Outdoors blog

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23, 2013, 6 A.M.

Autumn hunting doesn’t preclude hiking

Larch tree needles turn to yellow and gold colors in October before they drop like leaves to the ground.  (Rich Landers)
Larch tree needles turn to yellow and gold colors in October before they drop like leaves to the ground. (Rich Landers)

TRAILS -- Do you shy away from hiking trails in the beautiful season of autumn because the hunting seasons are underway?

Here's a query I received from area hiker Randy Gosline:

I'm looking for some advice from a hunter. I hike and backpack a lot of miles during the Spring and Summer. Fall is probably the prettiest time of the year to hike with all the trees and foliage changing colors. Here in lies the problem. Hiking during hunting season scares the "Bajeepers" out of me. Even though I always wear bright colors and make lots of noise along the way I can't help but be very nervous about hiking this time of year. Do you have any advice for those of us who want to continue to enjoy hiking during hunting season?  I hate to put my backpack away when we are having beautiful fall weather to hike in.

My answer:

First, if you're genuinely afraid, you can hike in state and national parks and wildlife refuges where hunting is prohibited.

My best advice for you is to stay on trails and to continue what you're already doing: Wear bright colors, (avoid black, which looks too much like a bear) make noise  -- and keep hiking!  

I've hiked or hunted virtually every week during the fall for decades and I've never had a problem.

I've hiked or hunted virtually every week during the fall for decades and I've never had a problem.

My new hiking book, Day Hiking Eastern Washington, offers many good options, as does the local classic, 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest.

Here are six choice fall hikes in Eastern Washington.

Enjoy.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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