Tips to Stay Safe During Hunting Season

by Jeannette Orr

Tips to Stay Safe During Hunting Season

Here are some great tips you can follow to stay safe during the hunting season. While these links and the advice applies to New York, there are lots of great guidelines here for trail riders out in rural areas everywhere.

Go to this site for  the dates for all hunting seasons for all game for the 2013-2014 season:
1. Post your property properly. You must have posted "No Trespassing" signs on your property with your name and address filled out on them.  Post them on the corners of your land, and no more than 660 feet apart from each other. There is no need to post on every other tree!  See this link for posting law:
2. Put a notice in the Legal Notice section of your local paper or Pennysaver. And save it. The body of the text should read similar to:- "The lands known as Jones at 10 Main Road in the town of  Delhi NY are posted as No Trespassing for any reason. Violators will be prosecuted."  By properly posting your land and running a legal notice, you will be able to prosecute trespassers as a criminal trespass. Without the posting  the charge can only be simple trespass.
3. The governing body for the law is the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Call them and get the number of your local  enforcement officer to keep on hand. Any hunting violations need to be reported to them.
4. If you find someone on your property, ask them to leave politely, and get their back tag number. They need to be wearing the tag by law. The number will identify them.  DON'T get into a heated conflict. Remember, they have a gun.
5.. If you find a car parked on your property, get the plate number and call the DEC.  it is not illegal to park alongside of the road. The vehicle must be on your property.
6. Hunting before dawn or after dark is illegal.  Spotlighting deer is illegal as well. (and it's cheating..I mean really?)Hiding Out
I keep my horse in a small paddock the weekend of Opening Day for deer season.  This year it is on November 16.  That is the time to be most careful.  DO NOT trail ride that weekend.
Get blaze orange for your horses and dogs.  And wear a blaze orange vest if you are out riding.

Remember, even if you don't approve of hunting, it is legal and hunters have a right to hunt. Do not get confrontational or judgmental. Yes, there are jerks out there who are irresponsible. But many hunters are responsible and respectful.  Just make sure that you stay within the law yourself when dealing with any hunters or trespass issues.
Be safe!