With the fall hunting season in full swing in many public land states, QWR believes it is important for that user group to “Stay on the Trail.”
QWR had a recent discussion with federal land managers regarding the importance of hunters using designated roads and trails when operating an OHV. Hunters often do not view themselves as an operator of an OHV. For many of those sportsmen, their ATV or SxS was purchased to replace the family jeep-type vehicle or pack animal. There is an understandable disconnect between OHVs purchased for hunting vs. primary use for OHV recreation. That appears to be one of the main reasons that many hunters believe OHV-specific rules and regulations (helmet laws, use restricted to designated routes, prohibition of cross-country travel) do not apply to their use.
This ongoing land management challenge was highlighted recently in the Spokesman-Review where Idaho’s OHV Public Outreach Campaign was featured. That program is working hard to help educate hunters to use designated routes.
Spokesman-Review Article on OHV Use during Hunting Seasonhttp://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2013/oct/08/campaign-urges-hunters-ohvs-stay-trails/
Idaho “Stay on Trails” Hunting Season Campaignhttp://www.stayontrails.com/
Our good friends at Tread Lightly! have a great hunting-related education program as well. Feel free to check out that campaign at: http://treadlightly.org/tread-lightlys-tips-for-responsible-hunting/
QWR believes that OHV stakeholders (industry, aftermarket, dealers, users, and land agencies) must continue to help with outreach to the hunting community on this important topic. Education about responsible OHV use is a key enforcement tool and more of an effort must be made to encourage hunters to “Stay on the Trail.”