So turkey hunting season is open now, and I am a little bit concerned about riding out around here. I mean, I know to wear bright colours and all that, but you get a lot of cidiots out who have never shot a gun and who don't know the land. There's never been any record of anyone accidentally shot around here (at least not to my knowledge) but there also aren't a lot of riders around our area. What do you guys do during hunting season? Should I still be riding off the property and around to the woods and stuff? If I only ride around home day after day my horse gets so ridiculously bored and goes crazy, so I kind of have to keep her entertained by going new places.
I don't trust the people around here. I get nervous just having our pasture back up to a run of woods that hunters like to use. Our property doesn't extend very far into the woods so while we have our part posted, they are all over the rest of it and I put little stock in them realizing just where the line is. I remember growing up the cows and other animals that would be lost every year on the free range during hunting season.
So, I, personally, don't like to take the chance and we stay out of the woods.
As terrible as it is, I still laugh at the hunter replacing mule deer with actual mules. But all that's what I'm worried about-I want both me and the horse to be safe, and not be shot accidentally by some idiot who can't handle a gun.
I try to ride throughout the year and have ridden during various hunting seasons on both coasts. So my two cents (with apologies to contentious hunters everywhere) ....
Turkey hunters are generally a bit better (better being relative I know) about knowing what they are shooting at. Turkeys are wily critters and those that hunt them seem to be a higher caliber if you will. The scatter guns that they use for turkey also do not have the range of other weapons which helps to keep us a bit safer. I have had a few scary situations when I've ridden up on a "stump" that started talking. Neither I or my horse recognized it as a human.
Bow hunters - Same as turkey hunters if not a bit more careful about their target and aim. Similar to shot gun users a bow doesn't have much range so the hunters tend to be much more careful.
Rifle hunters - Those hunting large animals such as deer and elk with large caliber weapons and shot gun slugs have the unfortunate ability to "reach out and touch" far beyond the hunter's sight line. This makes some hunters a menace when they're in the woods. We've all heard the horror stories.
If you're not going to ride the trails during hunting season you wont spend much time at all on the trails. There are hunting seasons throughout the year. Statistically, you've a much greater chance of being hurt by your horse than by a hunter.
I am an avid hunter. I am always in the woods during hunting season. I don't see a problem with riding during hunting season. Put some Hunter Orange on and go have some fun. If your are worried about turkey hunters, Don't go around gobling like a turkey.
We get to see some of the best of nature by riding 12 months of the year.
Hunting Season in Utah begins in August and runs through November, Spring Turkey hunting is April and May. If I didn't ride during hunting season, I'd miss 7 months of the year.
I'm with Painted Horse. I too, hunt pretty regularly - wear hunter orange in the states, Red in Canada, maybe have some trail bells on and you should be good to go. Not a bad idea to bring a cell phone anyhow. I also carry a pistol. However, with my area, the hunters arent' the problem - the meth heads cookin' in the 'remote' woods are.