Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors with its dazzling colors, crisp air, and wildlife activity galore. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, or just taking in the scenery, a few common sense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.
Know your limits. Don't take off on a long hike, hunt, or bike ride if you're not physically ready.
Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.
Watch the weather. New England weather is notoriously unpredictable. Be ready with extra clothing.
Expect the unexpected. Carrying a pack with a few first aid items, matches, water, pocket knife, cell phone, map, compass, whistle, extra food, and flashlight can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
Wear blaze orange for visibility. Whether you're a hunter, hiker, birder or dog walker in rural areas, it's a good idea to wear a cap or vest of highly visible blaze orange clothing while you're enjoying the great outdoors.
Respect the water. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets from September 15 to May 15, but all water enthusiasts, especially anglers who wade in larger rivers, would be wise to wear floatation devices now that water and air temperatures are cooling.
Respect other outdoor users. Mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, hunting, and hiking need not be and are not mutually exclusive activities. Know the hunting seasons and who is likely to be sharing the woods and waters with you. Keep dogs under direct control and respect other outdoor users' rights to enjoy our open spaces.
Finally, licensed hunters are reminded to take the basics of hunter safety to heart. Treat every firearm as it were loaded, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Positively identify your target and what lies beyond it.