Re­minder to share the woods

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - WILDLIFE - BOB QUARTERONI BoB Quarteroni is a free­lance out­doors writer. He can be reached at wildlife@timessham­rock.

Ac­cord­ing to the New York Daily News: “Au­thor­i­ties say an Ohio man shot a pickup truck he mis­took for a deer in west­ern New York.

“Sher­iff ’s deputies say Marvin Miller of Mid­dle­field, Ohio, fired a high-pow­ered ri­fle at a pickup truck. They say Miller told au­thor­i­ties he had mis­taken the truck for a deer.”

One won­ders if he thought the an­tenna were antlers?

In any case, this again il­lus­trates the fact that some hun­ters — very few of them, we hope — have a lot of is­sues when they are afield.

It’s prob­a­bly good to re­view some of the things you need to do to be safe dur­ing hunt­ing sea­sons — or, how not to be mis­taken for a F-150 pickup.

■ First, of course, orange is the new orange. Hun­ters have been so in­doc­tri­nated with the fact that orange means no that it’s far and away the most im­por­tant thing you can do when you are in the woods at the same time as hun­ters.

Hun­ters must wear at least 250 square inches of hunter orange on their heads, chests, and backs and you should do the same.

And don’t for­get your dogs. We would never take Opie and Molly on a run dur­ing hunt­ing sea­son with­out their flu­o­res­cent orange vests.

■ Hike, or ram­ble, where hun­ters aren’t al­lowed.

In an email, Ni­cholas Lylo, Dis­trict Forester for Pin­chot State For­est, wrote “The Moon Lake Re­cre­ation Area in­clud­ing the lake and camp­ing area and the Seven Tubs Re­cre­ation Area which in­cludes the Tubs Loop and Audubon trails are closed to hunt­ing. All other ar­eas of the Pin­chot State For­est area open to hunt­ing.’’

And a North Branch Land Trust of­fi­cial emailed “The only prop­erty where we al­low hunt­ing is the How­land Pre­serve. No hunt­ing is al­lowed at the Ge­orge & Lil­lian Pic­ton Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary. The How­land Pre­serve is posted with sig­nage to dis­cour­age hik­ing dur­ing hunt­ing sea­son but if you do hike wear orange and take pre­cau­tions.”

■ The deer are si­lent, you shouldn’t be. You don’t have to be ob­nox­ious, but be vo­cal enough, con­vers­ing and laugh­ing, so hun­ters be­come aware of your pres­ence. And bear bells for you and your fur ba­bies are a good idea.

Don’t hike at dawn or dusk. Deer are ac­tive then, which means hun­ters are also. Com­bine that with the dim light con­di­tions and it’s es­pe­cially dan­ger­ous.

■ Stay on the trails. You’re far less likely to get in trou­ble if you stay on the marked trails. Con­versely, you are ask­ing for trou­ble if you de­cide this is the time to go bush­whack­ing or ex­plor­ing be­cause that could lead you right into hun­ters in the deep woods.

Know when the dif­fer­ent hunt­ing sea­sons are. If pos­si­ble, try to not go hik­ing dur­ing deer and bear sea­son. With al­most a mil­lion li­censed hun­ters in the state, the chances of an en­counter rise ex­po­nen­tially if you are in the woods with all that fire­power around you, no mat­ter how safety con­scious you are. Re­mem­ber that truck.

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