For me this is the season where gunfire becomes common in many of the areas where I paddle and even where I walk the dog. Gunfire makes the dog start shaking and I also prefer not to be close to it. I have nothing against hunters or target shooters and in fact I have enjoyed target shooting in the past. I’ve had lots of “close encounters” with hunters over the years while I am out paddling and none were ever a problem for anyone…except the one time my buddy and I had a shotgun pattern land right next to us but that’s a different story.
So today I am walking through the farmer’s field to the local put in with my canoe on a cart (and wearing my blaze orange hat) and as we launch there is a shotgun shot nearby so the dog is shaking for the entire paddle. When we get back there’s another shot so I have to put her on a leash or she will run all the way home…so as I pulled the canoe cart she pulled me like a tugboat.
Two weeks ago we were paddling up the Paw Paw and had an older man and his wife idling along in their powerboat and following us FOR A MILE and we finally got to the more wooded area where we could lose them and…gunfire! This time it sounded like many shots from a pistol. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere and a mile walk from anywhere so a bit of a Deliverance scenario. So we turned around and headed back, following my rule of “head AWAY from the gunfire”, and the dog was shaking the whole way back.
I guess I just have to stick to the more public spaces for a few weeks, or leave the dog at home.