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-   -   Hunters on the MTB Trails? (http://www.bikeforums.net/mountain-biking/919880-hunters-mtb-trails.html)

joyota 10-28-13 01:30 PM

Hunters on the MTB Trails?
 
Hey all,

I had an experience yesterday that left me very unsettled while out on the trails. While riding one of my absolute favorite trails, I had a .22 rifle barrel pointed right at my face! :eek: I was approaching a Dad and his two boys hiking on the MTB trail and his oldest was at the back of their little convoy carrying the rifle loosely over his shoulder. I heard his Dad tell him as I rode away to point the barrel at the ground as he carried it, so that was encouraging.

The trails are in a state rec area that allows hunting during legal seasons. I don't know if there are boundaries, but I've never seen any signs indicating hunting isn't allowed in areas so I'd guess they're allowed.

So, it just got me thinking maybe riding this area's not such a great idea for now. I certainly wasn't the only person that was out on the trails yesterday. I encountered four other groups of riders (that I was passing, booyah! :D) on the same trail. I wear brightly colored clothing and my Camelbak is a neon yellowish-green color. I'd think it'd be pretty hard to mistake me for any sort of game, but I also think guys with guns aren't the sort of people you want to piss off by spooking the wildlife.

Thoughts? Experiences?

rumrunn6 10-28-13 01:49 PM

um, yeah, hunting season stinks for the rest of us who don't hunt. seems like hunters are everywhere

Daspydyr 10-28-13 03:28 PM

Guns and cars are in the same category in my book, most of em are all good if you treat them with respect. But you never know about the next person in line. Always stay wary.

My biggest danger is target shooters. Guys will set up a target on a hillside and then practice 300 - 500 yard shots. I will be tooling down a trail and hear bullets whizzing over my head. That really "GETS MY ATTENTION!" Its a known MTB area. Shooting should be a couple more miles out. I do some yelling, slink backwards and go around. Its always a no win situation to battle cars or guys with guns. Avoid decks of cards that are stacked against you.

I had a coyote (speaking of hunters) watch me for a while. He knew I would spook up a bunny and the chase was on. Coyotes out here in the desert are so EXTREMELY bold. People set out food for them and then are upset when Fido or Mittens comes up missing!

joyota 10-28-13 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daspydyr (Post 16199288)
People set out food for them and then are upset when Fido or Mittens comes up missing!

Ha, I remember hearing stories like that when I lived in Barstow.

roccobike 10-29-13 07:08 PM

The hunter thing is a problem. I have a vintage bright orange jersey that I wear whenever I see all the cars parked on the side of the road and the guns coming out of the trunk or gun rack. While I ride on county/state owned land that is completely off limits to hunters, bullets have a habit of not obeying "NO TResspassing" signs. Also the deer seem to know that the bike trails are safe ground, you can almost hear them laughing as they slow down when they enter the park.
The scariest scenario was riding a rails to trails with guys carrying loaded guns going to their blind. The blinds were less than 100 yards from the trail. IMHO, that's too close and should be outlawed cause horses are allowed on the rails to trails and when a weapon discharges, the horse can bolt injuring the rider and anyone next to the horse. It's actually safer on the MTB trails than the rails to trails, way safer.

bikeme 10-29-13 10:49 PM

I heard that you shouldn't wear white in areas where hunting occurs--legal or illegal--as it looks like game fur (whitetail deer, cottontail rabbits, etc.)

swampboy62 10-30-13 07:11 AM

I used to ride during hunting season with a couple of 'jingle bells' (like horse tack bells) hanging from my seat. The idea was that hunters, being finely attuned to their natural surroundings, would hear them and realize that I wasn't a deer.

Two times I rode up on hunters on the trail, and asked them if they heard me coming. Neither did, so I quit with the bells.

I do still wear hunter orange or safety yellow whenever I'm in the woods, so I guess I have to hope that their eyes are better than their ears.

Steve Z

Daspydyr 10-30-13 10:15 AM

http://www.bikehacks.com/.a/6a0120a7...674e970c-800wi

Of course deer riding a bike during hunting season is always a dangerous risk! Don't let deer ride bikes during hunting season!

nogods 10-30-13 10:35 AM

I hunt, hike, and backpack all year in New York State. There is always an open season on something. I also have a leashed tracking dog license and a NYS outdoor guide license so I spend a lot of time on multi-use trails.

There is no reason all users can't get along as long as each pays attention their safety obligations. I always suggest that mountain bikers and hikers take the free hunter safety course to learn the methods hunters use to keep themselves safe from other hunters and to learn the safety rules imposed on hunters.

But mountain bikers also have to take responsibility for the safety of others. In western New York most public multi-use trails require that bikers yield to pedestrians by stopping to let approaching pedestrians pass them, or by dismounting and passing pedestrians they are overtaking from behind. The reason for those rules is that it is a lot less likely that a pedestrian will inadvertently make contact into a biker than it is that a biker will inadvertently make contact with a pedestrian.

Following those rules is even more critical when the pedestrian has a weapon that might be loaded.

rumrunn6 10-30-13 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daspydyr (Post 16204612)
http://www.bikehacks.com/.a/6a0120a7...674e970c-800wi

Of course deer riding a bike during hunting season is always a dangerous risk! Don't let deer ride bikes during hunting season!

well that's one way to get it back to the truck without having a heart attack

rebel1916 10-30-13 02:00 PM

Hunters of course paid for a much larger percentage of state open space than any other user. So don't hate too hard. Just be aware, wear bright colors, and conflicts are unlikely.

phoebeisis 10-30-13 03:57 PM

Simple-you shouldn't ride or hike in hunted areas-if they hunt with rifles-or slugs in shotguns.
So bird hunting-OK- as long as Dick Cheney isn't hunting.
Heavy hunting-lotta blasting-would put me off my game.
I would be wondering if "I looked like a deer"

thehammerdog 11-04-13 02:36 PM

Yeah, up here in the NWNJ area kids take off school for hunting season. My brother and I have had two run ins with hunters. Once e heard the shot from a gun then the sound of pellets all around us, the other was when we came across a guy with a gun, no sure if he was a "hunter" or not walking down the trail as if we were in his way, creepy weird dude just made us think what if he was crazy?? We were miles away from the road.

roccobike 11-05-13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daspydyr (Post 16204612)
http://www.bikehacks.com/.a/6a0120a7...674e970c-800wi

Of course deer riding a bike during hunting season is always a dangerous risk! Don't let deer ride bikes during hunting season!

So THAT'S what Hybrids are for. Never knew that.

OneGoodLeg 11-05-13 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daspydyr (Post 16204612)
http://www.bikehacks.com/.a/6a0120a7...674e970c-800wi

Of course deer riding a bike during hunting season is always a dangerous risk! Don't let deer ride bikes during hunting season!

That bike is way too small for that deer.

Some of the best mountain biking in southern New England isn't too far from my house. When I used to ride alot, the season was always over when the hunters showed up.

Don't fool yourself into believing that the orange vest matters. Some people will shoot at anything moving.

Daspydyr 11-05-13 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roccobike (Post 16221430)
So THAT'S what Hybrids are for. Never knew that.

ZIP Ties are great.

Daspydyr 11-05-13 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OneGoodLeg (Post 16221571)
That bike is way too small for that deer.

Some of the best mountain biking in southern New England isn't too far from my house. When I used to ride alot, the season was always over when the hunters showed up.

Don't fool yourself into believing that the orange vest matters. Some people will shoot at anything moving.

This was the first year I got the guns out in probably 15 years. The last time I went, Northwest NM, great country, so many people were out and just blazing away, like you say, at anything, moving or not. We we close to a herd of deer and had scoped them over, all does. A truck load of morons slammed on their brakes, spooking the herd and then started blazing away at the herd that was a good 250 yards away and fleeing.

Hunting this year was more about hanging with the guys.

sknhgy 11-16-13 10:11 PM

The scary thing is hunters don't hear you coming. I had a close encounter with some rabbit hunters that way. They don't expect you to be cruising down the country lane right next to the briar thickets. If I know they are there I make some noise or say hello.

NoviceJohn 11-17-13 12:02 AM

I personally would not ride on that trail during hunting season just the fear of cross fires. You're probably pretty safe for being mistaken for a game but the misfires (or crossfires) can be deadly if that bullet happens to not hit any trees or anything but you when the hunter misses.

unterhausen 11-17-13 12:05 PM

hunters aren't looking for safety yellow, best to wear blaze orange. I was looking into hunting-safe clothing, and what I found out is that you shouldn't wear red, white, or blue. So it turns out that hunting is as un-American as I always thought it was. In all seriousness, the white is so you don't get mistaken for a deer, and the red and blue are signs of turkeys. I started wearing a white helmet for the sake of irresponsible drivers, now I have to cover it up for the sake of irresponsible hunters. I've considered taking up a collection from all the hunters I meet for my safety clothing, probably wouldn't go over too well.

rebel1916 11-17-13 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thehammerdog (Post 16218738)
My brother and I have had two run ins with hunters....That's not a run in, that is an encount when we came across a guy with a gun, no sure if he was a "hunter" or not walking down the trail as if we were in his way, creepy weird dude just made us think what if he was crazy?? We were miles away from the road.

That's not a run in, that's a chance encounter with a fellow outdoor enthusiast.

nogods 11-18-13 09:03 AM

I hunt, hike, backpack, snowshoe and now bike in the woods, just like many other people. We all have one thing in common - when we are in the woods other than as predator or prey we are a disruption of nature. We add nothing to the natural world by simply traveling through it, or photographing it, or taking in its sights, sounds, and odors. Only the hunter and the hunted participate in nature. The rest of us are consuming it.

phoebeisis 11-18-13 09:34 AM

Killing a bear elk lion deer-with a high power scoped rifle-is sooooo easy there are 8 yo kids doing it.
Anything an 8 year old kid can do-just isn't very challenging-simple as that.
There are pictures in the local paper all the time-7-8 year old kids-1 even 2 deer.
I wouldn't ride during hunting season-humans are predators-movement attracts us-folks shoot at moving "things"
"I thought it was a deer" happens every year.

Hunters have every right to hunt there-so I wouldn't ride there.

nogods 11-25-13 03:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16255866)
Anything an 8 year old kid can do-just isn't very challenging-simple as that.

My four kids all learned to ride bikes before they were 5 years old and my first grandson starting ride when he was just 4. Time to hang up the spandex I guess.

Murray Missile 11-29-13 08:25 AM

I realize this thread is a little old but since it is hunting season.... My cousins and I had a scare about 15 years ago riding an old mud road. We crested a steep hill and there is a guy and his 2 kids in the middle of the road each with a .22 rifle and one of the kids has his shouldered ready to shoot a squirrel in a tree behind us. His dad yells at him to hold up and apologizes to us, the kid tells us we shouldn't be riding without blaze orange during hunting season or we could get shot and gives us a whole bunch of attitude doing it. Ironically none of them were wearing orange. :rolleyes: I stopped the bike and informed him that it is illegal to hunt from the road and HE could get arrested and his gun confiscated. Dad tells me a co-worker had told him it's a private road, I told Dad that while it was pretty much only used by locals with 4X4's it was still an active township road and if he had any doubt I could give him the road commissioner's name and number. Dad got an "Oh crap" look on his face, told the boys to unload their rifles and to head back to the car. He then thanked me for letting him know as he didn't want to do anything illegal. My guess is that as soon as we were out of sight the hunt continued as they never passed us and they were NOT getting through the other end in a 2WD car.


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