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Public land 'etiquette' question...need opinions

1844 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fmb3
I tried to look on public land yesterday afternoon, but was thwarted by a situation that made me uncomfortable, and so I just quit.

I had driven a good little distance to get to a spot that I wanted to check out. There was 1 vehicle parked on the side of the road when we arrived. (It was a red truck, If anyone recognizes themselves in this story, please let me know, and maybe we can morel hunt together sometime).

Anyway, this was the only public access to this river I that I knew of, and I asked hubby what he thought, what if this person was a hunter (it is turkey season here). Hubby is also a turkey hunter. He said, "we have as much right to be here as he does, and we are wearing orange so if he is a turkey hunter, he will see us". So into the woods we went.

Well, we had not gone any further than perhaps 1/4 of a mile along the river when we heard a male voice holler, but we could not really make out what he was saying, and we sure as hell could not see him. It kind of sounded like he first hollered, "I see you", but we were not sure. So we just went on looking for morels. Then he hollered again, and this time it sounded like he said, "don't come over here". Still not sure if that is what he said, but it made us uncomfortable, and we sure did not want to have any sort of an encounter with some one that might have a gun.

So, we don't know who this was,could have been a turkey hunter pissed that we were near him. It could have been a morel hunter, but if he was, we sure didn't see any orange.

What should we have done? We ended up just leaving, and I was not happy that OUR hunt was thwarted.

Opinions please?
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Hello, as someone that hunts public land often the "etiquette" should be that even tho you have as much right as anyone else to be there common courtesy should tell you not to go where someone else is. If you see a vehicle at a spot just move on to the next spot and come back to that one later when the vehicle is gone. If you had gotten up before sunrise and went in there would you like someone just piling in on top of you? Besides, if you get into a good morel spot do you really want to chance someone else seeing you picking them? :)

On a side note, many public lands are state or federal parks and it is against the law to remove "ecofacts" from them without a permit. You may want to check before getting caught and fined. I buy my permit every year just in case, it costs me 25.00 for the area I hunt morels in.

Good Luck!
To expand on fmb3's comment. The NC rules are okay with you taking plant, fungi, etc as long as it is for personal use. How they would judge that ammount is beyond me, but that's what it states. Interestingly enough, I just posted something like this info earlier today in the NC forum, regarding accessing the public game lands here.

On a lot of public areas parking is limited so you park in the designated areas and fan out from there. If you were truly on public property and did not accidentally wander over the boundary I wouldn't worry about anyone else yelling as we all have a right to share those same woods. That being said, it is a good practice to move on in a different direction so as not to crowd someone else but NO WAY would I leave the property.
I hear ya fmb, and mostly agree, but the problem was that there was no other access to the river other than that one spot, and we planned just to go in there, and follow the river. And of course we had no idea where another person might be, or even if they were in there, other than the fact that there was a vehicle parked on the side of the road. He could have been 5 miles down the river's edge, up in the hills, and anywhere in between.

We have the required permits, and we knew where we were as far where the private and public boundaries were according the the maps we were using.

I guess I was a little unnerved because the ranger had told me to 'watch out for hunters', that will intentionally sneak up on hikers/foragers, (since they are camouflaged) just to scare the sh*t out of them.

Some have even been known to bash in the windshields of 'tree huggers'.
Ive hunted public land for 40 years and had few problems and those were usually due to someone acting like a jerk. Use common courtesy and common sense and it should work out fine. Like all things, treat other people how you would like them to treat you.
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