With both hunting season and prime hiking season upon us, you don’t want to be mistaken for a bear. Or a deer. Or a hog. And nobody wants to be the unlucky recipient of a stray bullet. Yet about 1000 hunting accidents occur annually in the U.S. and Canada, resulting in nearly 100 deaths.
But the hiking weather is awesome. The trails are calling. What to do? Know before you go — avoid active hunting areas. All Florida Wildlife Management Areas are detailed HERE. You may be surprised to learn that these include some National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, and some state parks, particularly those with the word “reserve” in the name, such as Rock Springs Run State Reserve. You can also check hunting season dates at a glance by zone HERE.
Hunting is not a free-for-all throughout the state, everyone hunting everything everywhere at the same time. You can still hike these areas safely by timing your hike between hunts. Otherwise, you better stick to state parks, county parks, and others listed here by county: Where-to-Go. Always double check your destination against the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) information in the links provided or contact the park you want to hike in.
Hike on…just don’t be a bear.