Sunday, November 14, 2010

Flash of White-Gun Shots

Today I saw a flash of white while hiking. I knew it was a white tail deer cause it was running.
Wait. How do I know it wasn't a person with a white shirt on, running?
I've heard of several accidents happening during hunting season because the eager hunter was just as sure as I was of what I saw.
Turns out a person was hanging laundry up on the clothes line. A flash of white.
A girl was taking a bathroom break, a flash of white panties.
While hiking on the Colorado Trail, suddenly shots were heard nearby, and then a bullet hit a tree. Wearing earth tones and blending in was suddenly dangerous. Not even hunting season, I guess the persons firing were just practicing. We got out our red bandannas, a bright blue sleeping pad to tie outside the pack, and called out loud, "Hello!"
There are many hiking trails which cross hunters' stomping grounds. Its very important to take inventory of your gear colors to be safe.
One morning I was skirting the lake up in Connecticut on the Appalachian Trail. I heard shots. I couldn't figure out if they were coming towards me, or away. Taking inventory, I knew I had no white on, but neither did I have red. Hike quickly, hope for the best, and sing out loud.
I was making breakfast in camp while hunters with high powered rifles watched our clearing. A big buck was roaming near us, but seems he knew the hunters would not shoot into camp. As we packed to leave, the buck eased off into the woods. We provided the screen. No shots were fired.
If you're planning a long distance hike, a weekend foray, or just a day hike, be ready for hunters. Novices are probably our biggest concern, an eager youth wanting to bag his first kill.
Keep that orange cap on, no matter what.


  1. Shots are always a concern to us. We normally holler out Hello, Bonjour, etc., but last year on the pct in northern Oregon in a remote location, we started hearing bursts of automatic weapons. It was possibly a touch of paranoia, but I looked around, decided that we were well protected by the trees and terrain, and we just upped our speed a little and got out of the area, without alerting the shooters to our presence. This area is scattered with pot farms.

  2. Wow, Timecheck, thanks for sharing. Thats a concern, too. Not just hunters, but illegal activity with guards watching out for possible witnesses.
    We can get into some really remote locations hiking. A heads up to all.
    Happy Trails!