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  1. #1
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    Hunting Season Safety Tips for Mountain Bikers

    Hunting starts this Saturday, September 14, in WI. Hunting dates for all game can be found on the WI DNR web site. Hunting takes place in parks like Blue Mounds and Kettle Moraine State Parks so use caution when riding in areas where hunting happens.

    Here are some safety and common sense tips:

    • The best and easiest thing to do is ride where hunting is not allowed. But, if you DO ride where hunting is allowed…..
    • Wear orange and/or bright colors. You can pick up a cheap orange safety vest at most outdoor shops and it’s well worth the investment. Avoid wearing camo patterns on your clothes, Camelbak, etc. Avoid any brown, tan, earth tones, and especially white. You do not want to look anything like the flash of a deer’s tail. During turkey season, avoid red and blue.
    • Avoid wearing a white helmet, as it could look like the tail of a deer sprinting through the woods. If you do wear a white helmet, tie bright flagging tape or cloth to it for better visibility.
    • Avoid riding during dawn and dusk hours. It turns out this is prime hunting time, especially during deer season, plus the low light conditions make it difficult to make out colors and shapes in the forest. If you think you might be caught on the trail in the early evening, bring a light or two to make yourself more visible. The best time of day to ride during hunting season is mid-day.
    • If you’re riding with others, maintain a conversation so as to be heard. Hunters may not like to hear this but making noise with a bell or even your voice will let them know you’re not an animal.
    • Always carry a cell phone & make notes of your location via signage on the trail.
    • If you see a hunter, address him or her to make your presence known. Give a wave and make eye contact if you can.
    • Check for closures with local land managers. Some trails are closed to bikers at certain times to minimize conflicts with hunters. Make sure you know when those times are and observe them.
    • If you see a deer or a herd, make some noise to let potential hunters know that there’s a human in the area. A loud bike bell works.

    Lastly:
    Respect One Another
    Be courteous and respectful of all outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and non-hunters alike.

    Before you head out during hunting season, educate yourself about safe hunting and back country practices, know and follow all rules, and be prepared.

    Above all, use common sense and do your part to share the woods safely. Hunters and hikers both have the right to pursue their chosen outdoor recreation safely. Respect each other and the land we share.

    D

  2. #2
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    Nice post. Here in Oregon rifle season for deer starts September 28.

    I think most hunters would avoid areas with MTB trail networks (I certainly do) if only because deer don't like to be around people in general and bicycles in particular. I think most of the more popular riding areas in Oregon are closed to hunting anyway, but there certainly are areas that are open to both.

    I even know people who use MTBs to ride into Weyerhauser and CTC land to hunt because the roads are gated. Someday I'm going to get a trailer and try that.

  3. #3
    I like bikes
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    Perhaps I should return my fall riding gear I just bought?


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    The older I get, the faster I was.....

  4. #4
    cowbell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undies View Post
    because deer don't like to be around people in general and bicycles in particular.
    I'm not so certain about that. I've ridden up right up on deer before and literally had to stop and wave my arms and yell at them to get the lot out of and away from the trail to safely ride through.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I'm not so certain about that. I've ridden up right up on deer before and literally had to stop and wave my arms and yell at them to get the lot out of and away from the trail to safely ride through.
    Heard that, done this many times with Elk & Boar. Hunters may have a better chance of getting that record trophy if they just buy a bike and pack that riffle with them.
    De oppresso liber

  6. #6
    Masher
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    Agree - deer see people as a threat... deer supposedly see people on bikes, snowmobiles, or atvs as a curiosity!

  7. #7
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    U can also wear cow bell warns hunters and deer There loud too
    Cow Bell | Metal | White | Glossy | Engrave | BrassBell.com

  8. #8
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    Be especially careful when doing trail layout during hunting season. You are often far off any trail. Hunters will be expecting only animals, which makes it more likely you will be mistaken for an animal.

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
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    Crank some tunes on a boom box.
    Making the smack track baby.


  10. #10
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    I am kind of angry that I can't find any decent "hunter orange" bike gear. My local shops have tons of "road worker yellow" jerseys and jackets, but nothing in orange. Clue me in if you know of any good orange jerseys or jackets.

    As far as my helmet, I took matters into my own hands and bought a roll of bright orange duct tape. I painstakingly covered an old helmet entirely with orange tape. I cut out the vents and tucked everything in nice and neat, and applied the tape carefully so as not to have a lot of creases. It came out pretty good, and it is bright as all hell.
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  11. #11
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    the current NEMBA jersey works well for hunting season riding...

    NEMBA's Online Shop Hunting Season Safety Tips for Mountain Bikers-nemba-ride-jerseym.jpg
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    I am kind of angry that I can't find any decent "hunter orange" bike gear. My local shops have tons of "road worker yellow" jerseys and jackets, but nothing in orange. Clue me in if you know of any good orange jerseys or jackets.

    As far as my helmet, I took matters into my own hands and bought a roll of bright orange duct tape. I painstakingly covered an old helmet entirely with orange tape. I cut out the vents and tucked everything in nice and neat, and applied the tape carefully so as not to have a lot of creases. It came out pretty good, and it is bright as all hell.
    Try Ebay
    De oppresso liber

  13. #13
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    Good suggestions. I keep my old red helmet (no crashes) around just to ride one particular area about 10 miles outside of town. Hunting is permitted on the adjacent property. I've talked to one hunter (very nice) last season who was using the mountain bike trails to access a favorite spot.

    Always a red jersey. I have a reflective vest - I should wear that, too.

    Maybe I should stop lubing my chain and adjust my derailleurs out a little to make a little noise? Is this the excuse I've been looking for to stop searching for the annoying clicking sound?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I'm not so certain about that. I've ridden up right up on deer before and literally had to stop and wave my arms and yell at them to get the lot out of and away from the trail to safely ride through.
    Sure, and there are deer in urban areas. I've ridden up on my share of deer while MTBing too.

    But generally speaking, deer tend to avoid areas where people or other predators are active. Smart hunters are going to avoid areas where people frequently ride mountain bikes, camp, etc.

    Note that I said "smart hunters" not "all hunters."

  15. #15
    saddlemeat
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    Some hunters use bikes on the trails to silently move in search of game or commute to a selected spot. Since the smart hunters avoid them, that's where the game is too.

    FWIW, I wear a camo helmet, camo baggies, and a camo or earthtone shirt or fleece.
    Making the smack track baby.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    I am kind of angry that I can't find any decent "hunter orange" bike gear. My local shops have tons of "road worker yellow" jerseys and jackets, but nothing in orange. Clue me in if you know of any good orange jerseys or jackets.

    As far as my helmet, I took matters into my own hands and bought a roll of bright orange duct tape. I painstakingly covered an old helmet entirely with orange tape. I cut out the vents and tucked everything in nice and neat, and applied the tape carefully so as not to have a lot of creases. It came out pretty good, and it is bright as all hell.
    Mavic makes this in jacket and vest form also - apparel Road men jersey jerseys Vision Jersey | Mavic

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undies View Post
    Smart hunters are going to avoid areas where people frequently ride mountain bikes, camp, etc.

    Note that I said "smart hunters" not "all hunters."
    It's the "not smart hunters" that this advice is meant to help avoid being hurt by. I respect the smart and safe ones.


    D

  18. #18
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    A high pitched bell should work well. Ring it every so often. Wear anything red, orange, or yellow.

    I hunt, and I can't imagine a occasional bell ring would bother the hunters or the prey very much. And it's such an unusual sound for out in the field, I would think most hunters would realize a human is nearby...

    I love MTBs and hunting!

    mudhen
    "Lighten up Francis" Sgt. Hulka

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv View Post
    the current NEMBA jersey works well for hunting season riding...

    NEMBA's Online Shop Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NEMBA Ride JerseyM.jpg 
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    Well duh! Thanks for this and all the other suggestions, I guess I need to look harder.

    Just ordered my Nemba jersey, bonus, they're on sale!
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dburatti View Post
    It's the "not smart hunters" that this advice is meant to help avoid being hurt by. I respect the smart and safe ones.


    D
    Lol, definitely. Its not the smart hunters you have to look out for. The ones toting 12 packs are the ones you want to avoid.

  21. #21
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    I use my bike to access huntin spots all the time. My bob trailer has packed out alot of elk meat. Hunters are people, and just like all people some are good and some are bad.

    respect on both sides goes along ways, same with common sense.
    bright colors go along way in being seen in the woods, doesn't have to be just hunter orange. I have seen peeps use a tye dye over there biking jersey, to be seen.

    either way enjoy the woods this fall and if you bring home some venison, good for you.

  22. #22
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    Good thread. I also hunt and ride here in southern Cali and a lot of riding trails are in national forest where everyone hunts. In my county we are required to hunt 300 yards from roads, trails and structures. However some of the forest land by me covers two counties and the same forest section in the next county we only need to be 150 yards from the same type of stuff.

    The game use the same trails as we do to get around easier so it is common to be hiking in to hunt and run across a rider. Like others have said respect both ways is the best.

    Antlers on a helmet would be awesome.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undies View Post
    Sure, and there are deer in urban areas. I've ridden up on my share of deer while MTBing too.

    But generally speaking, deer tend to avoid areas where people or other predators are active. Smart hunters are going to avoid areas where people frequently ride mountain bikes, camp, etc.

    Note that I said "smart hunters" not "all hunters."
    Especially during the early season/bow season (figure for the next month) deer are gonna be where ever they normally go. They haven't really started to feel pressure from humans yet, and the rut isn't making them weird yet. In my area (SE NY) that means they are hanging out in some pretty human infested areas for now.

    Also, avoid red and blue this time of year, those are turkey colors.

  24. #24
    Builder of Trails
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    /Bump!

    D

  25. #25
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    I use my bike to access huntin spots all the time. My bob trailer has packed out alot of elk meat. Hunters are people, and just like all people some are good and some are bad.

    respect on both sides goes along ways, same with common sense.
    bright colors go along way in being seen in the woods, doesn't have to be just hunter orange. I have seen peeps use a tye dye over there biking jersey, to be seen.

    either way enjoy the woods this fall and if you bring home some venison, good for you.
    Word... like the tie dye. We are seeing more hunters on bikes here in the Zuni Mountains. They are the good hunters too, the ones who always come back with meat. They have figured out that there is an alternative transportation system in place where the fatboys from town can't go.
    Making the smack track baby.


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