Barn Island WMA, Again

Posted By on October 17, 2012

Barn Island WMA, Again

4.57 miles   ★★★★½

this was basically the same hike as last thursday, only this time with the “usual suspects.” perfect weather again. well, except for the fact that it was 32-degrees out this morning when i left my house. the shorts are definitely retired for the season! we saw a lot of folks out walking this property this morning, and except for one pinkish-orange hat, nobody had blaze orange on.

barn island is a wildlife management area, which means hunting is permitted on this property, and we are deep into deer bow-hunting season here in connecticut. not only that, but this coming saturday, october 20th, marks the beginning of shotgun season for small game, birds, and waterfowl. and when i say small game, i mean everything from gray squirrels and opossums to coyotes and red and gray foxes. you know what looks a lot like a coyote or a gray fox? a dog. most of the folks we saw today were out with their dogs, and none of them were on leashes. i sincerely hope that by next week these people get some blaze orange at least for their animals to wear, and consider keeping them leashed. when you use state land like this, you always have to remember that you share it with other people who are out doing the things they enjoy and that are legally permitted. whether you approve of hunting or not, keep in mind that the hunters have as much right to be there as you do. moreover, connecticut has a hunter harassment law that protects the rights of sportsmen. i guess what i’m saying is, can’t we all just get along? without getting shot?


funky, gnarly old tree


forest vignette


groundsel bush, baccharis halimifolia

there was a lot of this pretty bush in flower all along the salt marsh today. i’d show you a close-up, but i didn’t get a very good shot. you can see what the flowers look like at the wikipedia entry.

you can find info on connecticut’s hunting seasons here. i strongly urge anyone interested in hiking barn island, or any state-managed wildlife area where hunting is permitted, to read that website. also, you can find a list of every state property in connecticut where hunting is permitted here. because you’re on a blue-blazed hiking trail, for example, don’t assume that there is no need to wear blaze-orange. the narragansett trail goes through the pachaug state forest in a lot of places, and hunting is permitted there. and remember that sometimes hunters stray off legally permitted hunting land, intentionally or unintentionally. i just always wear blaze-orange by default. it’s easier. you can buy low cost blaze-orange vests and hats at walmart.


3 Responses to “Barn Island WMA, Again”

  1. Cynthia D says:

    But will anyone listen and put on the blaze? Probably

  2. Mark says:

    I could not agree with you more. I have been hunting out at Barn Island avidly since the season opened in mid September, and scouting since the beginning of August. Honestly I hate hunting on Saturdays, because of all the people. A lot of people have loud conversations like they’re in the middle of a shopping mall instead of in nature. I’ve had people’s dog’s run away and up to my tree stand, probably because they smell the deer scent I use. (honestly if I was on my own private land and a stray dog or cat ran up to my stand I would shoot it, because they’re a nuisance to natural wildlife) There’s consistently a guy on a dirt bike out there running the trails. I’ve been out in the middle of the woods with my bow while watching some deer work their way in through the trees when some guy on a bike rides within 5 feet of me and scares them off. He also didn’t have orange on. ***Here’s something you non-hunters need to understand: There are a lot of irresponsible, unethical hunters who do not positively ID their targets or even more importantly, don’t look behind their targets before shooting. It’s also not uncommon to smell alcohol on some of these guy’s breath, which is illegal. You are truly taking your life in your own hands by going out there without blaze orange on, especially if you wonder from the big paths. Although I always wear orange during a firearm season, it scares the $*!t out of me going in those woods when they’re packed with what I call recreational hunters.
    Well, for anyone who reads this, who continues to go out there, I hope you follow the rules. I have reported multiple people for walking their dogs not on leashes, littering, smoking pot in the parking lot, riding their motorized dirt bikes on the paths etc. and I will continue to do so without hesitation. I invest a lot of time and money to hunt out there lawfully, and honestly there’s a lot of rude and disrespectful people. If you really want to go out there and do whatever you feel like, go on a Sunday, there’s no hunting on Sundays in CT. Also, just consider going somewhere else during hunting season, but if you must, at least please be quiet and stick to the main path.

  3. auntie says:

    mark, thanks for your input. i appreciate your perspective, and i especially appreciate your point about not all hunters being as responsible and sensible as you are. that’s something i don’t think occurs to most people, who just *know* hunters won’t shoot at them or their dog running through the underbrush.

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