We’re moving into leaf-peeping season, that wonderful time of year when the trees come into color and those of us who like to hike are out enjoying the display. This is also the time of year when many different hunting seasons are occurring in Wisconsin. With this in mind, there are things we can all do to make sure that hikers and hunters co-exist safely.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance website has an entire section devoted to safe hiking during hunting season; see iceagetrail.org/hunting-season-iata. You’ll find lots of information, including a listing of when various hunting seasons take place and an interactive map that shows what sections of trail are closed during deer gun season. As the Alliance likes to say, “know before you go.” I hope you’ll go to the Alliance website so you know about hunting season considerations before you go out for a hike on the Trail. In this post I’ll highlight just a few things to keep in mind.
It is strongly recommended that people wear blaze orange when hiking during the months of September-May. Dogs should also wear blaze orange and should be on a leash at all times. While many of us are in the habit of hiking quietly, during hunting season it’s good practice to make some noise while you hike (whistle, sing, talk) to alert hunters that you’re in the area. You may want to be extra careful at dawn and dusk, when animals are feeding and there may be an increase in hunting activity.
Just about all segments of the Ice Age Trail that cross public lands remain open for hiking during the various hunting seasons. However, there are some segments that are closed during gun deer season, which this year is November 21-29. Information on trail closures is found on the website that I mentioned earlier.
I believe that all times of the year on the Trail have their own beauty and fall certainly bears that out. With some extra precautions you can enjoy your autumn hike….Along the Ice Age Trail.
Patti Herman live in the City of Lodi with her husband, Bill Welch. A retired educator, Patti is glad to be living in the Lodi Valley where she is surrounded by so much natural beauty, including the beauty to be found along the Ice Age Trail.