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Old 11-23-14, 10:35 AM   #1
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Is it safe to ride State Parks during hunting season?

OK, maybe this is a dumb question. I'm not a hunter so I don't know the specifics of the activity and what restrictions apply. (Thou Shalt Not Shoot Cyclists, etc).

But it's a foggy day today and I was thinking of heading to my local State Park here in town (Peninsula State Park, WI) to get out into the deep woods on the single-tracks. It then occurred to me that it's hunting season and I wonder just how safe it is to be outdoors in poor visibility.

I've tried Googling info on park usage during hunting season but couldn't find much. One article seems to share my concerns Hunting in state parks upsets many users in Madison area : Ct

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with this issue?

Is it safe to be out there, can hunters utilize the parks and areas close to MUPs and other off-road trails?
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Old 11-23-14, 10:38 AM   #2
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Why take the chance. Which is more important - your life or a ride? If you know for sure that hunters will be around where you ride, then its a no brainer, especially if visibility is low.
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Old 11-23-14, 10:41 AM   #3
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I would leave the coon-skin cap at home.
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Old 11-23-14, 11:19 AM   #4
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I wouldn't worry too much about it - but then again, I wouldn't wear brown or grey outfits either.

Definitely wear your lime green or orange kit...
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Old 11-23-14, 11:22 AM   #5
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I would leave the coon-skin cap at home.
Good one!
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Old 11-23-14, 11:23 AM   #6
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Of course there may be idiots like this with guns in the park: Hunter Shoots at Dead Deer on Cart, Hits Other Man - ABC News

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Old 11-23-14, 11:56 AM   #7
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Seeing as how it takes far more education to get a drivers license in this country (and we see how well that works out with some), than it does to own a bullet launcher or get a hunting license...

I might find some cool urban riding until the Elmers pack it in.
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Old 11-23-14, 01:03 PM   #8
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First place to contact would be the state parks in question, see what they say about it. In particular, whether they hunt the same parts of the park where the trails are (I assume this relates to mountain bike riding, not just riding normal roads- otherwise, you'd have the same issue driving around.)
In a lot of cases, the best hunting is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, which is not prime riding time.
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Old 11-23-14, 02:49 PM   #9
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Around here our deer do not ride bikes.
Use lights and bright clothing, you should be fine.
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Old 11-23-14, 03:19 PM   #10
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Bright clothes, no brown colors, flashing lights, and should you fall into the brush, make sure there are no branches sticking up from your helmet!
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Old 11-23-14, 04:09 PM   #11
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Don't remember ever hearing of cyclists, either on- or off-road, being shot by hunters in Indiana state parks. Or hikers, for that matter.
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Old 11-23-14, 04:44 PM   #12
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Thanks for the comments

I've lived in WI for long enough that I really should've known. It's just that I've never ridden in the off-season before so I'd never paid attention.

I called the park office but there was no answer.

So I took a drive out there.

On the way over in the car it suddenly occurred to me that the Packers were playing the Vikings, so there was more chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa crouched behind a tree than any deer hunters....

Sure enough I didn't see another soul nor did I hear any gunshots. I saw plenty of deer, so they must've known the Packers were playing at noon.

I also saw a lot of signage indicating that the trail areas are shared with hunters. Some areas were off-limits to hunting but mostly it was open access. I think it would be wise to stay off the deep-woods tracks during hunting season at any time other than during a Packer game.

I toyed with the idea of staying on the main MUP, then after a half hour of not hearing any gunshots I went deep-woods to do some exploring.

Had an absolute blast! (Pun intended).....

Gotta make the most of a 45 degree rainy day in late November, there won't be many more for a while...





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Old 11-23-14, 05:53 PM   #13
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I lived in Colorado for two years and deer hunting season was a huge thing there. Every time I saw hunters in town they were buying two things; More bullets and more liquor. Be careful where you ride. bk
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Old 11-23-14, 06:34 PM   #14
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Archery season is usually. Nobody wants to waste an expensive arrow on a "sound shot".
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Old 11-23-14, 07:03 PM   #15
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ask Greg Lemond about hunters.... and in-laws.
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Old 11-23-14, 07:25 PM   #16
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In my area (NE PA), some of the rail trails that travel through game lands where hunting is allowed have periodic signs urging people to wear orange during hunting season, like the hunters do. Since, I usually don't ride in hunting season, it isn't an issue (I am a warm weather rider, especially since diagnosed with cold urticaria). Plus, I usually wear my orange shirt from alertshirt.com anyway... I would definitely wear it if I rode during during hunting season.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:10 PM   #17
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Around here, deer hunters usually have to get to their hunting spot before dawn or by mid-afternoon, as deer are generally not moving about in the middle of the day; hunting lasts for a couple hours after daylight and again the last couple hours of light before sundown. However, there is a psychological effect of standing still in freezing weather for several hours hoping you will see a deer: whatever moves may look to the hunter like a deer. Wear bright colors and flashy lights.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:22 PM   #18
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I had a run in with hunters back in '97, my cousins and I were riding our mountain bikes on an old dirt township road, we crested a hill to see a man and 2 boys standing on the road and one of the boys was pointing a .22 r-i-f-l-e at a squirrel in the road just at the crest of the hill between us. The Dad yelled at him and he lowered the r-i-f-l-e. We pulled up to them and stopped, Dad apologized but "Davey Crockett" gave us some attitude about how we should be wearing orange during hunting season and we could get shot although none of them were wearing orange. I politely but firmly informed them that road hunting was illegal and although it was a dirt road and poorly maintained it was still a public road used by the locals. I told the Dad if he had any doubts he could call the township road commissioner who happened to be a friend of mine. I added that it was also bad practice to fire a g-u-n at something when you couldn't see what was behind your target. Dad paled a little, apologized again and headed the boys back to their car which had out of state plates. I'm fairly certain as soon as we were out of sight the hunt resumed as there was only one way out for a car and they would have had to pass us on the way out which they didn't. However I wear orange now during hunting season if I'm going to be riding out of town.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:34 PM   #19
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Some trails get closed here during season, both out of consideration for the hunters and for the cyclists. If you must ride, blaze orange clothing, especially a cover on your helmet as it's the first thing that will be seen. Also put a bear bell on the bike, won't scare the deer much because they will hear you coming and just move aside to watch you ride on by. (And you will never know...)

Call your DNR and get local laws - you might not even be able to ride those areas.
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Old 11-24-14, 01:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruised View Post
OK, maybe this is a dumb question. I'm not a hunter so I don't know the specifics of the activity and what restrictions apply. (Thou Shalt Not Shoot Cyclists, etc).

But it's a foggy day today and I was thinking of heading to my local State Park here in town (Peninsula State Park, WI) to get out into the deep woods on the single-tracks. It then occurred to me that it's hunting season and I wonder just how safe it is to be outdoors in poor visibility.

I've tried Googling info on park usage during hunting season but couldn't find much. One article seems to share my concerns Hunting in state parks upsets many users in Madison area : Ct

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with this issue?

Is it safe to be out there, can hunters utilize the parks and areas close to MUPs and other off-road trails?
That's a beautiful area out there, and it must be great to ride in after all those pesky tourists go back to Chicago.
I used to get nervous every fall when I was a biker and hearing shots while out riding around in the country. I never heard of anyone getting shot while riding, but figured that someone could mistake me for a deer in a full face helmet on a motorcycle.
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Old 11-24-14, 02:55 PM   #21
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Get a big sign and paint 'person" on it.. Heres what they do around here for their horses and cattle.
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Old 11-24-14, 03:19 PM   #22
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I lived in Colorado for two years and deer hunting season was a huge thing there. Every time I saw hunters in town they were buying two things; More bullets and more liquor. Be careful where you ride. bk
Yep....I guess it's the same thing here in WI. Some of the bars open early and you just know that there's g.u.n.s and alcohol involved.... I don't get drawn into debates on g.u.n.s, drinking, hunting etc, but I don't mind pointing out that some things just don't mix well.

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In my area (NE PA), some of the rail trails that travel through game lands where hunting is allowed have periodic signs urging people to wear orange during hunting season, like the hunters do. Since, I usually don't ride in hunting season, it isn't an issue (I am a warm weather rider, especially since diagnosed with cold urticaria). Plus, I usually wear my orange shirt from alertshirt.com anyway... I would definitely wear it if I rode during during hunting season.
Yep, that seems to be the standard color around here too. I don't have blaze orange but I wore a reflective yellow riding jacket and a red/white helmet....

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Some trails get closed here during season, both out of consideration for the hunters and for the cyclists. If you must ride, blaze orange clothing, especially a cover on your helmet as it's the first thing that will be seen. Also put a bear bell on the bike, won't scare the deer much because they will hear you coming and just move aside to watch you ride on by. (And you will never know...)

Call your DNR and get local laws - you might not even be able to ride those areas.
Thanks....good advice. I don't plan on making a habit of riding during hunting season, but I do need to get to know the laws/regulations better...

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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
That's a beautiful area out there, and it must be great to ride in after all those pesky tourists go back to Chicago.
I used to get nervous every fall when I was a biker and hearing shots while out riding around in the country. I never heard of anyone getting shot while riding, but figured that someone could mistake me for a deer in a full face helmet on a motorcycle.
Yep, I do like this time of year....the roads are quiet, the trails are empty and the locals come out to play... 'course by late spring it's good to see the many IL/MN/FL license plates coming back into town, most people's livelihoods depend on tourism so we're mostly very appreciative and respectful.....mostly

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Get a big sign and paint 'person" on it.. Heres what they do around here for their horses and cattle.
LOL....better not to trust to luck I guess...
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Old 11-24-14, 05:04 PM   #23
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As dumb/drunk as some hunters are... I doubt they'd take shots at a biker, regardless if they were wearing bright clothes or not. There are so many laws as to what you can and cannot shoot that hunters have to have a very good luck at what they're shooting before they actually shoot them, or else they could get into some pretty big trouble. Bikes don't move like animals do.

With that said, I'd still be wearing bright yellow/orange.
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Old 11-24-14, 06:07 PM   #24
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Why risk it? I won't ride in sketchy areas during hunting season. As someone pointed out, when you have been standing out in the cold for a while (and maybe saucing on liquor all along), then bad judgement might happen.

Just leave the backwoods to the hunters during hunting season, okay.
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Old 11-24-14, 06:12 PM   #25
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I was on the Pine Creek rail trail in north-central PA last year during hunting season. Almost everyone was wearing orange, even the non-hunters. I guess they have learned their lesson
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