Hiking During Hunting Season

Fall is one of the best seasons to hike the Bruce Trail. With cooler temperatures, changing colours, and the retreat of bugs, it is truly spectacular. But with the autumnal season comes hunting season. To ensure your safety and comfort, and to avoid hiker-hunter conflicts, we recommend considering the following before heading out for a hike.

Hunting along the Bruce Trail

While there are many areas along the Trail where hunting is not permitted, such as Conservation Areas, provincial and national parks, and Bruce Trail Conservancy lands, in other areas such as county forests, private properties, and other public lands, hunting may occur with the landowner’s permission.

Be seen

Wear bright colours instead of dark or neutral colours. A fluorescent or bright orange piece of clothing such as a hat, shirt, vest, or bandana will help you be seen.

In need of a new hat? The BTC Store now carries a branded orange toque that is perfect for hunting season and beyond.

Be heard

Make noise so hunters will know you’re on the Trail. You can talk or even sing a tune. If you do hear shots, raise your voice or consider carrying a whistle to let hunters know you’re in the vicinity.

Stay of the Trail and avoid hiking at dawn or dusk

As you would at any time of the year, stay on the blazed trail. Many hunters are aware of the Bruce Trail and will avoid hunting near it. Dawn and dusk are when hunters are most active so it’s best to avoid hiking at these times.

Protect your pet

Make sure your dog is also wearing orange, whether it be a harness or bandana so that it’s easily visible. As always, keep your dog on a leash and on the trail. The sound of a gunshot can scare a dog and cause it to run off.

Be aware

Know when and where hunting is allowed. Hunting seasons can vary by region, by animal, and by the permitted method of hunting (e.g. bow hunting or rifles).

Some areas may be closed or partially closed to hikers during hunting season. As always, check for any trail changes or closures before your hike to avoid disappointment and follow any signage you see on Trail.

If you’d rather not hike on lands where hunting is allowed, choose trails in popular parks and near cities and towns. Check park website to confirm if hunting is allowed.

Short Hills Provincial Park 2023

Short Hills Provincial Park will be closed to the public to honour treaty rights with a First Nation Deer Harvest.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has notified the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks that it constituent First Nations wish to conduct at traditional/community harvest for deer in Short Hills Provincial Park.

The park, including the Bruce Trail and side trails within the park, will be closed on the following dates and will re-open at 8 a.m. the following morning:
• Saturday, October 21
• Saturday, October 28
• Tuesday, November 14
• Tuesday, November 28
• Tuesday, December 12
• Tuesday, December 19

For more information visit https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/shorthills/alerts

Neyaashiinigmiing Hunting Closure 2023

Trails will closed for hunting activities within the boundary of Neyaashiinigmiing, otherwise known as Cape Croker, from November 6 through to November 12.

Dundas Valley Conservation Area Closures

Please note that Hamilton Conservation Authority, in agreement with the Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority, has announced hunting closures in parts of Dundas Valley Conservation Area. While these closures do not affect the Bruce Trail, they will affect some trails nearby. The designated areas will be closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays only between November 6 and December 7 of 2023.

Please Consider Making a Donation

One-Time Gift