For some, hunting season is the perfect time to hit the trail. If you love to hike and ride through the fall foliage or winter wonderland, take extra precautions to ensure that both you and your horse can be seen.
During hunting season, it’s important to be visible in the woods. The best way to protect yourself, your equine and canine companion is in the clothing and accessories that you wear and the places you choose to go.
Wear vibrant orange — the more square inches of orange, the better.
1. Helmet Helpers Orange Hat Cover
Available at DOVERSADDLERY.COM, $25
2. Ultra Paws Bright Orange Reflective Safety Vest for Dogs, Small
Available at CHEWY.COM, $22
3. Polar wrist watch with built-in GPS
Available at REI.COM, $360
4. Horze Reflective Halter
Available at HORZE.COM, $22.95
5. Noble Outfitters Hunter Knife
Available at NOBLEOUTFITTERS.COM, $28.95
6. Deluxe Safety Vest
Available at LLBEAN.COM, $40
7. Contrast Stitch Bracelet
Available at NOBLEOUTFITTERS.COM, $22.99
8. Women’s Cold Front Camo High
Available at NOBLEOUTFITTERS.COM, $119.95
9. Brass Sportsman’s Dog Bell
Available at GUNDOGSUPPLY.COM, $3.95
Lightweight, inexpensive orange jackets and vests that can be worn over your regular riding attire are recommended. Helmet covers are available in a variety of bright colors, including neon yellow and blaze orange. Orange safety vests are available for dogs in all sizes as well as bright orange halters for your horse — better to be safe than sorry.
Avoid wearing anything brown or white. You don’t want to look like a deer by wearing either color. A flash of white can easily be mistaken for the white flag of a deer’s tail.
Consider a bell on you, on your horse, or on your dog, especially when riding alone. It is also crucial to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Take your cell phone along. It might come in handy to call out if needed, or to use as a GPS system.
Responsible hunters generally know where hiking and riding trails are located, but it’s still a good idea to stick to established trails and limit off-trail excursions at this time of year. If possible, choose trails in areas where no hunting is allowed or on days of the week when there is no hunting. Know the hunting season dates and rules for your state and local areas — the first day of rifle season is not a good day to venture out. Sometimes it’s best just to stay home.
A little extra planning and preparation will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing. Always be courteous and respectful to hunters and non-hunters alike so everyone can share and enjoy the trails together.