Stay safe when walking in woods

Deer hunting season opened last weekend and we have this advice from the late Russ Monbleau, of Milford.

Russ said something along these lines vis a vis the wisdom of walking in the woods when hunters were out:

“If you use common sense, it’s perfectly safe. In other words, don’t walk in the woods wearing antlers on your head.”

Sage advice today, still.

Walking in the woods is one of the great New Hampshire pastimes, as is hunting, and neither the hunter nor the walker has any impetus to cease and desist because one or the other is out and about. Heeding Monbleau’s advice, if you are a walker, it might be a good course to follow. Indeed, if you’re a hunter, heed it, too: Don’t wear antlers on your head.

Actually, the hunter equivalent of antlers on the head is camouflage: Why not go into the woods blending into the background, then move around a lot in the expectation that no fellow hunter will mistake you for anything but a hunter in camouflage. Uh huh. Sure.

Folks, if you are hunters, for the love of family, friends, fellow hunters and, not necessarily least important, yourselves … Wear lots of orange. Camouflage might make you feel like Rambo but a bullet from a hunter who mistakes you for a deer is going to make you feel like someone else, someone wounded or worse.

The same is true for walkers. While we think it unlikely that many walkers go into the woods in camouflage, one can never be entirely sure of what people will wear on a whim, especially nowadays when whims seem to rule many lives.

Don’t do it; wear orange.

And make a little noise. No, not the kind of noise that a deer would make, like snapping a lot of tree branches, but human noise. Sing, ring a few (small) bells, whistle tunes from “Les Mis,” anything to alert hunters to your presence.

We can all share the woods if we’re all sensible and careful.