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  1. #1
    Registered User Brad L's Avatar
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    :banana Hunters on the AT Oct/Nov

    I posted a few days ago about hiking weather from Unicoi Gap to Fontana Dam in Oct/Nov. After further research I started wondering if I needed to be concerned with hunters during that same time frame? If so, where can I find further information so I don't get shot????

  2. #2
    Registered User Chif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad L View Post
    I posted a few days ago about hiking weather from Unicoi Gap to Fontana Dam in Oct/Nov. After further research I started wondering if I needed to be concerned with hunters during that same time frame? If so, where can I find further information so I don't get shot????
    You may very well encounter hunters depending on where you are and the hunting seasons for that state. I would recommend a blaze orange cap for your safety and theirs. I always wear one when hiking in the fall.

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    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    "Huuuuman, comin through..." works fine for me.

  4. #4
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chif View Post
    You may very well encounter hunters depending on where you are and the hunting seasons for that state. I would recommend a blaze orange cap for your safety and theirs. I always wear one when hiking in the fall.
    +1 I have this insanely bright neon yellow dri-fit shirt that is my go to for hiking during hunting season.

    Last year I did a weekend hike in Virginia and I came up on this guy leaned up against a tree overlooking a field with a rifle across his lap. I was behind him so I started fake coughing and making as much noise walking as I could. Once up to him he said you do know it's doe day today don't you? I said no I did not! Before the day was done I saw two more hunters right on the trail.
    Section hiker on the 20 year plan - 1,480 miles and counting!

  5. #5

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    I put an orange vest on in the fall and don't take it off until Christmas time to be sure.

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    For the NC portion, you can find seasons, public gameland maps, and other hunting info here: http://www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Hu...North-Carolina

    At the very least, wear a blaze orange cap that can be seen from all directions. The more blaze orange you have, the better.

  7. #7

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    would also be a great time of year to wear "bells". not kidding. It's easy to get over heated and remove an orange cap not thinking about it. Also not uncommon for new hunters to get excited and get tunnel vision and miss visual cues, like only a small amount of orange. IIRC some states require 40 square inches of orange for hunters for safety but various seasons don't require orange. That makes the hunters harder for you to see. Also, a large figure with a backpack coming down a trail could sound like a dangerous animal and elicit a "surprised" response from a hunter. I actually am friend's with someone whose brother accidentally shot a hunting buddy because a bear came towards their site, friend's brother stood up, yelled bear, shouldered rifle and his friend stood up right in his line of fire as he fired his shot. Shot guy is permanently wheel chair bound now. Always be careful.
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  8. #8
    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    The ATC usually publishes a table of hunting seasons by the state the trail goes through each year. This is last year's, but should give you some idea what to expect:

    https://www.appalachiantrail.org/doc...a.pdf?sfvrsn=0
    you left to walk the appalachian trail
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  9. #9

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    I used a cheap blaze orange vest on my deer-colored mare, across the back of the saddle, if we rode during hunting season. My step-mom wore her vest. I would think one of those cheap pull-over vests sold at Walmart, with the side strips cut, and then tied over the top of your pack would be good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by QHShowoman View Post
    The ATC usually publishes a table of hunting seasons by the state the trail goes through each year. This is last year's, but should give you some idea what to expect:

    https://www.appalachiantrail.org/doc...a.pdf?sfvrsn=0

    So glad you posted that. Certainly explains the gunshots I heard while hiking the other day in NY. Guess I'll be leaving the buck mask home for a while.

  11. #11

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    Just a few more days until the opener here in New York, can't wait!

  12. #12
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Non issue. Just be responsible and wear some blaze orange.

  13. #13

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    I ran into a few bear hunters while hiking from the GA/NC line to NOC last year. I bought two orange bandanas prior to leaving and put one on the back of my pack and one on the front. I stopped to talk to the hunters I crossed to see how their hunts were going. On an interesting side note, they use dogs that wear transponder collars that show the hunters where the dog is chasing the bear. No one shot one as far as I saw.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

  14. #14
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    I bought this blaze orange shirt from tractor supply for $14 a few years ago and it is quite possibly the most comfortable shirt that I own.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...e?cm_vc=-10005
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    The subject is covered on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.

  16. #16

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    I wear a blaze orange head buff and pack cover.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikernutcasey View Post
    +1 I have this insanely bright neon yellow dri-fit shirt that is my go to for hiking during hunting season.

    Last year I did a weekend hike in Virginia and I came up on this guy leaned up against a tree overlooking a field with a rifle across his lap. I was behind him so I started fake coughing and making as much noise walking as I could. Once up to him he said you do know it's doe day today don't you? I said no I did not! Before the day was done I saw two more hunters right on the trail.
    You seem concerned because you saw hunters. Were any actually hunting from the trail? I suspect not. They were likely using the trail to walk to / from their hunting area. The AT often goes through game lands. I think actual shooting from the trail is prohibited, but that may vary by state. BTW Bow season probably already started.

    As for clothing I wear an orange pack cover, orange shirt and orange beanie. Lots of hunters thank me for wearing orange.

  18. #18
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    My 2 cents on color choice. The hunters are bound by law to wear blaze orange, but you, as a hiker, are not. So, given the choice, I always wear a combination of blaze orange and fluorescent yellow. I do this because of an experience I had a few years ago as a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. I was spotting for a search team during practice locating a downed aircraft. The team wore a mix of blaze orange and fluorescent yellow vests so they could be spotted from the air and guided to the "crash" site. Throughout the exercise, I was able to spot those wearing fluorescent yellow easily no matter where they were at the time. But for those wearing blaze orange, when they were in darker conditions under a heavy canopy, the color seemed to reflect very little light and they would become very difficult to spot. In bright conditions such as an open field the orange vests were maybe a bit easier to see than the yellow, probably due to more contrast.

    For this reason, my wife and I wear both colors during hunting season.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  19. #19
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    You seem concerned because you saw hunters. Were any actually hunting from the trail? I suspect not. They were likely using the trail to walk to / from their hunting area. The AT often goes through game lands. I think actual shooting from the trail is prohibited, but that may vary by state. BTW Bow season probably already started.

    As for clothing I wear an orange pack cover, orange shirt and orange beanie. Lots of hunters thank me for wearing orange.
    That was the thing, they were actually hunting sitting right on the trail. The had obviously used the trail to walk in and just set up shop.
    Section hiker on the 20 year plan - 1,480 miles and counting!

  20. #20

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    I do most of my backpacking in the mountains of North Carolina during all seasons and certainly never let hunting season determine my routes. For one thing, the hunters I see rarely get more than 100 feet from their trucks and if they do they are following their packs of hunting dogs who do most of the hunting.

    It is rare to see hunters actually out in the woods hiking up trails as most of them are bushwacking off trail. It is VERY RARE to see backpacking hunters in the Southeast. That is, guys with packs and rifles who are on a hunting backpacking trip and camping for a week from spot to spot. 99% of all hunters I see in NC and TN are dayhiking Done-In-A-Day types who never spend a night in the woods.

    Plus, they are hyperly overly fixated on their dogs and spend endless time and energy tracking these hateful beasts. Dog hunting should be illegal in the Southeast mountains but no, it's a grand southern tradition supported largely by the forest service. Some people are afraid of black bears or wild pigs disturbing their camps, but in my experience stray "abandoned" hunting dogs do the most damage by far: Stolen food bags, clawed and ripped tents, uninvited guests who never leave etc.

    As far as orange goes, well, I lucked out when I got my new Arcteryx rain jacket and purposely purchased one in bright orange.


    Shrouded in my Arcteryx jacket. It comes in handy I guess during hunting season.


    If I see alot of hunters out and about I drape my jacket over my pack just in case.

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