Hiking Safely During Hunting Season

Staying Safe in The Woods During Hunting Season

With the foliage on its way out, hunting seasons have arrived in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Since the start of the pandemic, both the Granite and Green Mountain state have seen a dramatic increases in outdoor recreation and a renewed public interest in exploring the vast network of woodland trails, paths, and discontinued roads that crisscross our region. As we enter the extremely popular deer season, hunters must be aware of increased recreational activity in the forests and fields but all outdoor enthusiasts, no matter where they venture, must be committed to ensuring their own personal safety. Here are some additional tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable fall.

  • Know the dates of hunting seasons in your area by looking them up online. New Hampshire’s hunting calendar can be found here and Vermont’s Department of Fish and Game has their dates posted here. Many hunting seasons, especially rifle season, are much shorter in duration than most people realize.
  • Wear hunter orange. Anyone who enjoys the outdoors in New Hampshire should already own a piece of bright “blaze” orange clothing, and fall is the ideal time to wear it. And don’t forget to also put some orange on the family dog.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. This seems like common sense but remembering and acknowledging that it is hunting season will improve your awareness.
  • Pick the right trail. During the fall, stick to established hiking trails. Hunters generally avoid heavily used hiking paths because activity in the woods usually frightens game.
  • Pick the right time. Legal hunting times for most game run from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. Midday hikes when light conditions are optimal are best for the fall. You are also much less likely to run into a hunter during mid-week hikes because most hunting takes place on weekends.
  • Hike safe. Be sure to follow the hiker responsibility code by being knowledgeable about where you are going and what the local weather and terrain conditions are, leaving your plans with someone, staying together, turning back in inclement weather or if you are running out of daylight, and planning and preparing for emergencies are also important. Visit for more information.

As always, Higgerson Team is eager to spread the word about all the things that make living in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire so great. If you are looking for a new home in the area or a vacation property, we are your real estate experts in Hanover, NH, Quechee and Woodstock, VT, and the constellation of wonderful towns that surround us. Please be in touch and let us guide you home.

Richard Higgerson

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