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[ft-l] Re: Fl trail during hunting season


I'm posting this to the list, thinking others might enjoy my conversation
with Sara.  We're talking about the dangers of hiking with
hunters.......Sara asked for more details about an experience I shared with
her off the list........(thread starts at the bottom)......

I should say, Sara, that we were hiking during the very last weekend of the
hunting season, (mid Feb) and that tends to bring out the worst ones.

BUT I resist the stereotypical notions of all hunters as fat dumb rednecks
swilling cold bear and shooting at shadows.  That's not the way I was raised
to hunt.  The ones we encountered were not drinking that I could tell, but
then we were trying to get away from them quickly and quietly.  The
situations were that they didn't expect to see us and we didn't expect to
see them.  They spooked us and we spooked them, I guess.  The hunt camps are
not the best places to camp, for sure, but they are usually pretty well
patrolled by authorities, and most of them have potable water pumps.

It's important to good relations with the hunters that you not purposely
make noise that might scare away the game they're seeking.  They tend to
associate hikers with the militant Sierra Clubbers (which I am absolutely
not one of).  Most of them probably respect the hikers activity, even if
they don't quite understand the attraction.

We did walk into the middle of a hippie fest at Buck Lake in the ONF
though.  The rainbow people had taken over, most all of them stoned, some up
into the trees making bird noises.  a surreal experience-- wish I had a
picture.  dog tired, and looking for the potable water pump at Buck Lake, we
stumbled into the campground about 9 pm to find a 6 ft tall flashing peace
symbol made of rebar and christmas lights (powered by a generator) atop a
converted bus.  the place was crowded, but the stoned teenager kindly led us
to the pump and we took on water and got the heck out of there.

obviously, you're safest in the woods and away from people.  that sounds
backwards to most folks but it's true.  I guess I'm not sure about a woman
walking alone in the woods.  More power to you I guess


Sara Baggett wrote:

> Chris,
> Thanks for the info.  I'll certainly invest in some
> blaze orange clothing.  Fortunately, my backpack
> (external) is flaming red (I wanted a nice forest
> green but they didn't have green in the style I
> wanted).  Maybe that will help, too.
> Were the hunters rude?  Did you feel threatened by
> them?  Did you get the impression they were drinking?
> I'll be going solo and although I'm 37, tall and
> somewhat assuming, I don't want to become the target
> of bored, intoxicated hunters, who want to "play" with
> a solo hiker--especially a female--if you know what I
> mean.  I'm not easily intimidated, but they will have
> guns afterall.
> Sara
> --- C and/or M Daunhauer <donhower@fair.net> wrote:
> > Glad to, Sara.....
> >
> > A friend and I were hiking the Ocala Nat. Forest
> > portion of the trail during
> > the last week of hunting season this past February.
> > Over the course of
> > about 25 miles, we walked up on (and startled)
> > several hunters who made the
> > initial motions of raising their guns as we
> > approached.
> >
> > One of them (apparently shaken/embarassed at what he
> > had just done (or
> > almost done)) "chided" us for not having on orange
> > vests.  At the time I was
> > wearing a blaze orange cap cover I bought at Sports
> > Authority (something
> > like a blaze orange bathing cap) for just that
> > purpose.  After the first
> > such experience, my walking partner Tom had taken to
> > wearing his orange
> > toilet trowel on his head in indian feather fashion.
> >
> > I am a hunter (grew up in the ONF) but I have never
> > done so in the fashion
> > most popular today and never in the crowded areas of
> > the national forests.
> > Deer love trails through the woods; it allows them
> > to move quickly and
> > quietly through dense areas.  Hunters love the trail
> > too, because they know
> > deer love the trail.
> >
> > We were never sure what part of us looked at all
> > like a game animal (?), but
> > that did not seem to matter.  Apparently being in
> > the woods where the deer
> > were was enough.  The trail, as you  know, leads
> > through parts of the state
> > not accessible by roads.  Hunters who have trekked
> > deep into the woods (far
> > from roads) don't expect to see people, they expect
> > to see animals.  Often
> > hunters are not even aware that the trail leads near
> > where they happen to
> > be.
> >
> >   There were several hair-raising experiences in
> > just that one weekend.  We
> > will not do it again.  Not trying to scare you; just
> > be cautious, and
> > perhaps benefit from our experience.
> >
> > -chris
> >
> > Sara Baggett wrote:
> >
> > > Hi, Chris.
> > >
> > > Thanks for the advice.  Would you mind sharing
> > some of
> > > the details?
> > >
> > > Sara
> > > --- C and/or M Daunhauer <donhower@fair.net>
> > wrote:
> > > > pls cover yourself with blaze orange apparel.  I
> > > > have had several
> > > > terrible experiences hiking the trail during
> > hunting
> > > > season.
> > > >
> > > > Chris Daunhauer
> > > >
> > >
> > > __________________________________________________
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