ALMAGUIN — The fall season is arguably the best time of year to head out on the trails as an avid hiker. Temperatures are a little cooler, the bugs are gone for the most part and the scenery in Ontario is absolutely beautiful with the fall colours in bloom. With that said, October also happens to be the kickoff of hunting season so there are a few things you should keep in mind before hitting the trails.
1. Make yourself visible:Investing in some hunter orange gear is a great idea if you are going to be hiking during hunting season. Get yourself a hat, vest, scarf — anything. And if hunter orange just really doesn’t work for you, hot pink or any other bright colour will do too!
2. Be aware of your surroundings:Understand that it is hunting season whether you like it or not.
3. Make some noise:Don’t hike in silence. Head out with a group if you can, talk, whistle, have a little music playing or just generally make yourself known. If you hear gunshots near by — announce your presence.
4. Avoid hiking at dusk or dawn:Or any time visibility is limited.
5. Stick to established trails:You are less likely to surprise someone there.
6. Protect your pets:Keep your pets on a leash, or at the very least get them a hunter orange collar, bandana, sweater or vest so they are easily identified as pets.
7. Know the area:The province is split up into 95 different Wildlife Management Units.Each unit has specific guidelines on what game hunters can target, open season dates and permitted methods of hunting. Understanding these guidelines in whichever area you happen to be hitting the trails can be helpful in understanding who you might run into out there.