Autumn is here. It’s a good time to go outdoors; walking, biking, or hiking with your dogs. But it’s also the peak of hunting season. As exciting as it is to do fun activities with your dogs, it can also be dangerous for them. Dogs may be mistaken for deer or other wildlife by hunters.
Here are a few simple tips on how to keep your dog safe and visible for hunting season. There are also some tips that are important if you have a hunting dog that is going hunting with you.
Safety Tips for Hunting Season
Know where hunting is allowed in your area
It is best to keep your dog visible anytime during hunting seasons by assuming that there may be hunters in your area. There are certain areas that do not allow hunting, such as metro parks and some public parks. However, the regulations can change based upon the current wild game populations. This is particularly true for deer hunting and turkey hunting. It is best to check with the US Wildlife Service or local game commission to find out what lands near you allow hunting.
In addition, there are game lands where game birds, such as pheasants are stocked. These areas will be much busier with hunters and hunting dogs during those times. Unless you are hunting, it is best to avoid these areas during upland hunting seasons.
Go outdoors during midday.
While game animals can move around all day, dawn to mid-morning and late afternoon to dusk are prime times. This means that those times are also prime times for hunters to be in their stands. Walk your dog during the middle of the day to avoid the peak of the hunting hours.
Gear up and be visible
Keep your dog safe and visible by gearing them up with loud, fluorescent colors. Blaze orange or fluorescent yellow are highly recommended. The same holds true for you as well. The Hurtta Polar Visibility Vest is available in blaze orange and fluorescent yellow. This dog vest will keep your dog highly visible and is perfect for fall and spring weather.
Other hi vis jackets that are great for visibility include the Blaze Orange Chilly Sweater by Chilly Dogs and the Blaze Orange Summit Parka by Hurtta. The Chilly Sweater is great for around the camp fire or on cool walks. (Not designed for dogs running through brush). The Summit Parka is a warmer option as a dog coat for really cold outings.
Keep your dog on a leash during the hunting season.
If you are taking your dog to any public or private land that can be used for hunting, it is best to keep them on a leash. You don’t want your dog wandering off and being exposed to hunters and/or hunting traps. You also don’t want them to chase after a deer or other wildlife.
Create a noise signal
It is best to make noise so hunters can distinguish you from game. Attach a bell to your belt loop and to your dog’s collar to create a noise signal and inform everyone around you of your presence. You can also whistle or talk to your dog.
If you see a hunter or hear shots near by, make sure you call out so the hunter knows you are there.
Hunting Dogs Gear
If your hunting dogs are going on the hunt with you, it is important to also consider safety for them. Keep your hunting dogs visible and protected from the brush. This Mendota skid plate/chest protector is a simple solution for your dog’s safety and comfort when running through rough cover, brush, or rugged terrain. Skid Plate design protects your dog’s chest, belly, and sides from cuts and scrapes while in the field. Bright blaze orange color offers visibility.
For your dog’s paws, there’s Hurtta Outback dog boots. These boots are designed for active dogs when extra sole protection is needed. They are for hunters, urban settings on asphalt or concrete, snow, and are great for protection from salt in the winter. Also perfect for running, hiking and playing on rough terrain and/or weather conditions.
Follow these simple tips to keep your dog safe and visible for hunting season. Enjoy this season outdoors with your dogs without worrying about their safety.