It's Hunting Season!

November 13 marked the beginning of Rifle Season in New Hampshire which is the season the
majority of us identify as Hunting Season.  Actually we have been in hunting season now for well over a month with both bows and muzzle loaders active, however there are many more folks in the woods with guns right now and they have multiple shots available to them!

When my family hiked when I was a child, we simply stopped entering the woods at all during
hunting season.  It seemed simple enough to give the hunters the woods for one month of the year
Mondo and Spot are ready for hunting season
at Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center!
and we took the time at home to focus on the holidays.  Now that I've moved north and have my own family however, I am not as content to stay completely inside for the whole month so I've taken to venturing forth.  If you too are venturing forth at this time of year, give head to the following precautions and thoughts!

First of all of course, wear your blaze orange and suit up your dogs as well!  My family has orange safety vests which we sling over our daypacks when we go out.  I've seen folks wear blaze orange winter hats and blaze orange baseball hats.  We have blaze orange bandannas here at Pinkham Notch and over at the Highland Center for you last minute folks!

If you'd like an extra modicum of safety, stay high and in the more popular areas!  Generally where there's more of us humans, there's less deer and where's there's less deer, there's less hunters.  There definitely IS hunting in the State Parks and the White Mountain National Forest however...we are multi use...still be prepared with your blaze orange! 

On your way to your chosen hike, be scanning the roadsides and pull offs for vehicles.  Especially in the less popular hiking areas, empty vehicles on the side of the road during hunting season will often indicate folks in the woods!  If there's an open campground in the area you are heading too, you can even consider swinging through and see if they are populated with hunting camps.  If the level of possible hunters in the woods if greater than your comfort level, head for a different area!

Now when you meet a hunter in the woods and sooner or later you will, may I recommend you work on bridging the gap between our two communities!  Traditionally we've had some friction and we sometimes do hold radically different world views, but you know what; I've found one thing unerringly in common with the hunters I've met...we LOVE the outdoors and being in the outdoors!!!  So strive to make a connection and maybe in the future we can have more productive discussion of any differences we may have! 

And enjoy this crisp and clean aired time of year!!!

Trail conditions continue to vary!  We have generally frozen ground up here right now with dustings of snow everywhere!  Expect ice in the wetter areas and river crossings are getting hairier!  Do not expect to hike up Tuckerman's or Huntington's Ravine anymore...dream of ice climbing instead!  Ski areas have been making snow but I've only seen Bretton Woods open here in the North Country of New Hampshire.  Be sure to check them out if you can't wait any longer!  And many of the other resorts are slated to open real soon!  Be sure to keep tabs on the New Hampshire Ski Report for the latest info!  The summit of Washington is down to 2 inches of snow on top with deeper drifts...a considerable amount down from last week's 8 inches!  More snow may be coming in on Friday though!  Be sure to check current weather conditions before you come or call us (6034662721) the morning of and see what we can see out our windows!

And if you just want to play it ultra safe (because honestly it is just one month of the year that they venture forth!), come base camp with us at any of our lodges!   Joe Dodge Lodge, the Highland Center, or Cardigan Lodge! For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM or by email at To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

See you out on the trails!

Joyce S.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116  

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