If you don’t hunt, you might not realize that nearly all of the national forest lands in North Carolina are open to hunting and you need to take precautions to stay safe during hunting season.
Wear bright-colored clothing to make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like hunter orange or neon colors, and avoid earth-tones like brown and animal-colored clothing. This also applies to your dog who should have a hunter orange vest, bandanna, or leash to avoid being mistaken for wildlife.
Make some noise by talking, whistling or singing to alert hunters to your presence. Hunters are listening for sounds of animal movement and your voice will distinguish you. If you hear shooting, raise your voice and let hunters know that you are in the vicinity. Once a hunter is aware of your presence, don’t make unnecessary noise to disturb wildlife.
Know your own comfort level. If hunting makes you uneasy, learn about where and when hunting is taking place and choose to hike in other places or at other times.
Hunting has a long tradition in the forests of North Carolina. Fees from hunting licenses are paid to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, which helps maintain wildlife habitat and many roads in the national forests. Whether you’re hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting or pursuing your particular recreation interest, be courteous and remember that everyone shares these public lands.
Hunting is regulated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission which posts seasons and regulations at www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Hunting-in-North-Carolina.