Hunting season has begun across the state and foliage is in full swing so how do you stay safe in the woods during this time of year.

1. Know What Type of Hunting is in Season

Hunting laws vary from state to state. Be aware of Maine's hunting seasons like what is being hunted and what is allowed to be used as a weapon. During deer season the woods are the busiest during the year for hunters so stay clear of high deer areas.

2. Know Where Hunting is Permitted

For example you can hunt in certain areas of the new Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument, but you cannot hunt in Baxter or Acadia State Park. Some hiking trails are used for hunters other prohibit it. Stick to the areas where hunting is banned for extra safety. Also remember it is illegal to hunt within a certain proximity to homes and on certain property. These are ideal areas for hiking as well.

3. Wear the Right Colors

Blaze orange is the bright color hunters are supposed to wear to be visible. However, when you are not hunting and just hiking, while orange is the best option, it is a good idea to wear a bright color while in the woods. Unnatural colors are best like bright pink, or baby blue. Never wear white, brown or black if you can help it.

4. Make Noise

While one of the best parts of hiking is the peace and quiet, hunting season is not the time to be stealthy in the woods unless you are a deer. Whistling, singing, and other noises to differentiate you from natural noises is best. So sing your heart out!

5. Know What Time and Days Hunters are Active

In Maine it is illegal to hunt on Sundays so that is obviously the best day for a woods walk. Other than that hunters can be active from sun up to sun down. Mid day is the best time to hike as you are most visible to hunters in the daylight. If you are hiking at night or in dim light always have a headlamp or flashlight to make yourself known.

Bonus- Don't Forget Your Fur Family

They make hunter orange vests for dogs and cats as well. Our pets are more likely to look like game to a hunter so we have to remember to keep them safe too!