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Riding vs. Hunting season

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What is your take on riding forest trails during hunting season.

About 3 years ago I went riding one Sept. weekend and found out I was in the middle of opening day and had the feeling I might look like a deer. I'm not a hunter but I do know when open season is now. I would like to go riding Oct. 22 up around Herring Creek but I'm leary of getting the hunters mad. What is your guys experience with hunting season?

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around here, hunting season goes from early august through november (bow, muzzle-loader, rifle, deer, elk, bighorn, etc....). as far as i can tell, the real hunting is right at dawn and again at dusk, so all you see in the middle of the day is the occasional real hunter packing out an animal, or returning to camp, and of course you see all the posers driving up and down the road on atv's drinking beer. i just go ahead and ride during hunting season, but i start late and end early.

i'd be interested to hear what the real hunters on this site say. i've asked folks around here who hunt and no one seems to have a problem with riding in the middle of the day. it's also some of the most scenic riding of the year now that the aspens are turning

mw

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I hunt and ride. Out of common courtesy I try to only ride OHV parks during hunting season or ride during the middle of the day. As long as you are on public land you SHOULDN'T be hassled, but remember you can ride year round, deer hunting season in Cali runs about two months. Most hunters are on quads now anyways so they can't really say much. If I were hunting in an area that is frequented by Motorcycles then I must take what I get so to speak. Be respect full and nice stay on exsting trails and roads, tell the hunters if you see any "game", and ride between 10 am and 3 pm. Don't worry, not many hunters will confuse a dirtbike screaming down the trail for a deer and most don't shoot at anything that moves. A true hunter will be away from the roads and trails and not bothered by you, a road hunter will share the roads with you and might even offer you a beer.

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We were in Middle Creek OHV last weekend and passes a fellow in his orange vest and rifle. I waved as I went by. He was actually hiking along one of the motorcycle trails.

I will ride roads anywhere anytime. The hunters drive down these same roads, so they shouldn't get mad, but like what Zekedawg said stay in the OHV parks and you shouldn't be hassled. The super secret spots are probably awesome hunting spots too, so maybe try and steer clear of these areas for the two months.

I have ridden on some trails that a hunter may mistake as a deer trail. Come to think about it, maybe I mistook the deer trail as a motorcycle trail.

Later,

D

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good question! :banghead:

we were going to head up to the hills this weekend for some riding, but changed our minds due to it being killing season.

I think we'll wait a while...

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What is your take on riding forest trails during hunting season.

About 3 years ago I went riding one Sept. weekend and found out I was in the middle of opening day and had the feeling I might look like a deer. I'm not a hunter but I do know when open season is now. I would like to go riding Oct. 22 up around Herring Creek but I'm leary of getting the hunters mad. What is your guys experience with hunting season?

Welcome to TT, skybry. It's a great place. Here's a good thread from two years ago that talks about hunting and riding. It has some pretty good perspectives, and a lot of variety in the opinions -- kinda' like TT in general. -Mike-

https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105404

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it's not the hunters I'm worried about, it's the yahoos target shooting down roads that freak me out.

few years back I was riding 15 sec. behind a buddy coming back to the truck when around the last corner I see him talking to two guys with a shot gun. I didn't hear any of what was said until we were in the truck loaded and leaving. My buddy said he heard a pop and thought it was his bike so he was looking around his bike as he was going around that last corner and glanced up to see a 12ga. pointed at him about 10 yards away.

The guy swung up quick and asked if he was okay and said they did hear him. Duh, you have ear plugs in dip sh#t.

Anyway, Of all the areas to shoot, why pull off the main street, go 50 feet up a dirt road, see other trucks around you in this OHV park, and shoot down the freakin' road with ear plugs in!!!!

Oh, and to damone and zeke so you can imagine this better, my buddy and I were parked were you were this last ride and they were shooting down toward were I was parked. So you guys can attest that this wasn't some old run down trail.

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:banghead: When it's hunting season, I ride with a bright orange day-glo sweatshirt. Maybe they can tell the difference between a loud bike and a brightly colred rider from an almost invisible quiet deer🤣

A few years ago, my friend John and I were riding our CR500's up near Eagle Peak. I was following John about 200 yards behind him, when it looked like a huge piece of bark was falling off a tree next to the trail. It was a hunter who was standing behind the tree in his cammies turned to face me. I had no time to react, and I hit him with my barkbuster. I almost lost control, but managed to hang on. I knocked him backwards on his back. I could hear the air being knocked out of him as I passed. I stopped and turned around, and saw him struggling to get up. He was trying to get his rifle, so I did the smart thing and split! I won't talk to someone I just hurt with a gun! we rode back to our staging area, and found a Ranger. I told him what happened, and he made me ride with him in his truck, back to where I hit the hunter. We found him walking back up the trail. he thought he had broken ribs, and acused me of deliberating swerving and hitting him. The ranger made him give up his rifle, and get in the back of the truck. We drove to the spot where I had hit him. You could see by my tracks that I was moving in a straight line, and hadden't swerved. we also saw where he was standing on the back side of the tree, and could tell by his boot marks where he turned and faced me. The ranger gave us a ride back to the staging area, and asked his buddies to take him to the hospital to be checked out. After they left, he told me that it wasn't my fault, and let me go. :applause:

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I would think the deer are used to dirt bike noise and travel since we don't pose a threat to them. So the noise and movement of us riding should help conceal the hunters moving about not to mention getting the deer to move.

I have ridden up to and across alot of deer and when it does happen most stop and take a look and then casually trot off the trail. I guess this doesn't help the disgruntled deer hunter who has no skill and is already pissed off to begin with.

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Oh, and to damone and zeke so you can imagine this better, my buddy and I were parked were you were this last ride and they were shooting down toward were I was parked. So you guys can attest that this wasn't some old run down trail.

I agree. We cam out on one "trail"and there was a guy pulled off the road shooting into one of the water bars we use as a jump. I pulled up and talked to him and asked him if he heard us and he said he did. I thne explained that alot of ohv use this trail that that the was a well established shooting area back down the road that the ohvers stay away from, He was nice about the whole thing and so was I. I don't have a tag for the area I ride but my buddy did, so when I saw two bucks the week before hunt season I told him where i saw them, He hasn't ran across them yet but you never know.

Just use your best common sense, hopefully that will be good enough.

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are people allowed to shoot or hunt from the roads????

Not in Cali, and probably not most places. In Cali, the DFG regulations say something like not shooting across any roadways including gravel and dirt roads (kind of obvious I guess), and no shooting within some distance from roads I think. But as a practical matter, when you're hunting way out in the woods, if you're driving to or from camp and a buck jumps out in front of you, you skid to a stop and deal with the situation. The road is kind of out of the equation at that point, unless you aren't out in the boonies and all by yourself.

But, a road that other people could be on should be way off-limits for shooting firearms or bows, IMO. You gotta be smart about where you shoot, and think about the foreground and background as you set up for the shot. Case in point -- our "family camp" spot in Modoc National Forest is way off in the boonies, and it's very rare for any other 4x4 vehicles to roll past our camp on the skid trail dirt "road" that is the main access. So it seems okay to me that the best shooting lane for practice shooting is across that skid trail road -- other choices have a worse background choice. It may look funny for the occasional vehicle crawling through that there are lots of shot-up cans on the side of the road, but so far nobody has stopped to complain. But there aren't many tree-huggers out where our family camp is either....:banghead:

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Just to clarify, it is illegal to shoot from the roadway, but if you are 1 STEP off the roadway(open to interpretation of where the roadway ends) you can shoot. Shooting across a road is illegal. the case in point above would be illegal. If you can drive a vehicle on it it is considered a road open to the public, no if ands or buts.

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I have rode at Mi Wuk and Deer Creek often and see deer all the time, in fact I have almost hit a deer riding. The only time I don't see deer is during hunting season. I think the deer can smell the beer off those hunters. Nothing is more lame than a quad or a pick up truck with guys trying to hunt. Those guys are usually so drunk the only thing they can hit is their own foot. Just make sure you have an orange vest for your dog so they don't mistake it for a deer.

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they don't mistake it for a deer.

Yeah I am sure this happens all the time.

I have never heard of a dog getting shot that was mistaken for a deer.

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I had a hunter say I should put a vest on my dog. I know &%$#@!?? All I know was there was no sheep safe from this guy. I bet his name was Jimbo or Bubba or BillyBob. Since those hunters were no where near finding a deer they were itching to shoot something. My dog does have a similiar color to a deer and after thse guys hit the Jack Daniels you never know.

In all fairness, not all hunters are this redneck but a lot of them are.

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ask the guys who live in Michigan. A large majority of people out there put hunting vests on their dogs during deer season. People come wandering through their property and the dogs shot its common enough to try and prevent it.

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Yeah I am sure this happens all the time.

I have never heard of a dog getting shot that was mistaken for a deer.

For me, it wouldn't be mistaking it for a deer so much. Especially since most of the places I hunt are 3-point or better (western count), so you really have to take the extra moment or two to make sure the buck is legal.

The situations where I could see a dog getting shot is if it's mistaken for a coyote or mountain lion. If some dang thing the size of those two things comes tearing through the brush at me, it's getting headshot unless I have enough time to figure out what it is. If it's wearing blaze orange, it's obviously not a predator or other threat. When we hunt with dogs, we don't usually make them wear anything, but we're also careful about not letting them go romping alone through the brush without us knowing that there aren't any other hunters in there that don't know about our dogs. If the dog is chasing a deer, he won't get shot by a startled hunter, because the deer is running interference for him :banghead: But if you have a dog that looks like a coyote, and it chases a deer past a hunter, there's a pretty good chance the dog could get shot.

Oh, and Zeke's right that our family camp shooting range is technically illegal. I was thinking about moving it across the skid trail this summer when we go back. No reason to give a ranger something to get mad about.

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When we were all at M.C. last weekend we actually came across a dude in his orange vest with rifle in hand. He was able to get off the trail in time (I think as I was the last one by him). I was wondering if he knew he was in the middle of an OHV park.

G'ville, DVM, BFB, zekedawg was I the only one to see him or what. I was quite a bit behind ya'll. Maybe he came out of the woods after you passed.

I've only been deer hunting twice, but I have never hiked down the improved trail to find a deer. Overland hiking seems to be a better way to hunt rather than hunting along the Blue Square OHV trail.

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