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Old 09-06-07, 11:17 PM   #1
Newspaperguy
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Dodging bullets?

I'm planning a one-week loop in the West Kootenay region of B.C. in mid-September. My preferred route will take me on pavement an then on an abandoned railway bed from Christina Lake to Castlegar and possibly other back roads or forestry roads. The problem or potential problem comes because hunting season starts on Monday. Am I putting myself at risk on the back roads and if I'm doing wild camping? My plans are flexible enough for me to make changes quite easily.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:20 PM   #2
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Wear bright orange ... go to the hunting section in your local department store and you'll see the bright orange I mean. It's a signal that you're a human not a deer or whatever.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:26 PM   #3
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Newspaperguy, you'll be fine. A bit of blaze orange or dayglo yellow on your garments never hurts. Avoid wearing white, especially white socks.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
I'm planning a one-week loop in the West Kootenay region of B.C. in mid-September. My preferred route will take me on pavement an then on an abandoned railway bed from Christina Lake to Castlegar and possibly other back roads or forestry roads. The problem — or potential problem — comes because hunting season starts on Monday. Am I putting myself at risk on the back roads and if I'm doing wild camping? My plans are flexible enough for me to make changes quite easily.
It's a bad idea to be running around in the woods during hunting season. Period.

For example, years ago a friend of mine went on his regular jogging route in Northern Massachusetts which went by hunting land, although not strictly on it. He came back very shaken with holes in the cuff of his sweat pants from shotgun pellets! He was extremely lucky not to have been hit. The odd thing is that even after his running partner screamed 'We're people! Stop shooting! " there was another shot fired.

Needless to say I stay out of the woods during hunting season.....
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Old 09-06-07, 11:42 PM   #5
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Well first off, the first days are the worst. If you could avoid being in the deep woods on those days, you would be better off. Hunters are supposed to identify their target carefully. In practice they may be looking for only a few salient features, like movement. The fact a person is wearing bright colour (good thing) does not mean that is the filter a hunter is using. There is a lot of brown in the woods, so the most likely cues are shape and movement. It's like proof reading. You read once for sense, once for spelling, once for syntax, etc... It's not because a person is too stupid to recognize spelling or syntax erors in the same pass, it's that they are more efficient focusing on only one thing. It's the same with hunters, they will be looking for cues you may well be giving off. Off course, idealy they would make a proper ID before targeting you, but there are things that may mitigate against that. Like if the area is not considered to be multi use, etc...

The best thing you could do is make a lot of noise. I have a bear bell that velcros onto my bike for allerting pedestrians, that might help. Or running a radio loud.

You are at greater risk if you enter target areas from the back. So if you come off the railtrail, and enter the deep woods, rather than coming off roads. In the latter case you will not likely see all cars etc... indicating hunter presence as you enter the area.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:52 PM   #6
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blaze orange, and keep it on the road. trails, not so smart during hunting season.
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Old 09-07-07, 12:26 AM   #7
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When we take our horses out on trail rides during hunting season we wear blaze orange vests and hang a cowbell off of our tack somewhere.
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Old 09-07-07, 12:26 AM   #8
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That's some of the prettiest terrain I've ever passed through -- I'd love to cycle it, and I'm full of jealousy! The orange clothing is a good idea, and noise is an especially good idea, however much silence may be your usual preference on tour.

When you're on a low-visibility road (plenty of those up there!), yell revolutionary slogans at the cows, recite Shakespeare soliloquies, sing out loud, clothespin the classic spoke-plucking playing card to a seatstay, wear some sleigh bells on your ankle, or at last resort turn on a transistor radio. You'll feel silly but safe.
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Old 09-07-07, 01:16 AM   #9
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i mention the road vs/ trail option because most hunters focus their attentions AWAY from even the gravel roads during hunting season in favor of terrain a bit more afield. hunters don't want cars and etc spooking the game, better chances of finding game during hunting season away from roads, licks and blinds set up away from the roads, taught not to fire guns in the direction of the road, etc.....
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Old 09-07-07, 06:49 AM   #10
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As an avid hunter who often camps out while hunting I say go for it. But wearing bright colors won't hurt.
The days of boozing and shooting at sounds in the bushes are gone with the 70's and 80's.
Have a good time.
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Old 09-07-07, 08:43 AM   #11
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ricohman is absolutely correct. Riding in wooded areas while wearing conspicuous colors such as blaze orange is perfectly safe. No need for panic.
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