Hunting and hiking are two of the most popular fall activities for visitors in the Adirondacks. But the two recreational North Country pastimes don't always mesh well together if hikers and hunters aren't properly educated and prepared. To ensure a fun and accident-free time, here are a few tips for hiking in the Adirondacks during hunting season.
Stay safe and happy trails!
In New York's Northern Zone, which includes the entirety of the Adirondack Park, hunting season is typically open from September through December. Consult the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website for specific dates.
Hunting may be prohibited in some parks, and not in others, so decide ahead of time where you will be hiking, and check to see whether hunting is allowed there when you go. Opt for parks and areas where hunting is not allowed, if possible.
You are less likely to be mistaken for game if you're dressed in loud, easily visible colors like red, orange or yellow. Avoid the browns, greens and whites. That goes for any pets hiking with you, too—many outdoor outfitters sell specific clothing for pets.
You are more visible during the daylight hours, and hunters and game are typically more active around dawn and dusk.
Making lots of noise as you meander along the trail is a great way to alert hunters (and game) to your presence.
Hunting season is not the time for an adventure into the unknown. Most hunters should know to stay away from popular trails, but you can't be too careful during hunting season in the Adirondacks.
While hunting may be allowed in certain parks at certain times of the year, it may not be allowed in all areas of those parks, at all those times of the year. Check ahead of time, watch out for signage within the park, and follow all hunting regulations.
To avoid potential interactions with hikers, know where the trails are at all times, and keep a safe distance.
If you come upon hikers during your hunting expedition, alert them to your presence and let them know where you are pursuing game.
Check before you shoot. This is good practice whether you are hunting in the Adirondacks or anywhere.