Around this time of year, hikers and hunters are sharing many Simcoe County forests and during hunting season everyone needs to use common sense and know the rules.

Brandon Langford is keen show with a bow and avid deer hunter. But as of Monday, Landford can put away his bow and use a shot gun. He is looking forward to the opening of deer season in Simcoe County.

“It will mostly be me and my brother that go out through the week and some guys on the farm. We will try and get a couple deer.”

With more than 30,000 acres or publicly owned forest Simcoe County is a destination for many hunters.

Hunting is permitted in the vast majority of Simcoe County forests at the same time as other forms of recreation but there are signs posted at most trail entrances so everybody knows what to expect.

Frieda Baldwin enjoys hiking at this time of year and doesn’t let hunting season deter her from walking through county forests. Baldwin says a hunting accident several years ago raised awareness about being visible. She wears blaze orange, the same colour that hunters wear.

“The most important thing is to wear bright clothing, on your pet as well, keep your dog on a leash. Be aware that hunters are out at dawn and dusk and stick to designated trails because hunters know where they are they will be looking out for you when they are out hunting.”

Graeme Davis is in charge of managing the county’s forests where hunters must follow provincial rules and be members of the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters. He says all users of the forests can coexist safely with some common sense.

“It’s an important part of managing our wildlife populations, it can coincide with other activities safely but be aware, wear bright colours, avoid dawn and dusk and you will not have a problem.”

The shotgun season for deer in Simcoe County is only five days long, from November 4th till the 8th.