Paddling during hunting season

This morning I was kayaking my usual local river. I noticed many Hunters out preparing their duck blinds for the upcoming duck season. I had every intention of paddling every weekend until the river froze over. However, are the hunters something I need to worry about? Or will I be safe to paddle as long as I’m careful? What do other paddlers do during hunting season?

My biggest concern with duck hunters…

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 4:52 PM EST –

... is spoiling their chances, or what's more likely, having them think that I am (maybe no ducks would have come along anyway while I pass by, but they may not be happy about the disturbance anyway).

You are in no danger from duck hunters. If the hunters are halfway responsible, they won't be shooting toward you anyway. When they do shoot, they'll be shooting up, and the odds are about a million to one against them having something to shoot at while you are in the area. If by some chance they are shooting in your direction while you are nearby, just don't look in that direction for a moment so your eyes aren't facing that way. I've been hit by shot pellets at a range of about 200 yards (this was by skeet shooters in a gravel pit), and it felt about the same as if a person were to throw a couple of pellets at you from across the room. They have very little velocity once they've reached that distance.

I usually stay out of duck-hunting places at dawn and dusk, out of respect for the hunters. During the main part of the day, if it's a nice day, most of them will not even be out, as there won't be much chance of seeing ducks flying anyway. Except on opening day, I've never seen a duck blind that was occupied during nice weather later than about 8:00 in the morning, or before 5:00 in the afternoon. Maybe the same will be true in your area.

try not to go where duck hunters go
I wear bright colors also.

A few years ago I spoiled some duck hunters chances by snooping around their decoys… how dumb that was… The bush with the canoe in it sighed.

if you see them flying in - Duck! (no pun intended).

Here it’s deer hunters!
That’s a great question.

In NC, duck season is later, and, as Guideboatguy says, the duck hunters are no worry if you’re out in the open. They’ re shooting shotguns, and birdshot doesn’t carry far. What i worry about is the dozens of deer hunters in the gamelands around the lake and the rivers where I paddle. I have seen a dead deer floating in a river i once paddled. The thing is that a bullet from a deer rifle carries far. So I wear an orange hat on the water, in addition to my yellow lifevest. I am very, very concerned about careless deer hunters. It only takes one to shoot me by accident. Ten or so years ago, a teenaged hunter shot and killed another hunter in the gamelands adjacent to the lake where i most often paddle. In fact, there are parts of the lake where i won’t paddle in deer season because of the perceived risk.

Wear red, cover up white hair

– Last Updated: Oct-12-14 10:49 AM EST –

A fellow paddler once pointed out that thru the trees, my hair with lingering color and some very bright white looked just like a deer tail. I stuck a red cap on it after that, or a hood. Or a bright lime or cobalt blue - anything that isn't natural.

Agree with some of the above - duck hunters are usually more likely to be careful about what they shoot at than deer hunters. But there have been times that we have aborted an exploration up a creek because there just too many guns firing, and with the tall vegetation on each side no one could see us.

Give them their time and space
I was a hunter as a kid. We wore every combination of yellow, red and the prescribed visible (supposedly to humans) garments. Didn’t help! Was shot at too.

Recall reading about the truth of visibility and it’s not a pretty thing if you’re counting on them being skilled, sharp-eyed, especially early AM or at dusk. Those are best times for hunting in most places and that’s when visibility is the lowest.

Sure, duck hunters should be aiming at the sky. Just don’t count on it where your life is concerned…

And as to deer hunters, well getting in and out of your boat on shore won’t be that safe either. Where I grew up hunters (not the good locals, but the outsiders mostly) would shoot at any sound and anything that moved during deer season. About the only ones truly safe to you would be the bow hunters, to be quite honest.

I’m not knocking hunters, just stating what I’ve seen and experienced over the years.

Stay out of their waters and out of their way in their season. Living to gripe about them is much better than the alternative.

middle of the day
As a couple other posters mentioned there probably won’t be many duck hunters out in the middle of the day, mostly sunup and sundown. And this time of the year, in most parts of the country, the middle of the day is the most pleasant time to be on the water anyway. So probably not going to be a real big deal.

I do try and avoid areas where duck hunters will be at the times they’ll be there. Not because I’m terribly worried about being shot but rather I don’t want to spoil their chances. Respect other peoples activities and hopefully they’ll respect yours.

It’s also not very relaxing, just from the noise factor, to be out when all the shooting is going on.


Been there/done that

– Last Updated: Oct-12-14 11:00 AM EST –

Have paddled during deer hunting season, and have hunted deer on numerous occasion.
If you do either hunting or paddling, you need to very careful.

There are a lot of fools in the woods during deer season, and some have no idea what they're doing.

Many operate on the premise that the correct technique is to shoot at anything that moves, and shoot multiple times.

Lots of poachers wandering about.........

For many it is the first time they have been in the woods all year. Many came for the "party" in camp. They rarely hunt, and don't really give a damn about getting a deer, unless it's a monster buck that will give them bragging rights with their buddies, and a big rack to hang on the wall.

I think the last time I paddled during hunting season we rounded a bend in the river; just as some asshole opened up with a high powered rifle on a buck that was swimming across the river. He was hunting? from a jon boat tied to the river bank. Shot at the buck twice while it was in the water, and once on the opposite river bank as it exited the river. Deer was never more than 100 feet from him.
Missed it all 3 times. He never noticed me coming downstream.
I was kinda pissed off with the whole scenario, and made some sarcastic comment to the jerk about "shooting at fish in a barrel & missing". He was not happy about my comment but didn't have any comeback. Probably ashamed of himself, and saw my 2 buddies coming up behind me.


Braver man than I
to make snide comments to a man with a rifle (and probably a boatload of beer as well). Guess you both figured if he did shoot, he might just have enough skill to hit the water, eh?


The fool in “my” tree stand

– Last Updated: Oct-12-14 11:53 AM EST –

This has nothing to do with paddling during hunting season, but gives a good example of the type of fool your can find in the woods during hunting season.

I am on my uncles land; he has about 45 acres, and my tree stand is right in the middle of the 45 acres.
It is zero dark thirty, opening day of deer season.
I am walking through the woods; it is still so dark I have on my headlamp, and I'm glad I did.
I wanted to be settled in my tree stand before day light; thus the dark wood's walk.
Nobody but 5 relatives are supposed to be on the property; the property is thoroughly posted & fenced.

All of a sudden I hear a voice, asking me, "where are you going"?

I shine my light up into the tree where the voice is coming from, and reply, "I'm going to my tree stand, and you're sitting on "my" tree stand.

What do you mean, I'm on your tree stand?

Mister, the tree stand you're sitting on sits in the middle of my uncle's property, and I built that tree stand with my own 2 hands.

I have permission to be here..........

Who gave you permission?

The owner!

No he didn't; the owner is my uncle and he only gives permission to hunt here to relatives. You are not one of our relatives, and you're trespassing, on posted property.

I ain't trespassing; I have permission to be here!

Mister, you're a liar.

I'm through arguing with the fool. I reach into my pocket & pull out a whistle which I start blowing repeatedly.

The fool asks me, "why are you blowing that whistle"?

I tell him to wait 3 or 4 minutes & he's going to meet my relatives.

Within 3 or 4 minutes headlamps start converging towards "my" tree stand. My uncle, my brother in law, and my 2 first cousins; having heard our prearranged emergency signal.

The fool was not there when they arrived, and he never came back. His brother in law did visit with my uncle later in the day, and apologized. The fool had been sent back home to the big city where he came from.


That’s a great story
Love how liars ramp up their lying until you call their bluff in a serious way. Your account reminds me of a campsite-stealing incident I had in Big Bend NP. I was driving in the early evening to a “primitive roadside” campsite I had booked, as required. Whoa, an entire family stood there flossing their teeth next to their gigundo tent, looking totally feral (I guess the teeth-flossing gave that effect).

When I told the father that I had reserved that site, he told me HE had reserved it and demanded, “Where’s your permit?” I immediately pulled it out to show him. That’s when his bravado faltered. As he hemmed and hawed, I said sweetly, “So where is YOUR permit?” Then he switched to the pleading tone of manipulation: “My family couldn’t find an empty site and we’re tired blahblahblagh” to which I retorted that the overflow to the main campground still had room, plus there were other empty (not necessarily unreserved) sites a little beyond my site…but those required a high-clearance vehicle.

He again whined about how long it took them to set up the tent and that it would take “at least an hour” for them to remove it. I anticipated this and snarled at him, “Let me HELP you take it down–and it sure won’t take an hour!”

They had that thing put away in 10 minutes, scurrying to avoid the possibility of my helping.

dont do anything

– Last Updated: Oct-12-14 7:30 PM EST –

Blatantly stupid, the rest is up to chance.

^^^^^If ever^^^^^^^
I have reason to speak at a high school graduation that’s going to be my whole speech.

fairly certain
This would answer 93% of the questions on this board.

the back 40 in rye grass on tilled in manure…ton/acre …mag lime…turned in a deer nursery.

Search: psychological profiles of duck hunters…or deer/rhino/…

Interesting reading for example:

Experience is deer hunters are not trusted. But deer hunters get to hide, duck hunters are more out in the open and not equipped with long range cannons.

Immediate danger is less.

But if you annoy them, they may follow you home. Fishermen follow you home. Ready for the opening day of trout paddle ?

One question, are duck hunters consuming alcohol ?

Hunters don’t drink alcohol
But some Dumazz with a shotgun and a duck blind might.


most deer hunters drink Budweiser

because its like fishing
Pretty boring.

good story