A Season for Common Sense

When you think of October, the color orange comes to mind. Pumpkins and turning leaves, of course, but that special hunter orange that becomes part of our attire in the out of doors at this time of year is particularly important.

It’s hunting season in the Granite State again, and that means those pristine woods in back of your home or along your favorite path are likely to resound with more than bird song.

The sounds of gunshots will soon be heard along with the leaf blowers, and that means exercising extra caution when you’re in or near the woods whether you’re aiming the gun or sipping coffee on the back porch.

Don’t take chances. For hunters, always be sure of your target that what you see is really what you’re hunting. In other words, identify your target before you fire. Always. Make sure you take seriously what you learned in hunter education. Know your weapon. The life you save may be your own or your neighbor’s. And be certain you’re not trespassing in pursuit of your hobby. Be respectful of the land where you hunt, and the neighbors around you.

Know the rules. If the land is posted “no hunting” and you don’t have personal permission to hunt there, go somewhere else. Just as important is leaving the land as you found it or maybe better. Each year, both private and townowned land is trashed and vandalized. Whether it’s someone’s idea of a private shooting range, complete with spent cartridges and beer cans, trees cut down without permission, or ATV damage to trails, the “rotten apple” spoils it for everyone else, hunter or non hunter. Clean up after yourself.

For the rest of us, this is the season when we don’t want to be crashing around in the brush. Make it easy for the hunters and for yourself. Wear hunter orange when you’re in an area where hunting is likely and make sure your faithful canine companion is sporting an orange scarf as well.

If you enjoy wearing camouflage, it’s time to change your fashion choices. Fall is a beautiful time to be in the woods as long as we take literally the old adage that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

We know the vast majority of hunters use common sense in the pursuit of their game, but in southern New Hampshire, woods and homes are close neighbors. On a clear fall morning, the sound of gunshots is a good clue that you’re not alone. Take care, and enjoy a beautiful fall.

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