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Neither I nor my husband hunt.  We hike.  Regardless of our personal anti-hunting sentiments, knowing when and where it's safe to hike this time of year is important.

 I remember last year my frustration in trying to find a definitive hunting schedule listing dates for NJ state forests and parks.  All I was ever able to find (and for the most am still only able to find) is a NJ Fish & Wildlife schedule that lists areas/zones where various types of hunting is allowed. No dates. While they do have a separate pdf document schedule listing zones and corresponding dates, it's incredibly convoluted, nearly 100 pages long and near impossible to navigate.  NJHunters Digest also has similar lengthy, indecipherable pages as well.

So far, the best I've been able to locate is a hunting schedule for Morris County Parks/Forests.

If anyone knows any schedules for hunting dates in NY parks/forests, I'd really appreciate it.  I think it would be a helpful guide for others as well.

Thanks, Linda 

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All the hunting info we have is here: Hiking in NJ During Hunting Season. The trail conference has NY hunting dates, but the page is still 2010 and I haven't located a 2011 page yet. The NY DEC has this PDF of zone maps and dates.

 

Trying to make sense of the hunting digest etc is the surest path to a headache. A couple times I have tried sifting through it just to try to get a general date range of the least safe dates... but it's really all over the place since the info is geared for people looking at one area to hunt as opposed to hikers who go all over the state.

 

One date that is pretty consistent across the zones is the Six-day Firearm Deer Season and Bear Hunt: December 5-10, 2011. That's a Monday - Saturday. We usually just avoid hiking those days.

 

To compound the problem, there is now bow hunting in some WMA on Sundays, and then parks that are normally no-hunting often have a few days where it's allowed. You kind of get stuck looking up each park for the day you want to hike.

Sometimes the time we spend researching a hike gets ridiculous.

 

Dawn

njHiking.com said:

Sometimes the time we spend researching a hike gets ridiculous.

Dawn

Hah!:)   Right now I can hardly see the surface of my kitchen table for all the hiking books, maps, printouts and our laptops strewn about.  I think my dinner dishes are still under there somewhere! Although we've grown accustomed to sharing our meals w/hiking research paraphernalia, tonight DH paraphrased a line from "Jaws":

 "I think we're gonna need a bigger table." 

 

Linda

(The forecast of rain Saturday morning along w/the newest(?) flooding conditions in and around some areas may affect our choice of trails this weekend.  We may have to put Mahlon on hold and try out the extended Jenny Jump Trail.  Hence, the last-minute research-a-thon tonight.)  

 

 

 

 

 

I needed a hike to destress from stressing out over where to hike.  Between hunting/no hunting and flooded/not flooded and is it to rain/is it not to rain...  I ended up at Pyramid Mountain and did that in conjunction with Kakeout Reservoir to make a 10.75 mile loop.  Pyramid Mountain is no hunting except for certain days which are listed on the Morris County schedule Linda posted above.  However, when I was at Kakeout Reservoir a couple of years ago in January where it is posted NO HUNTING all over the place, I ran into 3 hunters.  At any rate, the trails in Pyramid Mountain County Park were in great shape other than being slippery from wet leaves and wet rocks.  Ran into some problems going towards Kakeout Reservoir.  Lots of flooding just after leaving paved Miller Road and going back into the woods.  Found out that my brand new waterproof hiking shoes hold water IN very well when you sink in knee deep.  Below is the field the trail goes through and could not find a way around it so since my shoes were full of water anyway, I plowed on through. I should probably have bought flippers instead.  Click here for the entire hike.

There are 3 foot bridges to cross in the Kakeout Reservoir area.  All three are in good enough shape to use.  The second one is little crooked with a couple of blowdowns over it but it is still stable and can be crossed.  The blue-blazed trail around Kakeout Reservoir was in good shape.  Some flooding on the white-blazed trail before the second dam but there are enough rocks to use to stay out of the water.

Daniela Wagstaff said:

I needed a hike to destress from stressing out over where to hike.  Between hunting/no hunting and flooded/not flooded and is it to rain/is it not to rain... 

 

...oh and checking if bridges are washed away, or trails that may be closed by pipeline work in North Jersey...

 

At least we're not the only one getting a little burnt on the hike prep. We threw up our hands this weekend and just headed to Norvin on Sunday. Beautiful out, Chik Falls gushing... but some of the trails were like hiking in a stream. (so much water on them it was actually running...)

 

And I think I know the field in that photo... it was pretty wet on a normal day so I can only imagine...

 

Dawn

my first post here.

first off a little about myself..i am a husband, father, grandfather, hiker, canoeist, fisherman, camper, motorcycle rider,LSR racer and are you ready? a HUNTER! or as i like to call myself an avid outdoorsman. i have been searching for a place to share my great love of the out of doors, and gain the knowledge to hike the AT. so here i am. while i was waiting for my site aproval, i surfed threw the forums and posts.

i have to ask, for my own knowledge, why would you be afraid of hiking in a hunting area? or any other activity. i have been hunting along with all the other outdoors activities i mentioned since 1976. i have never had a single issue. with a hunter, fisherman, camper or a hiker. ok sometimes the evil eye from a hiker, but 99.9% of the time its all hello, how are you, whats you hunting for, what season is it, were you hiking to, ect, ect, ect. in all honesty it makes me feel good to see non hunters enjoying the out of doors.

after all i am just hiking too. i just happen to be in pursuit of a little dinner too.

not a rant just a open question

RUNT

 

RUNT - That's a valid question. Basically, I think many hikers simply feel uncomfortable about the potential of being shot – even though the the odds are so incredibly low of that happening.

The fact that there are people with weapons somewhere in the woods around them is disturbing to many hikers, so they just prefer to avoid those areas to be safe.

And of course, every year there are a few news stories where someone is mistaken for game and shot so that doesn't help. There was already one this year in Oregon where a hunter killed a man hiking through a field, thinking he was a bear. Most hunters identify their target, but then you wonder about those who might not.

 

Dawn

thanks for the reply, i can understand that, after all i am very open minded. just a few weeks ago my son and i were hiking / camping at round valley. when we were hiking out we spotted a nice 6point buck up on the top of a hill. while admiring the buck my son said, wish you had your bow don't you? i replied... can shoot him there, don't know whats behind the hill, what if i miss? its really that simple.

well to help some, you can ask me anything about game laws and hunting seasons, i have to study the rules and regs of the division of fish and game, since i hunt. and yes it can be very confusing. the best thing i think a hiker can do is get a game laws publication and find out were the deer check stations are. go there and ask to see the maps they have for zones, they are blown up to 4foot by 4foot and are much easier to understand. also going on the dep site and look under the park links and they all list the areas open for hunting.

hunters and hikers need to respect each other, just as all of the people of the world do. that's my take on it. so if you see me walking threw the woods in pursuit of some dinner, say hello. i will be the one with the orange vest and weapon. and an extra bottle of water if you need it. have a great adventure.

 

hey folks, how is everyone? just back from my yearly 2 week del water gap hiking /hunting / vacation.  it was great, one of the best times i have had in years.

1st off, the day after thankgiving me and my granddaughter hooked up the trailer and headed to campsite no. 50 at worthington campground. had camp set up at dusk and did the hotdog and marshmallow thing around the campfire. saturday we woke up and this was the day i introduced my granddaughter to the woods [she is 6] we chose the kiaser trail just above the old copper mine inn, she suprised me, we made it up to the crossover were the trail heads upriver to the mines. there we sat and watched for fuzzytails [spec note there are alot of trees down by the 1st ravine] anyways she and i had a great time, she is a natural.

afterwards we headed back to camp for lunch. then we went up river to calno school, i had to get a picture of her in front of the school for my wife [my wife and i got married in that school before, the late donald von hagen'' the then mayor'' moved to blairstown. we were the last couple to get married in the now gone town of pahaquary.

then off to the lower mines and paymasters vault for some more pictures.

ended the day with some fishing and after dark she watched the movie open season.

sunday was a sleep in day and then off to the lakota wolf preserve at camp taylor, again we had a blast. she really likes the woods and all the history i showed her, amazing how much fun a kid can have without regular tv, computers and video games.

my son came and got her and then started my time...i instantly missed her!

i spent the next week and 1 half doing my thing. saw and met a bunch of hikers, you people wear the funiest things, lol [this comes from a nice lady i met, that was trying to hike to sunfish pond with her boyfriend. sneakers capris, a huge purse, and a hat on with long feathers, LMAO!] on another note, it was nice to see people picking up garbage that others had left behind, i filled a whole garbage bag myself.

anyways i did see alot of wildlife, the most spectacular thing was 5 bear. we were looking at a 400plus pound bear about 200 yrds away on the saturday before the season when i looked up and saw 4 more in a tree not 90 feet away, there was the mother and 3 cubs, they looked to be almost 2 years old, and the mother was solid black even her snout. absolutly spectacular. as soon as i can i will post the pictures.

well there it is, just a little feedback from the gap

RUNT

 

 

Jim - Sounds like you had a great trip!! And spotting 5 bears is terrific. We haven't seen any for two years now, and we used to see them a lot.

And I've noticed a big variety in hiking attire at the Gap, because it attracts so many inexperienced or non-hikers who don't realize how rugged the trails are. We once saw a woman in hiking in high heels, so a purse and fancy hat doesn't surprise me. Most hikers wear standard gear.

Dawn

My personal favorite are the er..."hikers" w/flip-flops on AT-rock-studded trails that even high tops have difficulty maneuvering!

We made the 100yd. acquaintance of three (what appeared to be) teenage black bears a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving on a trail paralleling Mud Run out at Hickory Run State Park in Pa. They were just strolling across the trail ahead of us when the last bear in their mini-parade turned and saw us. He/she gallomped so fast to get across the trail it nearly rear-ended the bear in front of him/her. Helped to reinforce my belief that for the most part they are more afraid of us then we are of them.  

Linda

12/23/11 - Hunting at Cheesequake S.P. over for the season.

Was just there today and signs were posted they reached their goal, therefore the park is back to being non-hunting for now.

I was wondering as I drove by there today - great to know, thanks!  I was at Wells Mills County Park today and their trails were closed Dec 5 - 10 and Dec 14 because of hunting on neighboring properties so that is over with now also.

njHiking.com said:

12/23/11 - Hunting at Cheesequake S.P. over for the season.

Was just there today and signs were posted they reached their goal, therefore the park is back to being non-hunting for now.

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