Autumn means hunting season in many areas and, whether you live in a rural area where hunting’s a possibility or just take an occasional trip to the country for a leisurely dog walk, it’s definitely something to keep in mind. How can you keep your dog safe during hunting season?
Know Your Hunting Seasons. Hunting seasons vary from location to location so know your own area’s hunting periods. There are different hunting seasons for different species (deer, dove, quail, etc.) and usually different hunting seasons for different types of hunting (bow, gun, etc.) If you don’t know when hunting season is where you live, do a search for state’s parks and wildlife website or visit a local sporting goods store that sells hunting supplies and ask.
Keep Yourself Safe. Since you’re taller than your dog, you’ll probably be the first one spotted. Make sure you are visible. Wear brightly colored clothing–red, yellow and orange are all good options. Wear an orange cap.
Make Your Dog Visible. Even though your dog is walking with you (and hopefully you’ll be wearing those orange clothes), there’s always a danger of your dog getting away so make sure he’s very visible as well. Orange safety vests for dogs are available in a variety of sizes. You’ll also find wide orange collars; even if you don’t want to one for everyday use, slip it on as a second collar during your walk. Don’t have a safety vest or orange collar? Use a brightly colored bandanna or make one from a scrap of fabric.
Time Your Walk. Most hunters will be out in the morning hours just after dawn and around sunset so time your walk during the hours that aren’t as desirable for hunting like mid-day.
Know Where You’re Walking. Know the area where you’re walking. Is any surrounding land leased for hunting?
Make Some Noise. Let any hunters know you’re in the area. Whistle, sing, and talk to your dog (they’re good listeners!) as you walk.