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Trail riding in rural areas during hunting seasons, what precautions do you take?

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    Trail riding in rural areas during hunting seasons, what precautions do you take?

    I mostly trail ride English with my horse and do occasional ring work during the cooler months. I have been riding during deer hunting season in my area for years but on a farm that only allows one person to hunt. He has specific times he hunts and leaves flags up for us to know if he is in the area when we ride. In November I will be moving to new barn and will have a very different area to ride in that may cross over onto other properties that have different hunting rules.

    My questions is: do those of you that ride in areas that are also hunted use orange pads, wear orange clothing, both or neither? I have not had to worry about this previously but want to keep us as safe as possible at the new barn. If you have a pad that you like please link it as I am having trouble finding one.
    For reference my horse is a black and white paint, heavy on the black and rather large (~16.2H). He looks nothing like a deer but I do ride in the early evening hours during the week and just don't want to have any issues.

    Brain Surgeon "Milo" 2013 -
    Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

    I don't ride during gun season for deer. It's too dangerous and only lasts a week. I have ridden during bow and black powder season and always wear a hunter orange vest. It's a good idea to put bells on your horse or talk loudly while you are riding. I think you can buy orange reflective gear for your horse. I would use as much orange as possible if you are riding alone. I'm usually with at least one other person so we are talking and both wearing orange.


      Original Poster

      imaginique Our gun season starts October 13th and ends January 1st, so I cannot give up riding for that duration. I usually play Pandora on my phone if I am riding alone which helps but will look for some orange hoodies or an orange vest once they put out hunting gear.

      At my current barn I always rode with another rider during the weekend but she is not moving. I may have someone to ride with at the new barn but I am not sure. During the week I will have company at the new barn but that person does not ride often on weekends.
      Brain Surgeon "Milo" 2013 -
      Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019


        Use hi viz on yourself, such as jacket and hat cover, and also on your horse, such as boots and quarter sheet. Look at 'road safety' on some UK websites such as Equus or Equisafety. We tend to be damaged by cars rather than shooters.
        "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


          I wear hunter orange jacket or sweatshirt. My horse wears an orange halter under his bridle, and I have an orange tail bag I put on him. I used to have a grulla gelding, the same color as a mule deer, and he wore orange leg wraps, an orange saddle pad, with the halter and tail bag, plus I braided orange ribbons in his mane. It may have been an overreaction on my part, but I didn't want to take any chances. We don't ride the opening weekend, but will ride during the week when the rifle hunt is on. It's already bow hunting season here, and we've seen hunters but don't worry about them as much.


            Why orange? Wouldn't neon pink be as visible?
            ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~


              In addition to wearing orange, I try to ride in to state parks where hunting isn't allowed. It might also help to not be out at dusk and dawn.


                I wear orange on my own property during hunting season. Never know when someone might be hunting the fields around us, or even trespassing because they couldn't let one get away!

                I have a mesh safety vest like this, that can go over top of anything I'm wearing.
                ... with Patrick and Henry


                  Originally posted by jvanrens View Post
                  Why orange? Wouldn't neon pink be as visible?
                  Hunters are required to wear orange so its pretty engrained in them that you don't shoot at hunter orange clad anything.

                  Like another poster, deer season is months long where I live. And, as another poster implied, there's a lot more idiots in cars than in deer stands. I wear safety orange and Hi Visibility green whenever I ride on the road.

                  I have permission to ride on several hunting properties, including next door neighbors on both sides of my place. During deer season I ride in the middle of the day. In the 13 years I've been riding here I have spotted exactly one guy toting a rifle on a property adjacent to the one where I was riding.

                  If I see cars parked at the biggest property where I ride I don't go in unless I see one of the guys and he tells me its OK.

                  Any ride during hunting season the horse has at least one piece of orange or neon green tack. Most rides the rest of the year, for that matter. I wear a big orange helmet brim every ride, period.

                  Both my horses very dark bay so green and orange really pop on them.


                    Our deer season starts tomorrow and runs until January, so I wear blaze orange and make so noise.

                    I have blaze orange biothane tack- headstall, reins and breast collar. I wear with a blaze orange hunting vest or sweat shirt, depending on the weather. My husband and neighbors all love my blaze orange tack, because they can see me when I am out and about.
                    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                      I do a blaze vest and this quarter sheet during rifle season.


                        jeano answered, but I'll repeat:
                        Blaze Orange is a conventional signal to all hunters = Don't Shoot.
                        In addition, tie some bells on your horse, braided into mane or tail, or strung around the neck.
                        Might piss off some hunters if your noise flushes deer, but beats being shot at.
                        Bow hunters included, though IME, they tend to be more conservative with their ammo.

                        In addition to bells, we used to sing out "Hello, Deer!" if we heard any rustling in the brush or woods.
                        Nobody likes to be surprised by a deer-shaped projectile hurtling into the trail.
                        Ditto for pheasant or turkeys.
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                          I had to keep my horse in a rural area of northeastern Alberta for a couple of years where hunting was a popular past time. I would ride on trails with other people and I always wore an orange safety vest.


                            During hunting season (which is long here, and includes musket season as well as bow and arrow season and rifle season), I don't ride alone. That might not be an option for everyone but I prefer not to be out there without another rider.

                            And we talk. Often loudly.

                            I also wear a bright orange lightweight jacket over everything, and the people I ride with wear vests that are either hunter orange or hi-viz green.

                            Usually we have reddish-orange saddle pads as well.

                            If there are lots of trucks parked at a particular trailhead, we don't go in there.
                            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                              I ride on my farm, my sister's farm, and the adjacent county park, all of which do not allow hunting. But, when it first became a park, I would find spent shotgun shells on the trail. Not in the last few years though.

                              I have a blaze orange mesh vest that I used to wear whenever I rode in the park in hunting season. But I have been sloppy about it the last few years. If I think there might be hunters around, I also sing loudly.

                              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


                                I wear orange and put bells on my horse. The bells do double duty as bear bells, the bears are very active here in the fall.


                                  Bugs's Mom in most areas, hunters need to get permission from the property owner to hunt there. Also trail riders. So you can always call the property owners where you ride and find out if they've given anyone permission to hunt there. If they have not, and you encounter a hunter, you could let the property owner know that people are illegally hunting the property.

                                  If you are on state land, the state should have hunting calendars with dates and locations posted.

                                  I'd wear blaze orange if you think you may possibly encounter hunters. Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, so early or late riding may increase your chances of encountering hunters. Stay safe!


                                    I only ride in county/state parks where no hunting is allowed and the firearm season here is only two weeks, but if I rode in unknown areas I'd outfit my horse in a full set of this:


                                      I've always wanted a neon orange ear bonnet for a horse. I don't own my boy(how I wish I did!) but when we go out I wear a neon orange hoodie and he's got a neon saddle pad and halter. He's a flea bittem gray. As for talking...well I talk to my horse. Or I sing. Badly.


                                        I use blaze orange all fall (multiple hunting seasons) and year round if I ride on the road. For my horse I have a bright orange reflective fly bonnet from an Etsy seller and a orange/yellow reflective cloth attached by barrettes to my horse's tail. I also use a hi-viz saddle pad made by LeMieux. When it's cold enough I add an orange quarter sheet I bought from Schneiders.
                                        For myself I have a blaze orange vest that is big enough to fit over all my jackets.