Forest hunters etiquette question

Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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In a fairly remote area that I have been repeatedly traveling to, I noticed a hunter had set up an automatic deer feeder that sprayed corn, and two deer stands in trees.

Sometime in October, I was driving down a "main" a road to the narrow sand road that twisted and turned up to the deer feeder. When I got to the road, a hunter had blocked it with his vehicle, and he was getting ready at the back of the truck. I waited politely, assuming that he would move his truck. After a while I motioned with my hand that I wanted access to the road.

He held up a bow or a shotgun. Not certain because it was still low light, and I guess he thought because he was hunting, he was justified in blocking the road. My only option was to drive about a 100 ft through the woods between some trees.

I ended parking pretty near the deer stands and feeder, quickly got my gear and walked down into the savannah.

Conditions ended up not being great so I walked out after a half hour. While I was in the savannah, I was waiting for an arrow through the throat, like in "Deliverance".

I am a hunter of photos, he was a hunter of (I assume), deer? Who's the dick, him or me?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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If a person is actively hunting, you should definitely not park near his stands and feeder. On his side, he should have walked up to your car and had a conversation about it (or vice versa). I think you are wrong in this one.
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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I really don't know who was right, but if it were me, I would have found another place to photograph. I make it a point not to argue with someone who has a weapon and spending a half hour "waiting for an arrow through the throat" doesn't sound like much fun. :)
 
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GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
I'm a hunter, and regardless of the separate issue of what you did, he should absolutely not have blocked the road with his truck. No activity in the woods justifies doing that. I've always considered that one of those unwritten laws and a matter of common courtesy, like pulling over to the side when you see another vehicle approaching. Unfortunately, we all know how less common that courtesy actually is these days.

Aside from the parking issue, the following is quoted from the NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest. "It is illegal to obstruct or attempt to obstruct or annoy a person lawfully taking wildlife as per N.J.S.A. 23:7A-1 through N.J.S.A. 23:7A-3." If you knew he was hunting there before you parked, you violated this law.

So I would say you were both wrong, and the matter best settled with flintlock pistols at 25 yards.
 
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Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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He should have never blocked the road. I had that happen in Whitebogs once and it annoyed me. In any event, when we see a hunter doing what they do, we leave. You should have also.
 
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Jon Holcombe

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Apparently there is a concensus that hunters have legal precedence over photographers. Since I first discovered that area, I have been returning there for months, and I returned for peak foliage season. I admit I was annoyed that I could not access the road, but going forward, I will respect their right of way.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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They have no right of way to block roads that I"m aware of.Have you seen something in print? I have met a few that seem to think they own the woods of which I begged to differ and made it known but most are quite nice folks.I always apologize if I accidently wander in on someones hunt unless I"m gotten rude with in which case I respond in kind.ad an old man threaten to shoot my dog once and I Immediately let him know where I would stick his gun.I was within arms reach of him when i told him and could have had his gun before he raised it.He grumbled and cussed but he wisely walked away
 
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Teegate

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I agree with you Jon that it is annoying and some hunters do think that they own the place, especially when they sometimes come only a few days a year and you are there all year long. But it is illegal to bother them and this time of year you should have a second location option in the event you run into them.
 

Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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Aside from the parking issue, the following is quoted from the NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest. "It is illegal to obstruct or attempt to obstruct or annoy a person lawfully taking wildlife as per N.J.S.A. 23:7A-1 through N.J.S.A. 23:7A-3." If you knew he was hunting there before you parked, you violated this law.
I found the NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest online, but it was to confirm that putting a bait machine on state land was illegal. I was disappointed to see that baiting was legal. It never ocurred to me to see if I was breaking the law by potentially interfering with his hunt.

Regarding a flintlock duel, I would end up being "posted", and thought a prevaricating scoundrel and poltroon. I prefer discussion over gunplay.
 
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1Jerseydevil

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Feb 14, 2009
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They have no "right" per say. Aside from bow season they have a relatively short time to pursue their pleasure. This is more so during gun week. We for the most part have 365 days to pursue our pleasure. Share the woods we all enjoy, even if they are a dick, they'll be gone soon. As mentioned, have a backup plan and both of you should have made the effort to talk. I guess he did when he raised his bow.
 
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Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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The way I read it, yes. An edited excerpt.

"Baiting
Pursuant to NJSA 23:4-24.3, a "baited area" shall mean the presence of placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered agricultural products...capable of attracting or enticing such birds or animals.
Pursuant to NJSA 23:4-24.4, the above restriction does NOT apply to deer hunting. Hunters targeting deer while elevated in a standing tree or in a structure of any kind may be within any distance of a baited area."
 
They have no right of way to block roads that I"m aware of.Have you seen something in print? I have met a few that seem to think they own the woods of which I begged to differ and made it known but most are quite nice folks.I always apologize if I accidently wander in on someones hunt unless I"m gotten rude with in which case I respond in kind.ad an old man threaten to shoot my dog once and I Immediately let him know where I would stick his gun.I was within arms reach of him when i told him and could have had his gun before he raised it.He grumbled and cussed but he wisely walked away


Remember that one hunter who thought he caught me on camera walking through his area when we were looking for arrowheads? I got pretty heated being blamed for something that I didn't do. He was armed so I didn't take it further but that rubbed me the wrong way.
 
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Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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Medford
Remember that one hunter who thought he caught me on camera walking through his area when we were looking for arrowheads?
Are you saying that you walked through an area that he was baiting? Or an area that he was actively hunting in?

I assume it is legal to walk through a baited area. Or isn't it?
 

Teegate

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They can't stop you from walking. I find them all the time. Some are loaded with food. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, salt, pumpkins and anything else they can find. I take photos of many of them but unfortuanly don't name them in my computer. I will try and find them if I get a minute.
 
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