Have you ever noticed how animals seem to be more active in the fall? This happens because bears hibernate and need to find food for the winter. Deer are similar as fall is a good time to find food. We need to be aware of these animals as in Muskoka our paths do cross from time to time.
When driving, we need to be aware of the normal risks of the road plus the animal hazards coming into the fall season. A study was done conducting when the most deer and vehicle collisions have happened over the last 5 years. The results concluded that most accidents happen in November with October and December falling close behind, and these accidents mostly happened around 6 am and 6pm. We need to be careful in the morning fog and the evenings around dusk because it can be one of the hardest times of the day to see.
Now you may ask, what do I need to be worried about when hiking, that I don't hike to fast and hit a deer? Actually, deer are the least of our worries here, it's the hunters we need to be worried about. Don't get me wrong most hunters are very respectful and are very good at making sure they know what they are shooting at before they shoot however, there have been a few occurrences where hunters have mistaken a person for an animal. Here are a few helpful hints when hiking in the fall:
- Try to avoid hiking in the gun hunting seasons as they have a much further range
- Be cautious and aware if you are in the woods during these seasons
- All locations may not be the same for hunting times, link below can help provide detailed information
- Be sure to wear as much orange and florescent colors if you go hiking during these times
- Dogs can sometimes be mistaken for a deer or wolf, giving your dog an orange flag can save their life
General Hunting Dates for Muskoka 2014
- Deer being hunted by Bow and Arrow (Oct 1-Dec 15)
- Deer being hunted by Gun (Nov 3-Nov 16)
- Moose being hunted by Gun and Bow (Oct 20-25)
- Bear being hunted by Gun and Bow (Sept 2 - Nov 1)
With fall quickly approaching, remember to be cautious of all animals and hunters. This is one of the most beautiful seasons but also could be most dangerous. Parks and public walking paths are a great idea as these places usually have no hunting signs and are heavily trafficked in the fall to get great fall photos. For more information on hunting locations and regulations check out the link below.