Is It Legal to Carry a Shotgun On a Public Hiking Trail in the Adirondacks?
Someone on Reddit recently posted a rather controversial question to the /adirondacks sub group: Is it legal to bring a shotgun on a hike?
Here, paraphrased, is the original question:
I know about the bear and rare moose. I know the black bear is more afraid of you than you are of it... But in the off chance we see one and it does for whatever reason want to make us dinner, I would like to have one.
I've been on quite a few hikes in my lifetime, and I've never seen anyone who felt the need to carry a gun. Many of the responders felt, as I did, that the concept was sort of ridiculous.
Honestly, if you're that afraid of being killed by a moose or a black bear in the ADK's, maybe hiking isn't for you.
Whether it's legal or not, many people were quick to point out how unnecessary it was. Not only are you lugging needless weight, the threat from wildlife on a high-traffic, public hiking trail is virtually nonexistent.
Here’s some advice, leave your shotgun at home. You’ll look like a doofus lugging that thing around and likely be the butt of the jokes for anyone passing you. You wont see a bear or a moose on whiteface or Marcy.
If you're really that scared of bears in the Adirondacks -- I've never seen one, and I'm sort of disappointed I haven't -- you're probably better off with bear spray, which is perfectly legal AND won't weigh you down.
But as far as legality, yes, it is technically legal, although it's dependent on the location. A county park may have a local ordinance against open carry, but in the greater Adirondack Park or Catskill Park is is legal.
But the DEC stresses that it's much more reasonable to carry bear spray.