Jump to content

Geocaching and Hunting


charlieandwillow
Followers 0

Recommended Posts

I'm a new convert to geocaching, and also a British ex-pat who's just moved to central MA. At home, I know when and where not to be so I can avoid being shot at, accidentally or otherwise. Here, on the otherhand, I know men in neon orange are either picking up trash as guests of the state, or they're carrying large rifles and want to kill things. The Vikings and I were out caching this afternoon and I figured we'd be safe since the light was fading on a cold Monday afternoon, but we saw several hunters out and about. We stick to clear, well-used trails and we are not a quiet group (baby Viking is three, quiet is not in his repetoire), but I still don't feel entirely safe. Can anyone give me some ideas how I can make our expeditions feel a little safer?

Link to comment

I live in Mississippi (we are big hunters) and there are several cache areas that have been archived during hunting season. As much as I love the woods, I guess I will hit the parks and urban caches for a couple of months. Brother dear and I went on a cache run to Natchez and went thru the state park there and luckily had to veto only one cache along a mini power cache due to hunters.

Link to comment

I live in Mississippi (we are big hunters) and there are several cache areas that have been archived during hunting season. As much as I love the woods, I guess I will hit the parks and urban caches for a couple of months. Brother dear and I went on a cache run to Natchez and went thru the state park there and luckily had to veto only one cache along a mini power cache due to hunters.

Link to comment

I'm a new convert to geocaching, and also a British ex-pat who's just moved to central MA. At home, I know when and where not to be so I can avoid being shot at, accidentally or otherwise. Here, on the otherhand, I know men in neon orange are either picking up trash as guests of the state, or they're carrying large rifles and want to kill things. The Vikings and I were out caching this afternoon and I figured we'd be safe since the light was fading on a cold Monday afternoon, but we saw several hunters out and about. We stick to clear, well-used trails and we are not a quiet group (baby Viking is three, quiet is not in his repetoire), but I still don't feel entirely safe. Can anyone give me some ideas how I can make our expeditions feel a little safer?

 

Dawn and dusk hours (while still legally daylight of course) are prime hunting hours... I'd start by moving to middle of the day, and sticking to clear days with good light and visibility, as opposed to dull, snowy or rainy days with poor visibility. Be visible, avoid any areas that are specifically for hunting such as State Game Lands.

Avoid bushwacking as much as possible... and watch what you are doing... forget collecting branches and carrying them over your shoulder... Even though the onus is legally on hunters to do so in a safe manner at all times, they don't always do so... It is amazing the number of 'accidental' shootings where the victim was wearing bright colours and the shooter was using a high power 'scope'.. yet mistook his target... right!

 

Doug 7rxc

Link to comment

The number of accidental hunting deaths from firearms, especially if self inflicted wounds are factored out, is low. I'd feel much safer in the woods than in many urban areas. Problem is that you will disturb the game and thus the hunters which might result in the banning of Geocaching in the area. During prime big game seasons I'd stick to areas that don't allow hunting.

Link to comment

Avoiding hunting times/areas is great, but if you're out and see some hunters nearby in their blaze orange (note, that get up is only required in some areas - many places don't require hi-viz clothing for hunting), you should walk up and say, "hi". Just tell them you're out geocaching (or hiking if you don't want to explain what that is) and ask them which way they are going. Hunters are typically very friendly people who will appreciate your desire to share the land. Once you know the hunters are working up a certain geographical feature and they know which way you're going, the both of you can do your own thing without worry about the other. And everyone will be happy. Carry on.

Link to comment

There are countless horror stories of hunting accidents. I would suggest to do urban caches during the rifle/shotgun season. The length of the seasons and dates will vary by state. There are plenty of non-hunting locations to do during the hunting seasons. That is probably the safest solution.

 

And nearly all are hunter on hunter or hunter shooting himself. The incidents of hunters shooting non hunters are extremely rare.

 

If we were to stay out of the woods during hunting season, we'd basically have to stay out of the woods nearly year round in most states. It's almost always hunting season for something. Of course deer season is the most popular and what most people mean when they say "hunting season".

 

I don't know what the laws are in MA. The OP should Google them. In NJ firearm deer season only lasts a week (I think it's this week or next week). There are several bow seasons, but the risk during bow season is low. Because of the limited range of a bow, the hunter needs to be very close to his target, so being mistaken for a deer is unlikely.

 

To maximize your safety, you can buy a cheap hunter orange vest for $4 and a cap for $3 at Walmart. It's probably best to stay out of your state's equivalent of state game lands or wildlife management areas during deer season. You don't want your movements flushing game and pissing off hunters because if geocaching is allowed in those areas, hunter complaints might endanger it.

 

I don't know if MA state parks and forests allow hunting. If they do, you have as much a right to be there as hunters do, so put on your orange vest and cap and cache away. That isn't the case for SGLs and WMAs (or whatever they are called in MA) as they are specifically set aside for hunting and they tolerate other uses as long as they don't conflict with hunting.

 

Also, if you have a dog, its a good idea to buy him an orange doggie vest, or better yet keep him home during deer and small game seasons

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment

charlieandwillow,

 

As someone who has grown up in the hunting culture I can say that everything Briansnat said is correct.

 

I'm in the south and we have extremely long hunting season. Months, in some states. You are in the NE and from what I understand, most of those states have very short firearms seasons. I also think that most firearns seasons in that part of the US don't allow long range high powered rifles. Usually hunting arms are shorter range "slug" shotguns, muzzleloaders, crossbows and bows. This is also true of many midwest states. Longer range high powered rifles are usually used in the south, far north and west.

 

I Googled this: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations...unting_deer.htm Looks like MA's firearms season is only a couple of weeks in and following Thanksgiving. For those few weeks some cheap hunter orange would be a good investment if you have to roam public hunting lands when folks are hunting. Or just city cache those couple of weeks.

Link to comment

With the title of the thread, I thought the OP wanted to hunt and geocache at the same time. I tried this year, but it didnt wor. (No chaches close to where i was hunting.)

 

Also, if you have a dog, its a good idea to buy him an orange doggie vest, or better yet keep him home during deer and small game seasons

Leave the geo-dog at home. In many states it is legal for a hunter to shoot a dog that is chasing a deer.

Link to comment

In southern New England, hunting accidents seem to be rare and they usually involve hunters shooting eachother. Hunters tend to know where the major hiking trails are and stay away from them. While I have heard gunfire in the distance, I have never actually encountered hunters with rifles; I have only seen a group of bow hunters once. A blaze-orange vest is fine; a hat would add extra assurance.

Link to comment

... Problem is that you will disturb the game and thus the hunters which might result in the banning of Geocaching in the area. During prime big game seasons I'd stick to areas that don't allow hunting.

I have heard several people talking about "Disturbing the hunt" Unless you are intentionaly screwing with hunters, or staying in one place for an extended period of time, and it happens to be near a guys blind or tree stand, you are doing no worrs than other hunters. Don't worry about that too much.

Link to comment

In southern New England, hunting accidents seem to be rare and they usually involve hunters shooting eachother. Hunters tend to know where the major hiking trails are and stay away from them. While I have heard gunfire in the distance, I have never actually encountered hunters with rifles; I have only seen a group of bow hunters once. A blaze-orange vest is fine; a hat would add extra assurance.

 

I've run into bow hunters a few times. They are usually in heavy camo and hard to spot. A few years ago I was looking for a place to hide a cache. I was wandering way off trail and had the urge to make like a bear.

 

After I was done, while pulling up my pants I noticed some yellow stuff on the ground (corn) about 20 feet away. Then I noticed a camouflage ladder and my eyes followed it up and there in the tree was a bow hunter. He observed my bathroom break without saying a word.

 

I previously encountered a bow hunter while looking for a spot for a cache. I was right under him and heard someone clear his throat. Looked up and he was right above me.

Link to comment

... Problem is that you will disturb the game and thus the hunters which might result in the banning of Geocaching in the area. During prime big game seasons I'd stick to areas that don't allow hunting.

I have heard several people talking about "Disturbing the hunt" Unless you are intentionaly screwing with hunters, or staying in one place for an extended period of time, and it happens to be near a guys blind or tree stand, you are doing no worrs than other hunters. Don't worry about that too much.

 

In Pennsylvania, State game lands are paid for with hunter's licenses, not tax dollars.

We are allowed to play on their land for free (so far.)

We temp disable our hides in game lands during the very busy rifled deer season (more to keep cachers "out of the way" of a crowded two weeks, than for safety reasons) and would hope that folks would use common sense during others.

Since game lands make up the largest wooded caching area in this State, we need to be respectful of the hunting population that pays for it.

Link to comment

I own an orange vest purchased from a store that has a cache in its parking lot. It cost me a big fat ten bucks. Even with this bit of PPE though, I'll avoid the woods for the week following Thanksgiving, deer gun season here in OH. (Shotgun with slug, no long rifles). Yes, most of the hunting accidents involve Joe Dimwit shooting himself or his uncle, but I'll pass that week. Other than that though, I fear no deer or turkey hunter if I'm in my orange. Somebody up the page mentioned wearing WHITE. Really? Ever wonder why they call them "White Tails"? That would be, I'm afraid just a little better than wearing a branch on your head and traditional brown Carrharts to top off the outfit.

Happy hunting.

hairball

Link to comment

In southern New England, hunting accidents seem to be rare and they usually involve hunters shooting eachother. Hunters tend to know where the major hiking trails are and stay away from them. While I have heard gunfire in the distance, I have never actually encountered hunters with rifles; I have only seen a group of bow hunters once. A blaze-orange vest is fine; a hat would add extra assurance.

 

I've run into bow hunters a few times. They are usually in heavy camo and hard to spot. A few years ago I was looking for a place to hide a cache. I was wandering way off trail and had the urge to make like a bear.

 

After I was done, while pulling up my pants I noticed some yellow stuff on the ground (corn) about 20 feet away. Then I noticed a camouflage ladder and my eyes followed it up and there in the tree was a bow hunter. He observed my bathroom break without saying a word.

 

I previously encountered a bow hunter while looking for a spot for a cache. I was right under him and heard someone clear his throat. Looked up and he was right above me.

:D oh man I can't stop laughing. Make like a bear, thats rich.

Link to comment

In southern New England, hunting accidents seem to be rare and they usually involve hunters shooting eachother. Hunters tend to know where the major hiking trails are and stay away from them. While I have heard gunfire in the distance, I have never actually encountered hunters with rifles; I have only seen a group of bow hunters once. A blaze-orange vest is fine; a hat would add extra assurance.

 

I've run into bow hunters a few times. They are usually in heavy camo and hard to spot. A few years ago I was looking for a place to hide a cache. I was wandering way off trail and had the urge to make like a bear.

 

After I was done, while pulling up my pants I noticed some yellow stuff on the ground (corn) about 20 feet away. Then I noticed a camouflage ladder and my eyes followed it up and there in the tree was a bow hunter. He observed my bathroom break without saying a word.

 

I previously encountered a bow hunter while looking for a spot for a cache. I was right under him and heard someone clear his throat. Looked up and he was right above me.

:anitongue: oh man I can't stop laughing. Make like a bear, thats rich.

 

I am surprised you did not find the comment risque or non kid friendly and want it banned.

Link to comment

In southern New England, hunting accidents seem to be rare and they usually involve hunters shooting eachother. Hunters tend to know where the major hiking trails are and stay away from them. While I have heard gunfire in the distance, I have never actually encountered hunters with rifles; I have only seen a group of bow hunters once. A blaze-orange vest is fine; a hat would add extra assurance.

 

I've run into bow hunters a few times. They are usually in heavy camo and hard to spot. A few years ago I was looking for a place to hide a cache. I was wandering way off trail and had the urge to make like a bear.

 

After I was done, while pulling up my pants I noticed some yellow stuff on the ground (corn) about 20 feet away. Then I noticed a camouflage ladder and my eyes followed it up and there in the tree was a bow hunter. He observed my bathroom break without saying a word.

 

I previously encountered a bow hunter while looking for a spot for a cache. I was right under him and heard someone clear his throat. Looked up and he was right above me.

:) oh man I can't stop laughing. Make like a bear, thats rich.

 

I know a woman that did the same thing. She looked around to find a safe place to relieve herself but didn't look up. Eventually she heard laughter from above. There was a hunter in the tree she selected.

 

As for the topic, I avoid known hunting areas during deer season. Hunting season is short. I prefer to let the hunters have their time. I'll come back and cache on one of the other 300+ days of the year when they can't hunt deer. There are plenty of areas where hunting isn't permitted that I can cache in during hunting season.

Link to comment

"countless horror stories of hunting accidents" is just a bunch of BULL@#$%. All you have to do to be safe around hunters is use some common sense. DON'T go sneaking through the woods during hunting season. Wear something visible, orange, white, etc.

 

 

NEVER! NEVER! Wear White! During Deer season in Mass it is Whitetail Deer there looking for.

500 square inches of orange is Your best bet and don't be afraid to make noise.

Also there is no hunting on Sundays in Mass.

Edited by The Waldo's
Link to comment

Thanks for all of the replies.

Back home, I shoot pheasant myself so I'm aware of how my stomping through the woods can disrupt a shoot. I also know that whilst it's not illegal, it's incredibly bad form to shoot on Sundays. I was hoping to discover some similar hints about the seasons (Thanks @ The Waldo's). As for dawn and dusk being prime hunting times, I admit my ignorance on this one. I'm used to dawn being the best time for deer stalking, but dusk is for duck flighting - and we were no where near open water so I didn't even think about it. The bar we frequent when working in PA considerately has the hunting seasons posted on the wall, but arround here I didn't really know where to start. I shall do a little googling and figure out when various seasons are and also where hunting grounds are. In the mean time, we'll stick to the middle of the day!

Link to comment

I'm pretty sure I annoyed a hunter today. I saw the hunting season sign with some dates on it.

 

When I hike alone I sing so that animals (bobcats and hogs) run away. I've been startled too many times by animals. Once I took off running and got lost for 45 minutes. It's in my DNF log.

 

Anyway, I was singing loudly and a hunter appeared. Not sure if he was hiding but he gave me an annoyed arm movement and looked at me for a while as I continued to walk down the trail. I waved a hello, but he didn't wave back.

 

I got really nervous. I'm already on edge hiking alone and I don't like coming across single men in the woods.

 

I got my pepper spray out and ready. After a while he was gone. I was paranoid for a little thinking he may jump me up ahead. Then the thought crossed my mind that he's shoot me for scaring his hogs away.

 

Am I wrong for singing like that? I don't want to annoy hunters but I don't want animals scaring me. Also, I do not agree with hunting at all...but that's not why I sing.

 

Opinions? Am I over-reacting when I see a man with a gun?

Link to comment

I'm a hunter. I bowhunt deer and elk, I rifle hunt bear.

 

ANYBODY is allowed in the parks and forests anytime of year. Just because it's one of the hunting seasons doesn't mean we hunters own the place. Personally, I will not take any shot unless I can not only see what I'm shooting at, but can also see the kill zone. Most hunters are ethical but there are always some loopy ones that shoot at movement. Although I'm against blaze orange and don't have to wear it in Oregon, I think it would be wise for the geocacher to wear some.

 

If you feel the need to do something 'personal' HAHAhaaaaaa!! Look around first! I had to cough once just as a couple were about to indulge in some ...romance!

 

Yeah, we might get frustrated if somebody walks through our hunt, but hey, you have as much right to be there as I do.

Link to comment

I'm pretty sure I annoyed a hunter today. I saw the hunting season sign with some dates on it.

 

When I hike alone I sing so that animals (bobcats and hogs) run away. I've been startled too many times by animals. Once I took off running and got lost for 45 minutes. It's in my DNF log.

 

Anyway, I was singing loudly and a hunter appeared. Not sure if he was hiding but he gave me an annoyed arm movement and looked at me for a while as I continued to walk down the trail. I waved a hello, but he didn't wave back.

 

I got really nervous. I'm already on edge hiking alone and I don't like coming across single men in the woods.

 

I got my pepper spray out and ready. After a while he was gone. I was paranoid for a little thinking he may jump me up ahead. Then the thought crossed my mind that he's shoot me for scaring his hogs away.

 

Am I wrong for singing like that? I don't want to annoy hunters but I don't want animals scaring me. Also, I do not agree with hunting at all...but that's not why I sing.

 

Opinions? Am I over-reacting when I see a man with a gun?

 

You described the fellow as a hunter. So is it safe to assume he was wearing blaze orange or some other clothing/equipment that marked him as such? If so yes you were over reacting. As he would have been in thinking you were a anti-hunting zealot out to spoil his hunt or an ecoterrorist there to spike trees or harm him.

 

BTW how do you feel about coming across married men in the woods?

Edited by hoosier guy
Link to comment

He did not have orange on as far as I could tell. He was in all camo and had a rifle. As soon as I noticed he was there I stopped singing (mostly out of embarrassment). But it made me wonder if I should be quiet the rest of the hike.

 

lol @ married men. Any man or pack of men makes me a bit nervous in the woods. What are those crazy guys doin out there!? Ha. But, seriously, I'm cautious but not fearful. Just passing nervousness.

Link to comment

He did not have orange on as far as I could tell. He was in all camo and had a rifle. As soon as I noticed he was there I stopped singing (mostly out of embarrassment). But it made me wonder if I should be quiet the rest of the hike.

 

lol @ married men. Any man or pack of men makes me a bit nervous in the woods. What are those crazy guys doin out there!? Ha. But, seriously, I'm cautious but not fearful. Just passing nervousness.

 

And you are so very wise to be cautious. These are crazy times we live in and there are some crazy folks out there.

 

Happy AND safe caching!

 

HG

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...