendation to wear 500 square inches of blaze orange if it the woods, especially during the General Gun hunt (deer, hogs).

 

I remember a log coming in on a cache of mine, the cacher was SHOCKED to encounter a hunter in a stand near the cache on a Sunday. There's no local restriction on hunting on Sunday, and the use of dog packs is legal for hogs and in some areas, for deer. The packs are a real hazard, especially late in the season, or the week after. Lost and hungry.

Get to your state's website for hunting regulation and find out what's up locally.

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Mostly just echoing sentiment:

 

Hunters are people. Some people are jerks. You've met one. Move on. For the most part, you have as much right to use the woods as the hunters do. However, I tend to extend them every possible courtesy, as their time is very limited. If I believe a hunter is in the woods near a cache, I'll waive off that hunt and come back another day. If I'm in an area where hunting is legal, but I don't see any immediate indicators that hunters are present, I'll step softly, scanning the likely stand locations. If I see a hunter, I'll give him/her a wave and back away, sending them a silent "Good Luck" for their troubles.

 

Post script: Equating hunting with heavy alcohol consumption is asinine.

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Mostly just echoing sentiment:

 

Hunters are people. Some people are jerks. You've met one. Move on. For the most part, you have as much right to use the woods as the hunters do. However, I tend to extend them every possible courtesy, as their time is very limited. If I believe a hunter is in the woods near a cache, I'll waive off that hunt and come back another day. If I'm in an area where hunting is legal, but I don't see any immediate indicators that hunters are present, I'll step softly, scanning the likely stand locations. If I see a hunter, I'll give him/her a wave and back away, sending them a silent "Good Luck" for their troubles.

 

Post script: Equating hunting with heavy alcohol consumption is asinine.

 

That pretty much echos my sentiments. I was actually geocaching yesterday in an area where there was a lot of hunting activity. At one point I heard gun shots, at least one a minute, off deeper in the woods. Almost all of the caches I found were near seasonal roads, the same roads that hunters were driving on to get into the woods, so I suspect that my activity wasn't any more disturbing than when other hunters were parking their vehicles and headed off into the woods. At one point I did DNF a cache that was located close to where some people had set up camp. They had a nice campfire going so it didn't look like they'd be leaving the area anytime soon.

 

In general, when walking through the woods, wheither on trail or off I try to be quiet so that if I do encounter someone else my presence won't disturb the "wilderness experience" that others are trying to enjoy. I can understand the hunters reaction a bit as although I don't hunt, I have quietly talked a large trout in a pool so that I could get one or two casts and had a bunch of people come barreling up to the pool. talking loudly, and spook the fish.

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I agree that the hunter was rude but would like to address another part of your post.

 

You decided to go back and hunt the cache a few minutes later??????????

You have a pissed off hunter watching you and you think it is a good idea to find the cache? If you had found it and he saw you, that cache wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds after he got down from the tree, and you would have created an animosity that would have extended to every cache this guy ever comes across. There are times when no matter how much in the right you are the proper response to a situation is to walk away.

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I agree that the hunter was rude but would like to address another part of your post.

 

You decided to go back and hunt the cache a few minutes later??????????

You have a pissed off hunter watching you and you think it is a good idea to find the cache? If you had found it and he saw you, that cache wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds after he got down from the tree, and you would have created an animosity that would have extended to every cache this guy ever comes across. There are times when no matter how much in the right you are the proper response to a situation is to walk away.

 

Tell me about it.

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Living in a State where kids have off from school the first day of deer season, you need a little common sense...

 

In PA game lands, we usually temp archive our caches during the VERY busy rifle deer season (just a few weeks) and ask that folks use common sense during the others.

Game lands are paid for with Hunter's license fees and NOT by the State. Caching is an "other" use in them.

At nearly all parking areas, there's signs telling you to wear blaze orange - for a reason.

 

Most PA State parks where hunting is allowed will have "safety zone" signs for those areas where hunters can't go. These areas are usually near cemetaries, historic structures, or other spots where the public would congregate.

Before you head into the woods, take a little time to read the signs - they could save your bacon.

 

CJ and I usually hunt WHILE caching in areas that allow hunting. We not only get to grab a cache and enjoy this perfect part of the year to be outdoors, but "might" have a little something for the table later. :huh:

 

Try to have SOMETHING that's blaze orange on you (cheapy blaze "CITO" vests are great) when out during the big-game times. Go to the PA Game Commissions's website if you're unsure of dates.

Cache safe.

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When I'm in any public or state park, I know that I have just as much right to be there as anyone else in the park. Yes, the hunter paid his hunting fee to be in the park, but I paid my fee to get into that state park too. I do avoid the woods during the nine-day gun hunt, but the rest of the year, especially the fall, I love hunting caches in the woods. On a side note, I'm surprised how many gun hunters I see in areas during non-hunting season. The last one I ran into said he was just looking for a place to set up a duck blind. Did he really need full camo and his gun for that? It was, afterall, a good two months before the season started...

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As a hunter myself, I'm sorry that your encounter with one of my brethren was such an unpleasant experience. Hunters like him give hunting a bad name, just as some bad apples give geocaching a bad name

 

I think it's important for cachers outside of urban areas to be aware of hunting seasons and rules. Here in North Carolina, for example, there is no hunting on Sunday. So if I'm going to look for a cache that's on gameland, I'll generally go on Sunday afternoon.

 

"Hunting season" varies by area and by game animal... deer season is only a few weeks, but rabbit hunting goes until late February. And there's turkey hunting in the spring. Again, you need to know the rules in YOUR area.

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The hunting group is a lot larger than the geocaching group. If geocaching starts to be a problem in an area, then at least a couple of things can happen.

 

One: A hunter can simply watch to see what's going on or otherwise figure it out. In the overall scheme of things $30 would be a trivial amount to pay for the ability to download all of the caches in the area to clean them out. The actions of a few just created a maggot.

 

Two: Hunters could start complaining to the authorities about cachers. That gets filtered up the chain and then next thing you know geocaching is banned in certain areas. Hunters bring in a lot more revenue than geocachers. Who do you think the stewards are going to be listening to?

 

My advise is respect any legal activity lest they don't respect ours. So you ruined an evening's hunt for one guy. He could turn around and ruin a lot more for us. How would you have felt if he had sat there quite, watched what you did, and then simply walked out with the cache later? You "took" his deer, he took your cache.

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there is a very wide variety of activities that take place in the woods. we humans tend to think that whatever our particular passion is, we have the most right to do it and everyone should get out of our way and not interfere with us. We don't need laws to cover every situation. Proper etiquette is not hard to figure, simply be courteous and respect others rights to do their thing. of course not everyone is going to do that so the real question becomes how do we personally handle it when someone does become rude and obstinate.

My question in the OP's particular incident is would you have been as upset and would we even be discussing it if it would have been a bird watcher who cursed you for messing up his perfect photo

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... snip

 

My question in the OP's particular incident is would you have been as upset and would we even be discussing it if it would have been a bird watcher who cursed you for messing up his perfect photo

I would have been equally upset in this scenario.

 

Why would anyone be justified for cursing anyone who was out in the same public space enjoying it in their own lawful manner?

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birders typically do not have to purchase expensive licenses; hunters do.

 

most hunters understand that other people (even hunters) may walk through "their" space.

 

like i said, you have as much chance of driving a deer to a hunter as away, but you should be courteous by moving quietly and when you spot a hunter in a stand or blind, get out of his area. he's probably invested some time into picking that location as being likely to have deer traffic.

 

i have never met a hunter who seemed upset with me passing through the woods (and i do cache in hunting areas during hunting seasons), but i also try to be mindful of their hunt and to disturb as little as possible.

 

before i go out i know what's in season. if nothing else, it allows me to make pleasant hunting-related chitchat with the hunters i meet. they'll tell you if they'd prefer you to move on, and they'll also tell you if they know you might be wandering into someone else's area.

 

they will also appreciate it if you're aware of what game or sign you've seen and can tell them distance and direction.

 

in some areas animal rights activists will purposely try to spoil hunts, so in those areas hunters will be a little more surly with non-hunting people in the woods. while it isn't legal to try to spoil a hunt in most places, people doing the spoiling are likely to pretend they're just out having a walk.

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... snip

 

My question in the OP's particular incident is would you have been as upset and would we even be discussing it if it would have been a bird watcher who cursed you for messing up his perfect photo

I would have been equally upset in this scenario.

 

Why would anyone be justified for cursing anyone who was out in the same public space enjoying it in their own lawful manner?

if one uses common since and courtesy they should realize that in the same space two or more different types of activities do not always coincide. this is no excuse for rude behavior but it will often happen especially when someone decides they have the legal right regardless of how it affects others.

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if one uses common since and courtesy they should realize that in the same space two or more different types of activities do not always coincide.

Very true.

 

How would those involved then in that situation decide which user should stay and which should leave?

The one that paid the government the most for their current right to be there stays.

 

~~~edit for celerity~~~

Edited by Vater_Araignee
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Mostly just echoing sentiment:

 

Hunters are people. Some people are jerks. You've met one. Move on. For the most part, you have as much right to use the woods as the hunters do. However, I tend to extend them every possible courtesy, as their time is very limited. If I believe a hunter is in the woods near a cache, I'll waive off that hunt and come back another day. If I'm in an area where hunting is legal, but I don't see any immediate indicators that hunters are present, I'll step softly, scanning the likely stand locations. If I see a hunter, I'll give him/her a wave and back away, sending them a silent "Good Luck" for their troubles.

 

Post script: Equating hunting with heavy alcohol consumption is asinine.

 

Great post CR. As for the equation, i'm surprised he didn't add "bible thumping, "right wing NRA member" or "Fox news watcher" to his stereotypical and dimwitted view of hunters.

Edited by Kit Fox
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if one uses common since and courtesy they should realize that in the same space two or more different types of activities do not always coincide.

Very true.

 

How would those involved then in that situation decide which user should stay and which should leave?

Whoever was there first.

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Mostly just echoing sentiment:

 

Hunters are people. Some people are jerks. You've met one. Move on. For the most part, you have as much right to use the woods as the hunters do. However, I tend to extend them every possible courtesy, as their time is very limited. If I believe a hunter is in the woods near a cache, I'll waive off that hunt and come back another day. If I'm in an area where hunting is legal, but I don't see any immediate indicators that hunters are present, I'll step softly, scanning the likely stand locations. If I see a hunter, I'll give him/her a wave and back away, sending them a silent "Good Luck" for their troubles.

 

Post script: Equating hunting with heavy alcohol consumption is asinine.

Nice post and I agree.

 

As far as this incident that best time to see deer is right before sunset. Hunters often sit in trees for hours to be able stealthy enough for deer to not see or smell them (especially bow hunters). Once you walked into that area you left enough scent that no deer would come near that spot. So his day was done. I can see why the guy was annoyed, but he doesn't own the land so he should expect other traffic sometimes.

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So the hunter was upset that after he had spent many hours waiting for a deer to come by you were in his space.

 

It seems that you are angry that the hunter was in your space also.

 

As a hunter and geocacher I would never curse anyone. I have been interupted by hikers while hunting and geocaching. That's life. They enjoy their recreation and I enjoy mine (I also hike while not hunt or geocaches.) I would be upset but not let it show. We all share this earth. But I wouldn't set up a treestand just 20 feet from some graves either. I would have more respect and set up further away from the cemetery.

 

He was a jerk for venting the way he did. You were a jerk by going back "We decided a few minutes later to make another attempt at GZ, unfortunately I couldn't remember the clue to make it quick. We walked around for a couple minutes searching as quietly as we could, but the hunter was still up there in the tree cursing again."

 

What did you expect him to do smile and give you a hug???

 

The hunter may have not deserved the deer you saw but then I would say you didn't deserve the cache either

 

1. For returning within a few minutes when you knew he had been there 7 hours.

 

2. For returning and looking for the cache while a non cacher was there watching you. You could have compromised the caches hiding place which could have led to its destruction.

 

 

Some of the other cachers remarks in here seem rude to me also.

 

bittsen

You see, my theory is that hunting goes hand in hand with heavy drinking.

 

I don't agree with your theory! Hunting and drinking DON'T go hand in hand. I and anyone I hunt with will never combine the two.

 

Tit for Tat says people in big cities are morons and don't belong in the woods.

 

AZcachemeister

Personally, I don't consider hiding up in a tree until a deer passes by as 'Hunting', but that's just me.

 

If I lived in AZ I wouldn't consider hiding up in a tree as hunting either judging by my experience in seeing your Saguaro National Forest:

 

2971920941_dcff2c4489.jpg

 

Oakenwood

They're often stupid, ignorant, intoxicated, and will shoot at anything that moves. Maryland actually prohibits any hunting but deer hunting on the first day of deer season, because of the problems it creates.

 

This says a lot about the residents of Maryland as a whole maybe??

 

I am glad we don't have so many people like that in my state that we have to restrict other peoples actions to keep them safe.

 

Seems like a lot of folks here like to call others names.

 

Webscouter

I agree that the hunter was rude but would like to address another part of your post.

 

You decided to go back and hunt the cache a few minutes later??????????

You have a pissed off hunter watching you and you think it is a good idea to find the cache? If you had found it and he saw you, that cache wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds after he got down from the tree, and you would have created an animosity that would have extended to every cache this guy ever comes across. There are times when no matter how much in the right you are the proper response to a situation is to walk away.

 

I guess that I agree with Webscouter and should have heeded his advice before posting here.

 

Sigh

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Some of the other cachers remarks in here seem rude to me also.

 

You see, my theory is that hunting goes hand in hand with heavy drinking.
Personally, I don't consider hiding up in a tree until a deer passes by as 'Hunting', but that's just me.
They're often stupid, ignorant, intoxicated, and will shoot at anything that moves.

I agree ironman114. It's ironic how the thread is about etiquette, and yet some people have to make rude ignorant comments about hunters. Hunters love their activity just as much as geocachers love theirs. I've done both and both are fun. So there's no need to be rude to the entire bunch because of a few bad apples.

Edited by TrailGators
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I don't consider the opinion that hiding up a tree for 7 hours is not hunting rude. I personally agree with that opinion. Just like i dont conciser the people who think that geocaching is a waste of time rude until they go and intentionally destroy caches. Now if the cacher knows the guy is trying to shoot a deer, stomping around and yelling would be the equivalent to stealing a cache. It is kind of rude, I personally would have left the area quietly and found another cache. But i repeat, sitting in a deer stand for hours is not hunting. My father is an avid bow hunter and never, not once, sat in a deer stand.

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I don't consider the opinion that hiding up a tree for 7 hours is not hunting rude. I personally agree with that opinion. Just like i dont conciser the people who think that geocaching is a waste of time rude until they go and intentionally destroy caches. Now if the cacher knows the guy is trying to shoot a deer, stomping around and yelling would be the equivalent to stealing a cache. It is kind of rude, I personally would have left the area quietly and found another cache. But i repeat, sitting in a deer stand for hours is not hunting. My father is an avid bow hunter and never, not once, sat in a deer stand.

 

It's called "waiting". I usually do that in front of a TV but I'm not really waiting for anything to happen while waiting in front of the TV.

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I don't consider the opinion that hiding up a tree for 7 hours is not hunting rude. I personally agree with that opinion. Just like i dont conciser the people who think that geocaching is a waste of time rude until they go and intentionally destroy caches. Now if the cacher knows the guy is trying to shoot a deer, stomping around and yelling would be the equivalent to stealing a cache. It is kind of rude, I personally would have left the area quietly and found another cache. But i repeat, sitting in a deer stand for hours is not hunting. My father is an avid bow hunter and never, not once, sat in a deer stand.

 

Does your father hunt and live in Arizona??

 

Styles of hunting vary greatly depending on terrain, overhead canopy and amount of or lack of brush. Different species of deer have different habits also, making for different styles of hunting.

 

Myself I couldn't stand in one place long enough to wait 7 hours. But what is the difference in standing in a tree or standing on the ground and waiting?

 

Some around here drive around in pickups and never hit a trail or woods, just look over cleared areas. Not my style.

 

To clarify I wasn't referring to the comment about standing in a tree not hunting to be the rude comments.

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But i repeat, sitting in a deer stand for hours is not hunting. My father is an avid bow hunter and never, not once, sat in a deer stand.
You're wrong. There are many different hunting techniques. If you are in a thick brushy area you can't shoot an arrow through that. Stands also increase visibility and get your scent off the ground. Deer will walk right under a well placed stand with a hunter that knows what he is doing. It can take hours, days and even years to get the opportunity at a trophy buck.
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As a geocacher a hunter and a gun toter on a daily basis ultimately in my opinion there are several problems

 

One whether you had the right to be there or not it was hunting season and some respect should be given to that.

 

Two as a geocacher you threatened the whole community by going back in while the hunter was still there and attempting to show him where the cache is

 

Three you possibly turned off a new geocacher to the sport

 

Finally to your question of whether the hunter had any extra rights. Well I say yes and no to that. While the hunter acted inappropriately and he did not have a "gun" he did have a weapon. I would assume based on your post you did not. So in my opinion he had no additional right to be there, but unfortunately for you he did have additional means to enforce his rights. Like it or not you should have recognized that, left the area and stayed out of the area for your own safety that to me is common sense.

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I have caches hidden both in wildlife management areas and on private land that my brother and I own. They all get disabled during firearm deer season. On my multi cache there is a guy that has his archery deer stand (with permission) within 20 feet of the final stage. He is aware of the cache and was told when he was given permission that he may have his hunt interrupted. He is fine with it, and last week he brought me 2 packages of deer sticks.

 

I figure that deer hunters in Nebraska have 9 days during the regular firearm season to hunt, geocachers have 365 days a year to cache. I just look for caches that are not in hunting areas during the hunting season. I am a former hunter that had to give it up for health reasons, and caching is the closest thing I have found that gives me somewhat the same rush.

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I stand up for the hunting community as much as the next guy, but I also call it like I see it.

 

The sentence that ruffled some feathers should have read "They're too often stupid, ignorant, intoxicated, and will shoot at anything that moves." That's what I meant. I wasn't trying to perpetuate a stereotype, just provide a warning. Like I said, I was referring to the worst hunters. The other 99.99% are fine, but it's that one guy in ten thousand that just has to get his buck despite being a alcoholic dimwit that causes the trouble.

 

He's also the one that gets all of the media attention, thus the stereotype. The odds of getting shot by one of those dopes is pretty low, but the consequences can be so catastrophic that it's worth playing it safe. That's why Maryland has its first-day-of-deer-season rule.

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Typical conflict that is caused by two parties who don't know what the heck they're doing or how to handle themself in an everyday life situation.

 

1) The hunter obviously didn't handle it well.

2) You REALLY didn't handle it well by going back. Learn some basic everyday manners.

 

A simple way to figure it out is think of it as this:

 

Pretend you and your buddies had set up a paintball match out on some public land in the woods (I don't even know if this is legal but for sake of arguement let's say it is) and then a hunter comes out and right in the middle of your field starts prepping his gear, getting his tree stand up in the tree, etc. Wouldn't you be like "C'mon dude! What are doing!"

 

OR

 

Imagine you went for a hike with your family and you stopped for lunch. Here comes an armed hunter and begins to set up shop right on the tree your 8 year kid is leaned against eating his lunch.

 

You both have a right to be there. He was there first. Have some respect and beat it. Don't bring yourself to the level of others poor manners just because you wanted smiley.

Edited by Morning Dew
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Being a longtime ATV Explorer long before becoming a geocacher any time planning a ride I/we are always aware of the hunting seasons and plan the rides accordingly. If it is deer hunt time or Elk hunt time we ride/explore in areas that aren't popular deer or elk areas. Same goes for Javelina, Dove, Qual etc etc. Most of the hunt periods aren't that long so it's usually not a problem. If by chance one comes upon obvious hunting that got there first then common courtesy should be the order of the day and vise versa. It is unfortunate that the geocacher or the hunter or the offroader might have to alter their plans a bit but we do all have to share. A little friendly attempt at persuasion might work too. Also remember the geocache or the trail to explore will most likely be there all year when the opportunity for one to hunt won't.

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Being a longtime ATV Explorer...

Kinda off topic, but it goes with the thread... sort of.

The closest I've ever come to cursing at someone while bow hunting was an ATV operator.

I spent a couple weeks scouting out the area, finding that "perfect" spot for an afternoon hunt.

I knew right where the deer would be bedding, and I knew their route.

I was 30' up a palm tree, waiting patiently.

(apparently, I was not hunting... Who knew?) :laughing:

One of the check station assistants drives right up to the base of my tree on his 4-wheeler.

He hollers "Did ya see anything?". I really had to contemplate my reply.

 

Note: This is not a dig on ATV operators. :rolleyes:

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I haven't ever really hunted, and I don't think you did anything wrong.

 

But, I'd say first come first serve... since he was there and had a ton of time invested, I would have apologized and headed out, feeling a little bad that I ruined his effort, even though I didn't know I was doing it.

 

Having said that, he shouldn't have cursed at you - If he is a good hunter, there was no way you would have known he was there in the first place.

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I am sure a question has been asked about this in the past, but since the words like "hunter" are so common here on the geocaching board it is too hard to find it via the search. I'd like to give my personal experience from today and see what everyone thinks.

There is a small colonial cemetery in the woods of a state park which I have been wanting to find for years, and turns out a cache is there which I have been eagerly awaiting to do. A friend was in town who had never cached so we went and found our way to ground zero. We made it to GZ and I started to enjoy reading the signs and graves when suddenly we started hearing a thick barrage of cursing. I looked up to see a hunter up in a tree about 20 feet away and he was absolutely livid. In between f-words we could hear him whisper-yelling that he had been out there for 7 and a half hours trying a shoot deer (no idea if he had ever gotten one or not). That's the only part I actually understood because he was essentially screaming in a whisper, but assume the rest of it was how we were ruining it/scaring off deer/whatever with our presence and the leaves crunching under our feet. The guy was holding a crossbow so we retreated, but were really angry to have gone all that way to have this guy chase us away.

My question is what is caching etiquette in regards to hunters, I mean real hunters with guns, not geohunters. On our way to the cache we saw signs saying we were in "SAFE" zones where hunters were not allowed, but presumably the cache itself was in an area of the park where hunting is allowed.

I have never hunted but I felt that as we were in a state park we had the right to be there as much as that hunter. I don't think he had the right to chase us off like that, and of course the fact he started cursing at us without talking anything over with us or anything, just jumped right into livid mode, is beside the point. I know he was wrong there, but my question is do hunters with guns have some sort of extra right which trumps geocachers right to find caches in the same park at that time? Of course if you are just fooling around there or purposely trying to scare off the deer that's one thing, but we were just trying to be in and out.

We decided a few minutes later to make another attempt at GZ, unfortunately I couldn't remember the clue to make it quick. We walked around for a couple minutes searching as quietly as we could, but the hunter was still up there in the tree cursing again. This time he got out a cell phone and called someone (a hunting partner we think) cursing profusely about the kids who were walking around below ruining everything. The sun was about to set and so frankly he should have been wrapping things up anyway. We decided the barraging of quiet curses was just not worth it and had to give up on the geocache, also seeing as he had a crossbow, was furious, and rather unhinged we didn't want to stay around to see what he might do with it. We got back to our car after the sun had set to see at least 6 deer around our car in the parking lot. Serves him right, the hunter didn't deserve to have them.

 

You have as much right to be there as the hunter does. But we should always be courteous to other park users and not disrupt them, much as we would like others to do. I would suggest if you have a good idea hunters are there, just skip those caches and go somewhere else. Geocaching is basically an unending season and can be done in a lot of places hunting would be allowed.

 

Deer often are active in the dark and bed during the day unless pushed, or are just hungry such as when it is very cold. Dawn and dusk are times when they would be moving from bedding areas, to feeding areas and a good time to potentially see deer. I think most states huntings times are only daylight hours, or close to that (like 1/2 hr before sun up and 1/2 hr after sunset). So basically you arrived at this hunter's stand perhaps the worst time of the day :laughing: .

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Thank you everyone for all the responses! I am glad to see I sparked this discussion.

I agree with what most people have said. Mind you I didn't intend to be at this cache near sunset, it just took awhile to find GZ so when we did that's what happened, sun sets a lot earlier these days.

I should also explain myself, since a lot of people question our "going back" to GZ. To tell you the truth we never left, we merely took a few steps back to gather around out of earshot and discuss what was happening. None of us had ever encountered a hunter before and one of us had never hunted, so we needed to decide what we were going to do about it. Implications that we all should have just turned and run for our lives imply we all had the same idea of what to do at the same time. In our discussion we all felt a little peeved he had acted so rudely and that we deserved at least a minute or two to search around, so we made a quick attempt and then left. We were there for no more than 5 minutes total, so I don't believe we ruined the day for him. He had 7.5 hours to shoot something, the fact we ended up there at what is an attraction in the park (the cemetery) should be common sense, I don't like how a few people seem to vilify us for having shown up. As many people here said, it is a public park so everyone in it has equal right to be there. His 7.5 hours of uninterrupted hobby compared to our 5 minutes of interference is hardly anything in comparison. He was shooting down into a valley and we were on a hill behind him so we didn't walk through his line of fire either, nor presumably ruined any scent tracks which would keep deer away.

 

It seems that you are angry that the hunter was in your space also.

 

No I am not. I am angry that he started cursing at us out of nowhere, we didn't even know he was there and suddenly we're getting cursed at for something we had nothing to do with. Trying to make an equivalency attempts to make it seem like we are equally guilty of the original offense- but that is all on the hunter because we didn't even know he was there nor should we be cursed at just for being there in a public park. I wouldn't have been angry to come across a cacher when hunting, the same way I don't hate muggles for being there when I am trying to cache. I have never considered screaming at muggles who linger too long around the cache I am trying to find after all.

 

The hunter may have not deserved the deer you saw but then I would say you didn't deserve the cache either

 

This is more than a little harsh treatment of the situation in my opinion.

 

2) You REALLY didn't handle it well by going back. Learn some basic everyday manners.

 

This has been causing a lot of issue here. Refer to my clarification above, that we never actually left but just took a step back to decide what to do.

Morning Dew, I think both your scenarios of a hunter setting up in the middle of a paintball game and a picnic both imply the hunter would of course see these things and yet still set up. I had said up to the guy that we needed to find something and so would just be a minute, while the rude hunter in your scenarios would presumably be intentionally ruining the rest of the day for those people. This is much different than our situation, in which we were there before we knew he was and were treated extremely badly. Just in case anyone thinks we knew he was there when we reached GZ and were being purposefully distruptive I should reitterate- we did not know he was there as he was hiding up in a tree about 50 feet away. We were trying to be as quiet as possible, nothing but the inevitable crunching of the leaves. If it wasn't for that there would be no reason why we couldn't have cached in complete silence.

 

I think this is all a tale of needing to put things in perspective. He had a full day of hunting- and while maybe it was approaching peak moment for him (sun hadn't gone down yet but would be shortly) he did have SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS. He wasn't in a private hunting range or on remote gamelands but in a public park in the middle of the suburbs. In short, I don't see why we should be seen as similarly rude for unintentionally disrupting his attempt at a hobby with 5 minutes of our own. We came there for a reason just like he did. If he had nicely asked us to leave I'm sure we would have, but leaving when being treated like trash would have meant sacrificing the whole reason I brought my friend all that way out there (who mind you is from very far away and might not ever be here again, nor do I know when I will be with them again due to the distance) so you can imagine why we wanted to at least get a minute or two of searching in.

Edited by Vartan84
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He is hunting in a CEMETARY. That is wrong in many different ways. Firstly, who to say the visitor isn't there to pay respects to a friend or relative. Secondly, unless this guy is a perfect shot, he could easily damage the headstones.

 

The only way he has the right to do what he did is if it is his family's private cemetary.

 

Sounds to me if he hadn't seen deer in 7 1/2 hours, he should change locations anyway.

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He is hunting in a CEMETARY. That is wrong in many different ways. Firstly, who to say the visitor isn't there to pay respects to a friend or relative. Secondly, unless this guy is a perfect shot, he could easily damage the headstones.

 

The only way he has the right to do what he did is if it is his family's private cemetary.

 

Sounds to me if he hadn't seen deer in 7 1/2 hours, he should change locations anyway.

 

so then by your reasoning a cache in the cemetery would also be wrong.

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