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wildpotato's avatar

Hunters: Is a don't-shoot-me dog harness sufficient for visibility, or do I really need a vest?

Asked by wildpotato (15121points) October 22nd, 2013 from iPhone

I have a black lab/Chow mix, and we hike and backpack quite a bit. I’d prefer to get her a harness like this, but worry that it wouldn’t be visible enough. There’s also large vests like this, but they would be less ideal because she runs through so much brush.

Hunters and others with insight, would you please weigh in?

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12 Answers

Strauss's avatar

I am not a hunter, but I consider myself something of an outdoors person in all other respects. I always try to avoid hunting areas; that being said, where firearms are concerned, I don’t see any such thing as too much safety. The more visible, the safer.

Judi's avatar

You can never be to visible. Some hunters are very aware but some are not real smart. If I went with the smaller one I would probably add a flashing light to it.
I’d also stick to the trails during hunting season.

jaytkay's avatar

I would give that vest a try. It’s inexpensive enough to be worh the experiment.

I go in the woods with dogs and we give them bells, to scare away bears and wolves, but obviously that will help with hunters, too.

In hunting season we also make orange collars out of cheap knit caps. We cut the tops off the hats to make a collar that lasts for the weekend.

Emmy1234's avatar

I’d go ahead and get a vest! I wouldn’t want to experiment and see if the harness is enough!

gailcalled's avatar

Living in hunting country, I too would be super-cautious. Every year there are a few idiots who get up early, have a six-pack, some twinkies, a few cigarettes and then fire at anything that twitches.

@wildpotato: Given that you are in my neck of the woods, I would be very careful during the seaon, which seems to go on forever.

ccrow's avatar

I like this one. I have a couple of giant brown dogs, and bought supplies to make them vests based on the ruffwear one, as they don’t make them big enough. I hate sewing, but I love my pups.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No matter what you and the dog decide to wear I would avoid the first 2 days of Turkey and Deer seasons.
A coworker was deer hunting along the side of a hill when he heard gun shots on the other side. Immediately he got punched in the arm so hard he fell down. He had a broken arm from a deer slug that must have been shot by someone on the other side of the hill. Talk about unlucky!
He never knew who did it. Probably they didn’t either.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with staying out of the woods period in hunting season. My horse and I almost took an arrow from a bow hunter during deer season here in the Sierras some years ago now. If a damn hunter can’t tell the difference between a horse and deer I doubt they could tell the difference between a dog and a turkey. If it moves shoot seems to be the abiding motto, god forbid they have just polished off their 100 pak of Coors lite too. lol

ragingloli's avatar

Is it not counterproductive to make yourself as visible as possible to your prey?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Most hunters can tell a dog from a deer, unless your dog looks like a coyote they shouldn’t need the vest or collar. That said the first 2–3 days of deer, turkey and pheasant season around here is when you have the once a year hunters that barely know which end of the gun the bullets come out of out in the woods. Those first couple of days I would not be out at all.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ragingloli most deer are color blind so they can’t see bright orange. They are however more receptive to ultraviolet light which we can’t see. They can pick out clothing that has been washed in normal detergents without any trouble at all.

Turkey and waterfowl can see colors which is why most hunters then use full camo from head to toe.

There are some makers that have bullet resistant vests for dogs. They are expensive and not bouyant so if the dog likes to swim they may not be suitable.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@WestRiverrat speaks the truth. That is why I said to avoid the first 2 days. There are too many inexperienced hunters out there on those days. An experienced hunter will not shoot at something he can’t identify. He also rarely misses. When the trigger is pulled or the arrow is released the animal is finished. You can also tell an experienced hunter by the amount of ammo he carries. A pro carries just one 5 round box. All 5 go in the gun when he is ready. A beginner carries boxes in pouches and belts. You can tell the difference when they shoot, too. The pro is “boom” and then silence . The beginner is blam, blam, blam,,,,, until the gun is empty.
Avoid the first 2 days.

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