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Caching and hunting


Jayeffel
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I know we all end up hunting for caches, but I am wondering how many cachers keep on caching where hunters might be. I know a lot of hunters think the outdoors belong to them exclusively. 

I see no reason not to cache as long as I do not intentionally interfere with hunters I know are there and make my self known without undue noise or such. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Jayeffel said:

I know we all end up hunting for caches, but I am wondering how many cachers keep on caching where hunters might be. I know a lot of hunters think the outdoors belong to them exclusively. 

I see no reason not to cache as long as I do not intentionally interfere with hunters I know are there and make my self known without undue noise or such. 

 

 

Not me. Ever.

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9 minutes ago, Jayeffel said:

I know we all end up hunting for caches, but I am wondering how many cachers keep on caching where hunters might be. I know a lot of hunters think the outdoors belong to them exclusively. 

I see no reason not to cache as long as I do not intentionally interfere with hunters I know are there and make my self known without undue noise or such. 

 

 

 

Where I live (Georgia), certain State Parks, wildlife areas, and forested areas may have hunting, especially for deer.  Caches in these places tend to mention this, and that reflective vests are advised during hunting season.  But even in county parks that don't have hunting, I watch for hunters, just in case.  Some of my caches are in the wild areas of a park, and owners of adjacent property do tend to consider it all their hunting area.

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7 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Where I live (Georgia), certain State Parks, wildlife areas, and forested areas may have hunting, especially for deer.  Caches in these places tend to mention this, and that reflective vests are advised during hunting season.  But even in county parks that don't have hunting, I watch for hunters, just in case.  Some of my caches are in the wild areas of a park, and owners of adjacent property do tend to consider it all their hunting area.

 

I don't think I've ever been in a state park in Texas where hunting was going on.  I had to look it up to see if it was allowed and it does seem to be in some cases.  I was in a National Forest (much different than a National Park) where it was going on but it seems I was usually there out of season.

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I'm surrounded by hunting September to April.  I walk somewhere every day. During hunts, I avoid early morning & evening, to not disturb hunters.    I avoid opening weekend of General Gun (deer) and all of Hog Dog (in the areas that have it).

 

I've never had an unpleasant encounter with a hunter, and i'd have had some nice ones. One guy who was excited to show me a roosting Great Horned owl, another who followed me back to parking, as he'd  noticed my lights on, and figured I'd need a jumpstart - I did. 

 

 

I do not wear an orange vest.  Florida hunt rules were developed on facts, and  which support, "Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season."

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

I've never had an unpleasant encounter with a hunter, and i'd have had some nice ones. One guy who was excited to show me a roosting Great Horned owl, another who followed me back to parking, as he'd  noticed my lights on, and figured I'd need a jumpstart - I did. 

 

I have some caches along the border of a county park, and I've been kind of wary of hunters who consider it their land (it's not).  Walking along that path, I look up in the trees, almost expecting to one day see a hunter sitting up there.  I mainly don't want to be tromping through the forest, probably scaring off all the wildlife, where a hunter has been waiting for hours.  Vest or not.

 

And if I'm hearing a lot of shooting, or see hunters around, I might skip that area for now.  "Geocaching vest person coming through!"... nope, that doesn't seem like something I'd try.

 

 

3 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

I do not wear an orange vest.  Florida hunt rules were developed on facts, and  which support, "Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season."

 

It makes sense that rules for hunters apply to hunters.  It occurs to me that the 1 or 2 times I've worn a safety vest while Geocaching, it was due to peer pressure and not due to any regulations.  The other cachers said, "wear a vest, it's hunting season", and it would look weird to be the one who had no vest.  I usually don't bother, and I'm usually not caching in a place that rural anyway.

 

But there are places that are designated hunting areas, and have specific rules that all visitors are to wear an orange safety vest.  Maybe such places are rare.  Maybe it's on a sign after you arrive or in some codicil in the visitor agreement that I'd hardly notice, or a Marshall pulls up and firmly states, "I'm gonna need y'all to have vests, it's huntin' season!", and that might be a hard thing to argue one's way out of.  Which reminds me, I have a compressed vest, but don't have it in my car.  I should probably find that thing.  :anicute:

 

Here's a thread about orange vests:

 

Edited by kunarion
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Wait, wait. Somebody please explain this to me, not being a hunter.

 

7 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

<...>

 

"Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season."

 

<...>

 

 


I don't have to wear a reflective thing if I'M hunting with a bow and arrow?

 

First, what in the world does it matter what I'M using? Isn't it more important depending on what YOU'RE using?  Is 'archery season' exclusive, so everybody out there has a bow and arrow and not a firearm? If so, it could be better worded.

 

Second, why would you NOT wear an orange thing in the woods during hunting season in a hunting area, EVEN IF it's 'only' archery season? A moving shadow in the trees is still a moving shadow in the trees regardless of the range and speed of the projectile.

 

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but I was a kid from Brooklyn, and this wasn't the kind of hunting we did in Flatbush.

 

I grew up in an environment where "skinning a fish" meant peeling off the cellophane.

 

 

 

 

23 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

<...>

 

I see no reason not to cache as long as I do not intentionally interfere with hunters I know are there and make my self known without undue noise or such. 

 

 

This, too.

 

How do you know when to make yourself known? And, if not with noise, then how?

And, I don't see how your lack of intention to interfere with them would matter at all!

As I said above, "moving shadow in the woods".

 

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sorry, I'm not sure why I quoted the Florida Fish and Wildlife vest regulation, other than my admiration for its basis - ie, actual hunter safety stats gathered over 50+ years. Deer hunters (rarely) shoot themselves: entering and exiting vehicles, tree stands, and tripping,  or members of their own party.   On the very rare occasions when a person not a deer hunter or with deer hunter has been shot, vest wouldn't matter - person was outside the hunt area.

 

The rules vary  state by state in the U.S.  Look up rules and hunt dates online. 

 

 Florida since the 1960s requires a hunt safety class to get a hunting license. It's been effective.  

 

 Re disturb hunters,  the bulk of productive hunt time is twilight.  So I don't go out  at twilight during hunts.  I don't want to be anyone's way, or disturb their few days of opportunity.  

 

 

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23 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

I know we all end up hunting for caches, but I am wondering how many cachers keep on caching where hunters might be.

I know a lot of hunters think the outdoors belong to them exclusively. 

I see no reason not to cache as long as I do not intentionally interfere with hunters I know are there and make my self known without undue noise or such. 

 

If you're talking about the PA game lands, they pretty much do...

The game lands isn't funded by taxes in the general fund, but by hunting and furtaker license sales, timber, mineral, and oil/gas revenues;, and a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition.

The Commission is almost entirely supported by hunters and trappers, or assets that have been procured with license dollars.

Wear blaze when on hunting lands or stay out.  Simple...

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On 11/13/2021 at 5:50 PM, Jayeffel said:

.I know a lot of hunters think the outdoors belong to them exclusively.

 

We hear that a lot, mostly from outta state city people who are taxed on everything, "My taxes pay your...", and assume it's the same everywhere.

The PA game lands let's you play there for free.  The least you can do is give hunters a break during the main seasons....

 

There's also some odd belief that there's no hunting on Sundays.  Hunters have been able to hunt foxes, coyotes, and crows for years...

In fact (I have it written in the Regional forums), every remaining sunday this month is open to hunters for big game this year too.  

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I have inadvertently been in a park looking for a cache while a hunter was nearby. As I recall it was a multicache and I went where I thought I was supposed to go but ended up in a clearing. I stood there on that bitter cold New Years Day looking around and heard a voice from above asking what I was doing there. A bow hunter was in a tree stand above me waiting for a deer to walk by but had a noisy geocacher instead. 

 

I have have been very cautious during hunting season since that day to avoid a repeat performance and hopefully prevent a disaster.  I did correct my error and got the smiley later.

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4 minutes ago, Smitherington said:

I stood there on that bitter cold New Years Day looking around and heard a voice from above asking what I was doing there.

A bow hunter was in a tree stand above me waiting for a deer to walk by but had a noisy geocacher instead. 

 

I have have been very cautious during hunting season since that day to avoid a repeat performance and hopefully prevent a disaster.  

I did correct my error and got the smiley later.

 

Thanks.  :)   We both hunted well-before there was a thing called Geocaching, so see things a bit different than others I guess...

Here, the game lands is our largest landowner, and allows geocaching.   Pretty-much two months outta the year is busiest.

We try to tell others about hunting seasons at events, like archery, where it's a good idea to occasionally look up.  

Many find out the hard way, with more than a couple finding out after they just peed right under that guy in the tree stand.   :laughing:

 - A buncha pickups at parking should be a clue "others" are around.

 

We've hunted while caching quite a few times.   A couple from '00/'01 do the same, and our favorite CO places his caches while hunting, and usually has them published well-after the busy seasons are over, or the following Spring.

Many who've accessed our caches in the winter were hunters.  We assume only we know those cool spots...  ;)

They sign logs, and a couple even traded.  The other 2/3rds had her first doe call that way, swapped for a cheapie umbrella.

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As I head for a cache in an area that allows hunting during the season, if there are no vehicles in the parking lot, I might wear my orange vest and go on in. If there are vehicles, I just leave. The hunter has the short season to enjoy hunting, but we get the rest of the year to go find the caches.

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We have been hiking and caching in the woods in PA for many years (several decades), primarily State Forests, State Parks, State Game Lands (SGL), nature preserves and County parks.  Just about all of them allow either unlimited hunting or limited hunting (e.g., bow hunting only) during the appropriate seasons.  We always wear orange, as does our Geo-Hound Zoey (and predecessor Clancy) and avoid the woods for two+ weeks during rifle deer (just a crazy number of hunters) and spring gobbler turkey season (able to hunt without wearing orange; just place an orange band on the tree behind them).  There are close to 1 million hunters in PA, and there is a strong hunting history here.

 

We are on the State Game Lands MANY more times than the average hunter, and know certain state game lands very well.  In the Poconos region (NE PA), there is a 44,000 acre SGL adjacent to a 5,000 acre STL, adjacent to a 10,000 acre State Forest.  Nearby are two other SGLs.   As pointed out in an early post, the SGL were paid for and are maintained by hunting licenses and Federal ammo fees.  The State Forest, county parks and preserves are owned and maintained by the state or local govts or private foundations.  Nearly all are open for hunting, since it is the most effective way to keep the deer and bear population, which are REALLY healthy, under control.  PA is in the top 5 states for car/deer collisions, for example, and our comprehensive auto insurance reflects that.

 

So, some observations.

 

1) Although I do not hunt, I took the hunter education course required by the PA Game Commission and buy a hunting license each year to support the game lands

2) As pointed out above, we do not go on any hunting lands during the peak hunting days for rifle deer and spring gobbler.

3) We wear orange all the time on hunting properties.  It is required during certain hunting seasons anyway.

4) The State Legislature passed a law two years ago permitting the PA Game Commission to allow Sunday hunting on limited weekends, e.g., three Sundays in November 2021.  Plus, coyotes, foxes, and crows are allowed to be hunted pretty much year around on Sundays in PA.

5) The PA State Game Lands total over 1 million acres.  Geocaches are allowed to be placed on them, allowing people to enjoy beautiful vistas, waterfalls, etc.  For those who feel they need to stay away from SGL's due to hunting, they are missing a great deal of caches, and the wonderful experiences associated with them.  If you are uncomfortable around hunters, that is your prerogative to ignore these caches.

 

The earlier comments in this thread about having only hunters wear orange is missing the mark.  The category of "Mistaken for Game" in PA is one of the top reasons for death in PA, along with falling out of tree stands, etc.  Wearing orange is for your personal safety.  Wear your orange, and have your dog wear their orange (see the coyote comment about open season above).

 

In my decades hiking in SGL, I've not had a bad interaction with a hunter, but I avoid the heavy season, am not arrogant, and always apologize for interrupting their hunting experience by walking by them with a dog.  I remember a muzzleloader hunter in traditional garb, (buckskin jacket, etc.) respond to my apology by saying we were just as likely to drive deer toward him as away from him.  Having a decent attitude goes a long way toward a friendly interaction with a hunter on game lands.

 

Wearing orange, having a positive attitude and using common sense goes a long way toward having a safe and pleasant day caching on hunting lands.

Edited by Clancy's Crew
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Many of the county parks in my area of Virginia allow bow hunting for deer (in certain areas, in certain seasons). They have orange signs up about it along trails. But I wasn't thinking about that the other day when I was going for a Wherigo in a park that didn't have an official trail system.

 

At one point, I thought I spotted the next stage of the cache, but then the arrow led me in a different direction. Turns out it was a bow hunter in a tree stand.

 

Oops. Sorry, guy.

 

So, yeah, I'll be trying to pay a little more attention this fall.

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In many states hunting is basically a year round thing for one species or another.  I live in NJ, not what many would consider to be a big hunting state, however there are only four months out of the year where one species or another is not "in season". 

Of course deer season is by far the most popular and what most people refer to when they say "hunting season".  It's when  a geocacher is most likely to encounter hunters.  Even with deer  there are bow seasons, black powder seasons, shotgun seasons, doe seasons, rifle seasons and more. In some places there is a buck season that only hunters who previously harvested a doe that year can participate.  Sometimes even in "deer season" there are days or weeks when deer are not in season.  So a geocacher needs to be aware that hunters might be out nearly any time of the year.

I recall looking for a place to hide a cache in a county park.  I had to use "nature's bathroom" and squatted in what I thought was the middle of nowhere. As I pulled up my pants I suddenly noticed a camo ladder set against a nearby tree.  Following the ladder up, I noticed a well camouflaged bowhunter in a tree no more than 40 feet away. He never said a word. I motioned an "I'm sorry" and got out of there quickly.

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14 minutes ago, briansnat said:

I noticed a well camouflaged bowhunter in a tree no more than 40 feet away. He never said a word. I motioned an "I'm sorry" and got out of there quickly.


:laughing:

 

I don’t think I’ve ever been caching while hunters are around.  But it has occurred to me that I’m scaring away all the animals as I tromp through the forest.  So I kind of hope there aren’t any hunters who’ve been sitting there for hours when I arrive.

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On 11/15/2021 at 8:42 PM, kunarion said:


:laughing:

 

I don’t think I’ve ever been caching while hunters are around.  But it has occurred to me that I’m scaring away all the animals as I tromp through the forest.  So I kind of hope there aren’t any hunters who’ve been sitting there for hours when I arrive.

As I mentioned, in many states hunting is a year 'round thing and in most others hunting goes well beyond the traditional bear, bird and deer seasons.  Some seasons aren't particularly popular (coyote season for example), however you may well have walked past a camouflaged hunter without knowing it, especially in bow season.

Edited by briansnat
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15 hours ago, Capt. Bob said:

In my state there are 16,291 geocaches.  Each year MassWildlife stocks 40,000 ring-necked pheasants in Wildlife Management Areas.  Geocaching is allowed in Wildlife Management Areas.  Pheasants and Geocaches like hiding in the bushes.  I like finding both.  Pheasants taste good.  

 

 

 

I'd suggest that you're just not finding the right Geocaches.

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