Hunting season has arrived in earnest, and with it the increased presence around town of bright orange and camouflage. The season brings a lot of excitement to the area, and understandably so. However it’s also important to follow some basic safety guidelines.
For most people in America, the color orange is associated with this time of year because of Halloween.
And while that holiday certainly is popular here — just check out downtown during trick-or-treating for further proof — the influx of orange in October for the Moffat County community means something different: another hunting season has arrived.
Marked by the distinct presence of camouflage and blaze orange vests, elk season is an annual tradition for anyone who has lived in the area for more than a few years, both those who hunt as well as those who don’t.
For the hunters, the reasons for excitement are pretty obvious, especially considering that many who hunt plan their year around hunting season, anxiously waiting to get back into the Colorado backcountry to spend time in nature — and hopefully bag a trophy kill.
For the non-hunters in the Moffat County community, the reasons to be excited about hunting season may not be as obvious but they are just as relevant. Aside from the availability of delicious elk meat, hunting season also means an increase in tourism, which usually signals an increase in sales tax revenue.
In short, hunting season is good for everyone in Moffat County.
The bright orange shouldn’t only be a reminder of the benefits hunting season brings to our community, however. Its presence should — both figuratively and literally — be a reminder of how important it is to practice proper safety precautions.
Don’t misunderstand, we’re not trying to imply that hunters are unsafe with their firearms. On the contrary, most hunters, especially big game hunters, are extraordinarily well versed in how to safely operate their guns.
However, the presence of firearms always brings a risk, no matter how safe the operator is. But if simple safety measures are taken, that risk is even further minimized.
Hunters, make sure to wear that familiar blaze orange and make sure to follow the laws and rules regarding where to hunt and how far off road and trail you have to be in order to hunt.
Non-hunters, it’s not a bad idea to wear bright colors, too, if going out to hike or bike in an area where hunting happens. And keep your pets close. If they can’t be leashed, make sure they have a blaze orange collar or harness.
Following these simple guidelines will help ensure this season that brings so much excitement to the area remains exciting.