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Hello everyone, In most parts of the United States hunting season is open. My question is when you are riding during this time do you wear blaze orange or other hi viz colors. I hadn’t thought much about it. I ride where hunting is permitted. I haven’t even heard a gun shot or seen a hunter yet.
I’m not against hunting so let’s not start bashing people. I used to hunt ,but no longer.
Please give me your input. I ride western N.C. And eastern Tn.
Thanks
 

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Here is what I had to say on the topic in the Pennsylvania forum to basically the same question. Even though in a different state, much of it will apply elsewhere.


I’m an avid mtb’er and avid hunter from PA. There is a lot to take into consideration on this question and you should think through your particular situation before riding or not riding.

State game lands are closed to non-hunting activities during hunting season and this can be enforced by law. Beyond the law, it is really douchy to engage in anything that disturbs another’s activity in an area that is specifically owned and operated for that activity. Game lands are purchased and maintained 100% by the funds from hunting license sales, no general funds are used for them, as opposed to state forest lands that are funded by tax payers. Compare the idea of atv’s on a mountain biking only trail.

The danger of taking a stray (read accidental) projectile is real and increased by the number of projectile launchers in a given area and by the forest conditions. Deer, bear and especially fall turkey seasons are the most used by hunters. Turkey season is especially dangerous because folks not hunting don’t think much about it and the projectiles the turkey hunters use are generally smaller and fly much faster, meaning they can and do deflect off of things more commonly. Leaves on the trees block visibility and increase the chances that an individual using a projectile launcher will not see something behind where they intend their projectile to stop. It is also important to understand that projectiles usually don’t stop in their target, but exit the target and carry on in some direction with enough force to be lethal for varying distances. Often times the direction is unknown. Projectiles also can and do hit unintended objects before they hit their intended target and go into unknown directions. A small sapling/twig can change the impact significantly and very dangerously. It is known that single projectiles (bullets)can and do go as far as 3 miles before stopping if they do not hit something to stop them. A bullet going through flesh is slowed down relatively little in the grand scheme of things.

Posted property DOES NOT mean there aren’t hunters present. It means that the property isn’t open to the public to hunt without permission. No hunting signs mean the same. I’m actually not aware of any posted property that doesn’t get hunted by someone at some time. Many people post their land for their own private use or use of friends and family or lease it to hunters to use for themselves.

Many non-hunters do not think about this next one, but it is important. Just because you don’t think you are disturbing animals or hunters, doesn’t mean you aren’t. Hunting is much more than killing (killing is actually the worst part for me and many others). It is about the experience in the outdoors. Being in a natural area and undisturbed by anyone or anything…including other hunters. Even if you don’t disturb an animal for a hunter, just seeing or worse, hearing you will likely ruin the hunt. Animals are very sensitive to noise and avoid it because they know it is likely dangerous. Hunters will take hours to quietly move into an area without making a sound through very loud and crunchy leaves that is only a short distance so they don’t disturb the animals they are hunting to get a once in a lifetime chance to bring that animal home to eat. Then somebody like me comes down the trail on a bike making all kinds of noise with my tires through the leaves and literally chases every deer, bear or turkey for a mile out of the area…very frustrating. I won’t get into scents and the effort to keep my scent from alerting the animals as I am hunting, but I certainly don’t make that effort as a biker. This is all really important to understand before my next point.

There are A-holes and idiots that participate in all activities, including hunting. Keep this in mind for the following thoughts. 1. Unfortunately not every hunter is ethical and verifies that it is safe to launch a projectile into any particular direction. 2. Not every hunter understands the need to. I suspect many young children are in the woods and were never taught this and many “adults” start hunting and never learned this from the YouTube videos or Instagram posts they “learned” from. 3. We now have this stupid mentored youth hunting program in the state ( usually with separate seasons) and there is no lower age limit or required training to participate…all you have to do is be in the woods with a licensed hunter, who may or may not be ethical, educated, responsible or an A-hole or idiot. I generally avoid areas when this activity is happening for my own safety. To the A-hole part…in our current society and the increasing entitlement everyone seems to have, intentional projectile launching at other people happens (read murder), because their hunting was ruined by someone. This attitude of entitlement doesn’t seem to allow these individuals to understand multiuser land and that we should all be allowed to use the land with respect to the land and other users. I don’t hunt in areas that have known high use by other users because 1, it increases the odds that I accidentally hurt someone and 2, the high use from others means that the animals I am hunting won’t be there because of the other users and 3, why take any chance I will see or hear anyone because I should expect others to be there having their desired experience. Others don’t share this mentality and do hunt these areas, seemingly more so every year based on my own encounters with hunters while I’m out walking my dog or riding or whatever.

In the end, only you can decide and I hope this was helpful to make your decision.

If you do go, please, please, please wear blaze orange. Other colors aren’t really effective to be seen in the woods for hunters. We’re taught to look for orange in the woods, not other colors. Most other colors actually blend in to the background from a small distance and with all the stupid Mylar balloons out there, weird and out of place colors don’t mean another person any more and not every hunter is careful and checks twice or more before launching a projectile.
 

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I would guess more people ride in places where hunters aren't going to be shooting, and truth be told, you're far more likely to die from simply being on your bike than being shot, so, there's that from the outset.

Still, I wear a solid blaze orange shirt every time I ride, anywhere. The vast majority of the people in the world are a dumb as a box of rocks. I'm all about gun rights and the shooting sports (I do more skeet shooting and punching holes in paper than I actually hunt, but I've put tons of meet in freezers in my time too) but just like how it annoys me that any meat sack with a pulse can be given a license to drive a vehicle, there's nothing going on to keep guns out of the hands of morons.

It's a wide brush I'm using here, because most hunters are incredibly safety concious, but way too many idiots shoot at sounds or percieved motion. If I can increase my odds of being seen by motorists or hunters by even 1 percent, that might be enough to keep me from getting run over or shot.
 

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Quoted from above: Turkey season is especially dangerous because folks not hunting don’t think much about it and the projectiles the turkey hunters use are generally smaller and fly much faster, meaning they can and do deflect off of things more commonly.

Do people in your neck of the woods get to hunt turkeys with rifles? Most turkey hunters use shotguns, and after 60-70 yards or so, individual pellets, especially after having lost energy by glancing off of sticks and trees, probably aren't lethal. Yes, you'll get torn up, but the likelyhood of being inside the danger zone of wayward turkey loads is far, far less than that of being in the danger zone of wayward deer rounds. Also, rifle rounds are launched upwards of 2500-3000 feet per second, while turkey loads hover under 1300.

Dick Cheney shot a guy at 30-40 yards with a quail load (granted, lower mass per pellet so less foot pounds of energy) and he made it out alive.
 

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Quoted from above: Turkey season is especially dangerous because folks not hunting don’t think much about it and the projectiles the turkey hunters use are generally smaller and fly much faster, meaning they can and do deflect off of things more commonly.

Do people in your neck of the woods get to hunt turkeys with rifles? Most turkey hunters use shotguns, and after 60-70 yards or so, individual pellets, especially after having lost energy by glancing off of sticks and trees, probably aren't lethal. Yes, you'll get torn up, but the likelyhood of being inside the danger zone of wayward turkey loads is far, far less than that of being in the danger zone of wayward deer rounds. Also, rifle rounds are launched upwards of 2500-3000 feet per second, while turkey loads hover under 1300.

Dick Cheney shot a guy at 30-40 yards with a quail load (granted, lower mass per pellet so less foot pounds of energy) and he made it out alive.
Many states allow rifle hunting for turkeys in the fall, but it still isn't that common.

Don't forget the most famous cyclist of all time to be shot while turkey hunting: Greg LeMond. And coach Bobby Knight shot a hunting partner as well.

Hunters kill each other once or twice a year here in Colorado.

2 weeks ago I was out grouse hunting near the Colorado Trail and bumped into several hikers, 3 bikers and an e-biker who was riding in to go deer hunting while making my way back to the truck. I was the only one wearing orange.
 

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I'd hazard a guess it's less than "many" states. A bit of searching suggests it's less than 10, and they don't all allow centirefire calibers. (Two only allow air rifles.) From what I could see it looked like rifles were only allowed in fall seasons, which is when other hunters are going to be using other rifle rounds for other game anyway, so the whole idea of turkey projectiles being a more dangerous thing to worry about sort of flies out the window.

But yes then, there is the possibility of getting hit by a wayward rifle round during turkey season, but relatively speaking the risk of being shot from a round that was intended for a turkey doesn't come with a statistically signifigant enough of a difference to merit a well intentioned PSA about it.
 

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During Fall, I wear hunter orange as the towns I ride through participate in a Deer cull through December 31.

I ride alone, sometimes on tight trails, off main trails, exactly where a deer hunter might set up his blind or stand.

Frankly, riding solo through the leaves sounds just like a deer running.

Hunter orange is your friend.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My county doesn't allow firearms hunting but one of the trail systems allows archery in one section, closing the trails to hikers and bikes.

OP, you'll need to check the national forest areas. I've ridden in one that allowed hunting and I wore some orange, though not officially blaze. I do have an orange bike as well. I accidentally woke up a hunter dozing in the parking lot who'd had a few beers and never made it out in the woods. That wasn't real comforting but it was during the week and there weren't people around. I think he was still in the parking lot whenI got back. In the WMA, I'm mostly on my CX on the gravel roads, though some of them disappear into overgrown closed dirt roads.
 

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Here is what I had to say on the topic in the Pennsylvania forum to basically the same question. Even though in a different state, much of it will apply elsewhere.


killing is actually the worst part for me and many others


I'm not sure I understand this part... You could go out and do camping instead, heck bring a camera and "shoot" some deers...



I understand that getting the meat to eat is cool and all but we produce enough that we waste tons of it every day, so if what you prefer about hunting is going out in the woods then do that and buy a steak when you get back home or something?
 

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The deer would suffer, since most predators have been gotten rid of.
I'm talking about someone specifically mentioning that killing is the worst part to them, I don't mind hunters one bit, I just find it a weird thing to say when they can take part in the same activity without killing animals if they don't enjoy it... And they could do it year round too!
 

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I'm not sure I understand this part... You could go out and do camping instead, heck bring a camera and "shoot" some deers...



I understand that getting the meat to eat is cool and all but we produce enough that we waste tons of it every day, so if what you prefer about hunting is going out in the woods then do that and buy a steak when you get back home or something?
The reality is that if you don’t understand it, there is nothing you will ever see or hear that will help you understand it and that is okay.
 

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I respect getting one's meat from hunting more than factory farming
A lot of people simply don’t understand that responsible hunting is far more ethical than store purchased, factory farmed meat.

Not only more ethical, but flat out needed. We wiped out all of the natural predators for most of these animals and without hunting they have completely unnatural population densities and the population as a whole suffer from lack of resources

As for mountain biking during hunting season, I flat out stay out of anywhere with hunting during hunting season. For safety and out of respect for the hunters and their sport and their very limited time to enjoy it.
 
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