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Hunting Season


Geoman007

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Hi! And Happy Thanksgiving.... if anyone is interested, I have designed and am adding this "No Orange Required" art to my new caches to let fellow cachers know that a cache is in an area accessible without orange during the hunting season. Feel free to use it yourselves if you'd like. If you'd like a different size, let me know and I'd be glad to sent one to you!

NoOrangeReq2in.jpg

Edited by TrackerGirl
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I am not saying orange is a bad idea. It is better to be safe then sorry, but hunters aren't blind either. Unless you decide to wear your deer halloween costume, but even then it would be pretty hard to mistake a dressed up person for a deer. You guys should not put hunters in such a bad light. We are actually very responsible, when it comes to shooting at moving objects.

 

P.S. I got a huge ten point on the 2nd

 

CoolClay

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I am not saying orange is a bad idea. It is better to be safe then sorry, but hunters aren't blind either. Unless you decide to wear your deer halloween costume, but even then it would be pretty hard to mistake a dressed up person for a deer. You guys should not put hunters in such a bad light. We are actually very responsible, when it comes to shooting at moving objects.

 

P.S. I got a huge ten point on the 2nd

 

CoolClay

MOST hunters are very responsible, but like any group, there are exceptions. Better to be safe than sorry. Wear orange, and lots of it, if you even THINK there might be hunters in the area.

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I am not saying orange is a bad idea. It is better to be safe then sorry, but hunters aren't blind either. Unless you decide to wear your deer halloween costume, but even then it would be pretty hard to mistake a dressed up person for a deer. You guys should not put hunters in such a bad light. We are actually very responsible, when it comes to shooting at moving objects.

 

OK, I'm not trolling on this post but there are enough people hunting that have no business touching a gun that I will quote a recent news story.

 

Deer Hunter Shot in Head

 

11 December 2003

 

"Every December, Paul Belmont puts on a bright orange hat and vest over camouflage clothes, loads his shotgun and heads into the woods to hunt deer.

"Hunting is a safe sport. You always make sure that the safety is on, and you only unload toward the target. If you're responsible, there isn't a problem," Belmont said.

His comments come just days after a fellow hunter accidentally shot Michael J. Doherty, 41, of Westford in the head during the first day of deer hunting season.

 

I can quote other stories as well but the point is, be careful. Know when the hunting season is on. People get cold, tired or drunk. Good judgment fades under stress. Please don't rant on me on this post. I have owned more than a few acres of land in the Catskill Mountains about a 3 hour drive from NYC for over 20 years. I know what some hunters are like.

 

I now live south of Boston and Geocaching seems to be a family sport with lots of kids wandering around the woods. I am not sure some hunters understand the nature of the game and I suspect an unpleasant event will eventually strike.

 

John

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No offense John, and accidents DO happen, but if you are going to quote a news story, please quote the entire story. What you quoted is out of context, and the rest of the story changes the whole meaning of what you posted:

TOWNSEND -- Every December, Paul Belmont puts on a bright orange hat and vest over camouflage clothes, loads his shotgun and heads into the woods to hunt deer.

 

"Hunting is a safe sport. You always make sure that the safety is on, and you only unload toward the target. If you're responsible, there isn't a problem," Belmont said.

 

His comments come just days after a fellow hunter accidentally shot Michael J. Doherty, 41, of Westford in the head during the first day of deer hunting season.

 

The hunters told state officials they were taking a break from their morning hunting trip at around 10 a.m. when one of the men saw a black bear approaching the area behind Doherty, according to Massachusetts Environmental Police spokesman Felix Browne.

 

The hunter who spotted the bear stood and shouldered his rifle, released the safety and fired his weapon at the bear just as Doherty stood up, Browne said.

 

But Massachusetts Wildlife Department Director Dr. Robert Deblinger said he doesn't believe a black bear would ever approach a group of hunters.

 

"Fifty percent of black bears are already in hibernation, and the other 50 percent aren't aggressive because they are tired and full of food and looking for a den to hibernate in," Deblinger said. "Black bears run away from people. A bear has never charged a person in Massachusetts, and people should not be shooting at them this time of year because they will never hurt you."

 

The incident will be investigated further by the Massachusetts Environmental Police once Doherty recovers and is able to give his account of the incident.

 

He was listed in fair condition at UMass Memorial Medical Center/Worcester on Friday.

 

Deblinger said despite the number of hunters in the woods at the same time, especially in the early part of the season, accidental shootings are rare.

 

He said hunting is a safe activity because of state hunting regulations and laws.

 

"Hunting is really safe, and it's very rare for something like this to happen," Deblinger said. "There have been some famous cases where someone uses the hunting season as an opportunity (to shoot someone), but accidental shootings almost never happen and a non-hunter has never been shot by a hunter, ever."

 

The last time a hunter was shot and killed by another hunter was in 1992 in Cape Cod, Deblinger said.

 

Ten shootings in seven years

 

In the eight years between 1995 and 2002 there were 16 accidents related to deer hunting, 10 of them involving accidental shootings.

 

Of the 10 accidental shootings, six of the victims were shot by someone in their own party, and four were shot by other hunters.

 

Hunters react

 

Some local hunters said the details of the accidental shooting incident seem bizarre because they say their sport is safe.

 

Belmont, 38, of Fitchburg, was taking a break from hunting with some other hunters on Potato Hill Road in Fitchburg Wednesday afternoon. The three men contend hunting is a safe sport and they do not worry about getting shot.

 

Jim Leger, 45, of Fitchburg, said he started hunting 30 years ago.

 

"It's a safe sport. If you're out there alone, you never know who you could run into, but that's like anything else," Leger said. "I hunt with four or five guys usually, and I trust all of them completely."

 

Fitchburg at large Councilor and hunting aficionado Ralph R. Romano, 42, has been a hunter since he was 7 years old.

 

He said the "10 commandments of firearms safety" were drilled into him by his father.

 

"Hunting is definitely a safe sport. If you follow the rules, follow the laws, accidents hardly ever happen," said Romano. "The public has the image of hunting as being dangerous; they picture hunters shooting at anything that moves, but that isn't the case. People used to being around guns learn to respect them. You wear your hunter's orange and never shoot at anything unless you're sure what it is.

 

But he acknowledged there are exceptions to the rule.

 

"Like any sport, there are some nuts out there," Romano said. "Ninety-nine percent of hunters do it because they enjoy the wilderness and taking game home to share with their family and friends -- the meat, the fur."

 

Deblinger said there is a stereotype that hunters like to drink.

 

Bars along Route 2 fly banners reading "welcome hunters."

 

"Part of the motivation of hunting is male camaraderie, telling each other stories and drinking at the club," he said. "The beer-drinking hunter is a stereotype, but you won't see them drinking in the field. It is illegal. Drinking and firearms don't mix."

 

Hunters caught drinking while hunting are fined upwards of $50, depending on the violation, Deblinger said.

 

Romano said the sport gets scrutinized not because it's dangerous to people, but because they are killing animals.

 

"Sometimes the gun issue does get dragged into it, but it's more about the animals. People don't realize, though, that hunting is a vital component of wildlife management. Without hunting, there would be a severe population problem," Romano said.

 

There are about 100,000 licensed hunters in Massachusetts for the current shotgun deer season, Deblinger said.

 

"Over the last 20 years, the number of hunters has declined by half, but deer hunting has remained pretty stable," Deblinger said. "We have fewer youngsters learning to hunt because there are so many other activities for them to do, things people didn't have 20 years ago."

 

Hunters need to be licensed to shoot deer. Each $27.50 license allows a hunter to bag two male deer per season.

 

Hunters need a special $5 permit to hunt female deer and a special $5 permit to hunt across state lines, Deblinger said.

 

To get a hunting license, people need to complete a free 12-hour hunter education course, where they learn about firearm safety, shooting targets, reading maps and compasses, and field techniques.

 

Hunters are required to wear clothing with at least 500 square inches of "blaze orange material," to make them visible and identifiable to other hunters.

 

Massachusetts also has made it illegal for hunters to use rifles because ammunition fired from a rifle can travel up to one mile, creating a safety hazard to other hunters. Shotgun ammunition travels only 200 yards, so hunters have to be close to their target, Deblinger said.

2 major points in this story you missed in your post. At least the claim is that a bear came up behind Mr. Doherty, and as the other hunter attempted to shoot the bear (and protect his friend from attack), he stood up, into the line of fire. True or not, I don't know. The other part that you missed is the part that in Mass., where you live, a non-hunter has never been shot by a hunter. Never.

Yes, everyone needs to be safe, and accidents DO happen, but it's not quite as bad as you make it out.

Edited by NJ Admin
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There was also a follow up story I found, which bizzare as it may sound, seems to back up the bear attack story. The hunter who was shot was apparently about to be attacked by a charging, 400lb bear. The shooter was standing 5ft away from the man who was shot. A bizzare accident, and not the same as a geocacher being mistaken for a deer in the woods.

Edited by NJ Admin
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The point I was trying to make in my original post was to be careful in the woods during hunting season. In November, I placed a cache in a park near my home in dense brush. The park has a playground, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and walking paths with benches.

The cache page is here: The Snoring Cache

This is where the cache is hidden: Dense Brush

This is what was found about 80 feet from the cache: Spikes in Tree

If you read the cache listing you will understand my concern.

Also, I think it is a pretty good cache. Read the logs to see what people think about it.

 

Geocaching has recently brought tremendous numbers of people into wooded areas usually only frequented by hunters. I suspect a lot of geocachers might not even know when hunting season is and hike into heavily hunted woods with their kids in search of that elusive cache. I also suspect hunters might not realize how many geocachers there are out there.

 

If anyone is interested in why it is a good idea to be careful in the woods during hunting season check out the statistics at this link:

International Hunter Education Association - Statistics

A quick summation is: About half of all fatal two party two party hunting accidents are caused by a hunter failing to identify his target. In my opinion, that is total carelessnes and not an accident.

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I was out with my son replacing a missing cache today and ran across some deer hunters. Happy we were both wearing bright orange - these guys had been out since before dawn and come up empty. They didn't look pleased.

 

Sheesh, imagine not being able to find a deer in NJ. All you need is to carry a few car headlights - they seem to be all over the place and headlights make 'em come a'running!

 

Be safe - wear orange.

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This is a log from one of my caches:

 

Wow, this was an experience we hope to not have again. Following GPS, everything going fine, following the trail. We thought maybe we should have gone the other way so we turned around and on way back saw a hunter sitting right there off the trail. We decided to leave since he had a gun and we would be rustling through the woods and didn't feel safe. Nice area and maybe we'll return next summer. We even stopped back after another find, but the same vehicle was still in the parking lot. Thanks anyways

 

This in a patch of woods owned by the county/state about half a mile wide and 3/4 a mile long.. Bordered on one side by a highway, and on the other side by a marsh and pond. I never even thought about hunters being back there. :D I now posted a warning on the cache page. You never know. :huh:

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