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Hunting Season Horse Safety Tips

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Fall means hunting season in many areas, and horse owners should be aware, especially if their horse has colors similar to a deer or other large game animal. Here are some helpful tips that may protect your horse.

When trail riding
It's best to avoid trail riding during hunting season, especially during the opening weekend. If you feel safe enough in your area to hit the trails, take these steps to help keep you safe.

Wear bright clothing and avoid earth tones; white or any color a hunter might mistake for a wild animal
Wear a blaze orange vest or jacket while riding
Avoid riding on public lands during hunting season
Braid some colorful ribbon (or strips of Vetrap) into your horse's tail
Put vivid bandaging or Vetrap on the bottom of your horse's legs - you can even wrap pieces onto the bridle where it won't interfere with your horse's vision

In the pasture

Keep your horse in, if possible, during times of poor visibility like early in the morning or evening
If you can, house horses near your home during hunting season
Paint fence posts in back pastures a bright orange, so hunters will be extra careful
Tie strips of brightly colored Vetrap to fence lines
If state law requires it, post "No Hunting Allowed" signs if you think hunters may unintentionally wander onto your property
If the weather is cool and your horse needs a blanket, make sure it is brightly colored
Put an orange hunting sock or a colorful tail bag on your horse's tail
If your horse wears a halter when pastured, make sure it is vividly colored
Foals, small ponies, and minis can wear human hunting vests

During hunting season, do whatever you can to ensure that your horses (and other pets) are easily identifiable as domestic animals. Remember, during autumn, "the brighter, the better!"

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