We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors and that comes with being aware of situations that you might come across.
Bear Encounters! - If you are fortunate enough to see a bear, hopefully it is 300' away and you are using binoculars and a telephoto lens. If you are closer then that, never run from a bear and don't try to climb a tree to escape! Don't get between a sow and her cubs. It is best to back away, speak in a calm voice while maintaining eye contact. For more information visit:
Bugs! - Black flies begin to emerge from mid to late April in southern New Hampshire and last through the end of May whereas mosquitoes start emerging by mid-May. Best protection from all insects is wearing long sleeves and long pants, using insect repellent.
Porcupines - If you are walking, keep your dog away from porcupines as the quills release easily. Once embedded, quills work their way deeper and deeper into an animal's skin (up to an inch a day!), so they should be removed as soon as possible.
Ticks - The dog tick is most active from May through July in New Hampshire. Deer ticks (black legged tick) are smaller than the dog tick and are also most active in May thru July. This species will readily bite people, most often during the nymph stage and can transmit Lyme disease. Ticks tend to crawl upward and if they can’t get inside your clothing, they will end up on your head or neck. It is important after walking through woods or tall grass to inspect your body for ticks. For details about repellents, daily tick checks, and what to do if you find a tick attached to skin see www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/on_people.html
Yellow Jackets - Yellow Jackets are known as 'the little danger under your feet' and are the most common cause of injury for a hiker. Their nests are commonly built in rodent burrows and other protected cavities. Stinging behavior is usually encountered at nesting sites.
They are very aggressive in defending their colony. Defensive behavior increases as the season progresses and colony populations become larger while food becomes scarcer. Be on the lookout for nests. Yellow Jackets that are flying directly in and out of a single location are probably flying to and from their nest.
Hiking Essentials - When venturing out for a hike it is advisable to bring a map, compass, pocket knife, flashlight, water, whistle and matches. If there is a possibility for a sudden shift in the weather you should bring warm clothing and a rain/wind jacket.
Hunting Season - When hiking in the fall, during hunting season it's important to be visible in the woods. The recommendation is to wear blaze orange — the color typically worn by hunters.