Farm land is prime territory for hunters. Often farmland and hunting go hand in hand. Farm land provides great habitats for much of our wild life and likewise, hunting helps keep wild life populations in check. Hunting season has commenced in some areas and has the potential to last several months depending on where you are located and the type of hunting.
If you do not want others hunting on your property, keep the following measures in mind.
- Signs are not required. The General Obligations Law protects landowners from liability for non-paying recreationalists on their property.
- If you choose to charge people for hunting on your property, please know that charging for access removes the liability protection granted to the landowner by the General Obligations Law. To learn more about landowner liability see the link for Cornell University’s publication “Recreational Access and Owner Liability” under Links Leaving DEC’s Website in the right-hand column at the top of the page.
- Signs are recommended and can be purchased at hardware and farm supply stores. Customized signs may be obtained from local printers.
- Notices must be a minimum of 11 inches by 11 inches, and at least one sign must be set on each side of the protected area and on each side of all corners that can be reasonably identified. Signs shall be no more than 660 feet apart, close to or along the boundaries of the protected area.
See Below the dates for regular and bowhunting deer seasons in New York State. Otherwise, for this year’s extensive hunting schedule, use the following link: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/huntseason18.pdf
Early Bowhunting: Oct. 1 – Nov. 16
Crossbow: Nov. 3 – Nov. 16
Regular: Nov. 17 – Dec. 9
Late Bowhunting: Dec. 3 – Dec. 9
To make sure you are up to date on all current rules and regulations or would like more information, check out the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/hunting.html
Whether you allow people to hunt on your property or not, it is important to ensure that you and your livestock are safe during this time of the year. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Hiking or Trail Riding
It’s best to avoid hiking and trail riding during hunting season, especially during the opening weekend. If you feel safe enough in your area to hit the trails, take these steps to help keep you safe.
- Wear bright clothing and avoid earth tones; white or any color a hunter might mistake for a wild animal
- Wear a blaze orange vest or jacket
- Avoid public lands during hunting season
- Braid some colorful ribbon (or strips of Vetrap) into your horse’s tail
- Put vivid bandaging or Vetrap on the bottom of your horse’s legs – you can even wrap pieces onto the bridle where it won’t interfere with your horse’s vision
In the Pasture
- Keep your animals in, if possible, during times of poor visibility like early in the morning or evening
- If you can, house them near your home during hunting season
- Paint fence posts in back pastures a bright orange, so hunters will be extra careful
- Tie strips of brightly colored Vetrap to fence lines
- If state law requires it, post “No Hunting Allowed” signs if you think hunters may unintentionally wander onto your property
- If the weather is cool and your livestock needs blanketing, make sure it is brightly colored
- I would remove this as if not monitored correctly it can lead to tail damage.
- If your animal wears a halter when pastured, make sure it is vividly colored
- Small livestock such as goats, or mini horses can wear human hunting vests
- Keep your pets inside. If they must remain outside try to keep them in a fenced in area. Also, consider bringing them inside at night.
- Find out where hunting areas are. During hunting season, it is safest to avoid these areas and adjacent public areas. Take precautions even if hunting is not allowed in the area.
- Make yourself obvious. If you are going out in a wooded area, make sure that you and your pet are wearing bright “hunter orange” to make yourselves visible to hunters. Consider adding a bell to your pet’s collar to add an additional warning. If you see a hunter, announce yourself and your pet.
- Keep your pet leashed or confined. A loose pet is more likely to be mistaken for game than one on a leash.
- If you plan to take your pet hunting make sure it is up to date on all vaccinations and parasite preventions, provide safety gear, carry a pet first aid kit, and be sure that your dog is identifiable with tags and a microchip so that he or she can find the way home should you become separated.
During hunting season, do whatever you can to ensure that livestock and other household pets are identifiable as domestic animals. Remember, during autumn, “the brighter, the better!”.
If you have other questions, check out the DEC website or contact your local extension office.