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Red_Chili 11-22-2005 10:44 AM

In the woods
 
6 days into the hunt. You're tired. You've seen LOTS of tracks but nothing brown. You smell bad, you've come close, you've had no success but...

You're in dark timber in light snow, walking two steps, standing for 20-40 seconds, silently turning and making sure there is no movement anywhere, walking two steps, standing... the sun is low. The wind is in your face, right where you want it. Perfect. They will come down for the evening, and you are ready. You hear nothing, you see no orange. Then soft crunching. Slight movement seen 40 yards away. Silence. Just as you expect. You are tensed, shaking a little, eyes wide, breathing quickens, pulse quickens. More crunching, then silence. You expect to see an elk. Then you really do see a flicker of brown in the setting sun, no orange. Now you are ready; you shoulder your rifle but do not scope just yet. More movement of brown in the brush, you see a flash of lighter brown - the butt of an elk. Now you scope your target.

And your heart stops because you see the human face of a compleat idiot. The terror you feel is palpable because you saw him in your scope - it was CLOSE. Outrageous. You walk up to the guy and ream him a new one which he dearly, DEARLY deserves. You want to make sure this idiot never, NEVER does this again.

Not all the reasoning in the world will make the dead rise from the forest floor, reconstruct a family, make such a thing possible to live with. You can be absolutely, completely, totally in the right - "Be sure of your target"; "Always know the area behind your shot"; "Hunters should go through safety training"- with all the right arguments and rationale. And be just as dead. Happens easier than you might imagine, to people who are NOT yahoos.

WEAR ORANGE, end of subject.





Except to say, I was not the hunter in the story. I was the other one. Not this year, but a long time ago. I have never forgotten, now don't you forget.

WEAR ORANGE.

treerootCO 11-22-2005 10:53 AM

I have never been hunting....took my hunter safety class last week just because. I have been hiking in the woods for fun, not hunting, and never knew when hunting season was. Who's responsibility is it to educate the public? I know the hunters know but I have never worn orange just becasue I was hiking in the woods...

Red_Chili 11-22-2005 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treerootCO
Who's responsibility is it to educate the public? I know the hunters know but I have never worn orange just becasue I was hiking in the woods...

Mine.

Your's too... now...

wesintl 11-22-2005 11:10 AM

I think if you go out into the woods it's your responsibility to know where you are going, doing and happening in your surroundings. I think it's fine to be on a well established hiking trail without orange during hunting season but to walk around aimlessly picking up rocks or whatever is irresponsible to not know your surroundings.

I get tired of people thinking its someone else's responsibility to enlighten them rather than an individual to take responsibility for thier own actions. Does a Cop pull you over to let you know the speed limit? no it's your responsibility to know.

I also hope they told you to never to shoulder your rifle or scope your target without knowing 100% what your looking at. If you are unsure of your target that's what binoculars are for..


That's my rant.

Also a nice book to read for Hunters and Non Hunters is a book called "In defense of hunting" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...283155&s=books

Maddmatt 11-22-2005 11:34 AM

I lived in Breckenridge during the fall of 1989. Had a great house up in the Baldy Mtn. townhomes, for anybody who knows the area. My room-mates and neighbors and I developed a mountain biking trail during the summer and early fall by linking a series of single tracks, jeep trails, Boreas Pass, mine tailings and game trails that completed a perfect loop from our houses and back. Ideal trail, no back tracking, lots of spinning on Boreas pass to warm up, lots of technical single track, and lots of fast fast single track DH. We called it the Death Trail, and we rode it every single day, rain or shine. Took about an hour for in shape 20 year olds if we pushed it pretty hard (this was before shocks, except for a couple rich kids)

Until one day we were riding and lo and behold, parked in a meadow off of Boreas pass was a couple RV's. It was like something from a joke, these guys were in full orange, sitting on lawn chairs, shooting at cans IN THE TRAIL and passing a bottle of Jack around. Not to mention the fact that they drove off the FS road into the meadow by virtue of heavy use of the skinny pedal, if the ruts they left were any indication.

They kindly stopped shooting for all of about a minute, once they noticed us which took a few minutes of us shouting "HEY, don't kill us!".

Since that time I don't leave my vehicle if I'm in the woods in the fall, and I sure as hell don't let my Golden Retriever run around. I'm far from anti hunting, in fact I like tasty meat (hint hint hunters with over flowing freezers :D ) but it only takes one idiot to ruin your day or end your life.

If I wasn't raised in an environment that saw the positive aspects of hunting, it's easy to see how I would be like one of those guys who hates 4 wheelers simply because they see all the trash in left hand canyon. Hell, if I wasn't a 4wheeler, I would hate them/us because of all the trash.

That's getting close to 20 years ago, and the sound of those .357's (cuz you need that hand cannon when you're deer hunting "It's coming right at us....") is still very vivid in my mind.

It's scary out there.
-Matt

JadeRunner 11-22-2005 11:54 AM

So Bill, I don't believe I heard how you did hunting this year.

Magoo 11-22-2005 01:22 PM

im totally with you bill.everyone that goes in the woods in fall should wear orange.in my pictures of me and my little buck taken this year,i had no orange on and it was just for the pics,then i put it right back on.and would probably never do that again.plus it may have set a bad example

Bobzooki 11-22-2005 02:32 PM

I frequently have chances to remind non-hunters that there IS a hunting season open, and to be sure to wear bright colors, and make a little bit of noise, so they don't startle hunters, while remaining quiet enough to no drive off the game, either (which is actually illegal - interfering with a hunt is an offense that the gamies & forest rangers WILL tiket you for).

Even I may not wear ORANGE, when I'm out during the hunting season (and not hunting), but I'll have red or some other very obvious color on. And the bear-bell is loud enough to say "I'm here", without alarming anybody.

Red_Chili 11-23-2005 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wesintl
... I think it's fine to be on a well established hiking trail without orange during hunting season but to walk around aimlessly picking up rocks or whatever is irresponsible to not know your surroundings.

...

I also hope they told you to never to shoulder your rifle or scope your target without knowing 100% what your looking at. If you are unsure of your target that's what binoculars are for..

It's a common line of reasoning among those who do not hunt big game in close timber. One that is reasonable, will not get you killed most likely, and one with which I could not disagree more. Even when on established trails or roads, wear orange this time of year.

Guess where I was, when the hunter above saw me in his scope?

From a hunter's perspective, I agree with your cautions. 100% sure of the target, and the backdrop? Absolutely, in target practice and in the classroom. From a target's perspective, I have other thoughts. In the field, just how sure are you that the hunter you've never met is 100% sure that behind the dark, thick timber you are not - if you have no orange, especially? Is 100% really achievable in less-than-ideal conditions in the field? Especially when he's got elk fever? If you've ever gone big game hunting you get a pretty good idea just how easily tragedy can happen to responsible people. Don't bet your life on his 100%.

This year I came across some hikers who wore brown. I cautioned them and they responded with the reasonable line of thinking you espouse. I gave them an orange poncho, which they gratefully accepted, and gratefully returned on their way out - it sunk in for them, and made a good impression for hunting too. Share the wisdom.

Wearing orange vests and a cap may cost one $5-10, and maybe will impact one's color coordination at worst. I had a haircutter who wore brown in the woods in the fall and was just mortified that people were allowed to shoot in the forest. Orange? Oh, horrors, it's ... just... so... gauche... Survival of the fittest came to mind. It was a lousy haircut too...:p

Red_Chili 11-23-2005 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JadeRunner
So Bill, I don't believe I heard how you did hunting this year.

Young antlerless bull. Looked right at me, and the absence of antlers and a thick coat made him appear to be a youngish and decent cow, which illusion was not removed until I set about removing his innards and flipped him over. My focus was on getting out the tools of the trade from my pack, and my novice assistant started asking about where the udders should be.

"Why, right in front of [graphic anatomical terminology]", I said without looking up.

Then I looked up while he was messing with the belly button. Only it wasn't a belly button.

"Holy crap...", I said mostly to myself, knowing there were bull restrictions in the area, and that my OTC bull tags would do me no good. Rechecked the forehead, not even a bud. Ivories were more like puppy teeth. About 6 mos. old, not even quite descended, but good sized nonetheless. Fantastically beautiful, VERY thick coat which will adorn my newly built rec room wall in about 6-8 months.

That's why cow tags are more formally known as 'antlerless', which he most certainly was. Whew, no worries. Speaking of being 100% sure of your target... He was only 85 lbs. of boned out meat, but the most tender I have ever butchered. Falls apart. Only the forelegs are a bit tough - stew meat. The brisket, flank steaks, rump steaks, neck meat are incredible. CWD prion-free.

He was the only elk I even saw, 5 days in; being a novice at being alive he walked out right in front of me, dumb as a certain hair cutter in about the same color. My buddies pulled out two very nice cows (one very large and fat, the other about the age of my bull) closing day morning (long hunt). After a week of hiking 3 ft. snow and blowdown timber, hiking thousands of vertical feet in the dark over a week's time and calling it 'fun', they watched as 8 wandered over a ridge 40 yards from them, fairly low elevation, and 30 yards from the Holy Cross jeep trail on the easiest hunt of the trip, uphill from the trail even (conveniently thoughtful of the elk) - and took their pick.

Ever seen a YJ carrying two elk stuffed in the back?:rolleyes: Ever seen two guys trying to fold two elk into such a space?:p


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