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Catskill Leanto Occupants Threaten Hikers with Guns
The following incident report was posted on the Meetup site of HVHikers. The Dept. of Environmental Conservation has confirmed that a report was filed and is being investigated.
A backpacking group that included three adults from Hudson Valley Hikers Meetup group, and a 10-year-old girl (daughter of the leader) arrived at the Elm Ridge leanto at Windham in the Catskills on Friday, Dec. 2 at 11 pm and found it occupied and blocked off with plastic. The leader reports being physically attacked by one of two men, then threatened at gunpoint by the second man. The hiking group was followed back to the parking lot by the men, then by car from the parking lot. On their way, the hikers had phoned a report to DEC, and were met by a DEC officer, who stopped the pursuers. DEC reports they are investigating the incident.
This incident goes well beyond the considerations that inspire us to regularly urge caution when hiking during hunting season. Nevertheless, we use it to once again to remind all hikers to exercise extreme caution within the Catskill State Park and other open spaces during hunting season. Rifle season in the Catskills and most of southern New York runs through the 11th of December; Muzzleloader and Bow Season restarts the 12th of December and runs through the 20th of December.