Squatchers: Be Careful in the Forest During Hunting Season!

A few notes for those planning to do any squatching in the Klamath National Forest any time soon.

Klamath River ValleyFirst, be aware that this is the marijuana harvest season. This means that those who are holed up in our forest growing marijuana illegally will be paranoid and on edge. Do be very cautious and watch for forest marijuana farms — which should be cleared out by the end of October. These are not usually locally based growers. They often are growers from south of the border working for cartels. They are well armed, and dangerous. I wrote about this before recently: Marijuana – Danger in the Forest!

Second, the hunting season has just opened. Our area is inundated with deer and bear hunters this time of year. Deer season started Saturday, September 26. Hunters are encouraged to wear bright orange vests for safety. Visitors (including squatchers) should consider doing the same.

Happy Camp California Fire DangerThird, fire safety regulations require a fire permit, available at the Forest Service office. Use of the small portable gas/propane/petrol stoves also requires a fire permit. Smoking must be confined to vehicles, buildings, and developed recreational sites and campfire areas.

Internal combustion engines are to be used only on roads and designated trails. Engines must have spark arresting devices, including ATVs. This reminds me of the ATVs GABRO brought into our forest back in 2005. Such noisy devices! I’m sure any self-respecting Sasquatch heard them coming and found an appropriate place to conceal himself.

GABRO ATVs in 2005For more information, refer to the Klamath National Forest website.

Something else to be aware of: vehicle vandalism and theft.

On September 13 a visitor from Chico parked his vehicle on Klamathon Road near Collier’s Rest Area. This is at Highway 5’s Klamath River exit, about 70 miles east of Happy Camp. While the owner was rafting on the Klamath someone broke into his vehicle and took wallets, cash, cell phones, backpacks, and a video camera. Sad to know there’s a thief running around loose there near Yreka somewhere.

I wish I could say that behavior is confined to the more “civilized” area of our county, but I saw something recently that made me think that vehicles parked along the Klamath River Highway may not be entirely safe either. An old truck was parked on the side of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway a few miles downriver from Happy Camp. We passed it in the morning; later when we came back the windows had all been broken! Since then, we don’t leave our vehicles parked on the highway. I’ve also heard that vehicles left at trail heads are subject to being broken into or vandalized. If you have a beater, sometimes that’s the better choice for a Klamath River adventure if you’re planning to leave the vehicle untended while you hike into the wilderness. A sad state of affairs. I would love it if all people were trained in the ways of compassion since birth. Unfortunately, that’s not the civilization we’ve got right now.

Yeti Vandalized Van
Van vandalized downriver a few years ago.

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