Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Bikes: 1991 Schwinn Paramount Series 5 2013 Specialized Hardrock Disc 29'r
Hunters don't have a patent on rude or dangerous behavior.
There is a 500 acre parcel of land about 10 minutes from my home that is owned by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and serves primarily as a Public Hunting Area. It is supposed to be "walk in only" and signage at the parking area clearly indicates that it is a Public Hunting Area and is walk-in only. The regulations state that the area is closed to non-hunting activities during the 14 day long general firearms deer season. Those same regulations stipulate that blaze orange must be worn by everyone using the area during the general firearms deer season. They go on to state that all users need to have a valid Oklahoma hunting or fishing license on their person to use the property, whether for consumptive or non consumptive use.
In the five years that I hunted on that land, I had numerous bad encounters with mountain bikers who apparently are too self-important to believe that they need to yield to hikers. I've literally been nearly run over by mountain bikers there on multiple occasions. I actually had one run me down the last time I went deer hunting there.
I was walking down a steep hill on the narrow main single-track hiking trail. I never heard the cyclist who hit me. He must have been making full use of his full-suspension mount, though, because it was like being hit with a motorcycle. He never asked me if I was okay, or apologized for hitting me. He seemed to have the attitude that it was my fault he ran over me and knocked me down. I tore my jeans on a rock, had a few scrapes, but was otherwise okay. I had an unloaded Marlin 336 rifle in my hands that I've had since my 12th Birthday and never put a scratch on in 36 years of use and it was likewise unscathed. That was the final straw for me. I still hike there, but I doubt if I'll hunt there anymore.
I'm not supposed to be there? It is a public hunting area. The money used to pay for that land came from hunting and fishing license revenue and through a tax on sporting arms and ammunition. But I'm not supposed to be there?
According to the mountian biker who hit me, I shouldn't have been. Since I'm a hunter, apparently running me over was an okay thing to do. He told me he was glad he ran me over! I wonder if he has visions of mowing down the rancher who raises cattle, or the folks as the feed lot who fatten them up, or the people who work in the slaughterhouse, or the butcher at the local supermarket. Somehow, I doubt it. But if he eats meat, the main difference between me and him is I like at least some of mine to be free-range and not infused with hormones and chemicals, and while I don't really enjoy the killing part, I don't need to pawn that off on someone else in order to obtain meat.
In addition to hunting, I'm also a fly fisher, hiker, wildlife photographer, equestrian at times, and I've been an avid mountain biker since Specialized came out with the Stumpjumper. I don't have a problem with sharing wildland with non-hunters, even during the hunting season. What I do have a problem with is rude and unsafe behavior. Hunters don't have a patent on that. I've seen plenty of mountain bikers who could use a refresher course in backcountry courtesy and compassion for their fellow man, and what "Tread Lightly" means.
Last edited by Japanamount; 12-03-13 at 07:19 AM.