Hunting Season Safety

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Re: Hunting Season Safety

Postby RobertPetrowsky » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:19 am

I have to wait for 2nd rifle but I finally drew my zone 48. I'm excited to get a chance to actually have cold weather push the elk lower. Bring on the SNOW!

As far as wearing orange for safety, I think it is actually most important with upland game such as pheasants. It gives a good peace of mind when you have 10 shotguns in front of you in a grass field and are the one blocking the end. It gives the hunter a bright spot to know not to shoulder a firearm in that direction. Rifle season has relatively few hunters so I don't see it being nearly as critical but I wouldn't want to be hit with anything I hunt with out to a couple of miles so the peace of mind helps there too.
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Re: Hunting Season Safety

Postby kbmiller » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:50 am

Last year, there were two hunting fatalities in Colorado and 8 additional injuries attributed to "getting shot". Of the 10, five were self-inflicted by careless gun handling. The vast majority of hunting injuries/deaths in Colorado are due to hunters being out of shape, with quite a few cardiac cases and horse-related injuries. Given the death/injury rate of climbing 14ers (tragically high), you face a higher probably of dying or being injured climbing 14ers than hunting, or being in the field during hunting season. Since the advent of a blaze orange requirement and hunters safety courses, the death/injury rate from hunting is dramatically down from the 1960s. I wouldn't worry about climbing during hunting season -- not a whole lot of elk/deer near the well-beaten trails going up the peaks. Most of the hunters are in the woods at the 8-10k altitude where the animals are.

Pronghorn hunting in Wyoming this weekend, elk in early November, and deer in Nebraska in December -- lots of good food coming to my freezer (hopefully).
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Re: Hunting Season Safety

Postby Chicago Transplant » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:31 am

Just hike in the National Parks where there is no hunting allowed. Oh, wait... nevermind.

In general I don't run into too many hunters on the trails, I see them primarily driving to the trailheads; either going past their campsites or seeing them go by on ATVs or Pickups. If you stick with peaks that have a trail to treeline and don't have to bushwhack, wear bright colors and keep your dog leashed (and with an orange vest on) you should have 0 problems. I don't actually wear blaze orange per se, I wear a cheap safety vest like what you see constructions workers on the side of the road wear, orange and yellow with reflective stripes. It also fits over my backpack. That way I can still wear the jackets I know keep me warm and comfortable and stay visible. My shell is red and my down puffy and fleece are both a muted orange, so while not "blaze orange" they aren't exactly going to be confused with an elk either, especially with a traffic vest on over them.

Most of the people I have ran into on the trails have had been carrying their rifles with their fingers away from the trigger and the muzzle pointed away from the trail. I have never felt unsafe coming across a hunter on the trail and they usually are curious to talk to me about what I saw up trail, which unfortunately for them is usually a bunch of nothing, as noted above, the elk tend to move lower in the cold season. I did have a hunter tell me to be quiet once that I would scare all the elk away. The funny part is that myself and my hiking partners were actually talking to his hunting partner at the time!
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