Our dogs make great companions on autumn hikes, but it can also be a dangerous time to hike in areas where hunting occurs.
Keeping your dog visible will not only warn hunters of their presence, it will help you spot your dog at all times in case they get distracted by squirrel or other wildlife.
Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe during hunting season hikes:
- Know when hunting season begins and ends. This varies by state, so contact your Department of Natural Resources before your adventure to find out if it’s hunting season.
- Arm yourself and your dog in blaze orange apparel so you’re visible to hunters. Ruff Wear makes a blaze orange Track Jacket™ which offers superior visibility and moderate rain protection without any added bulk. As the sun goes down, it’s a good idea to attach an LED light such as The Beacon™ for added visibility in low light.
- Keep your dog on-leash, especially if you are in hunting territory or if your dog has the tendency to wander.
- Make your presence known audibly. If you see a hunter, announce yourself and your dog. It doesn’t hurt to whistle, hum, or talk while making your way through hunting territory.
- Seek hiking areas where hunting is not allowed, but still dress your dog in visibility in case they wander outside the area.