27th September, 2022 | Published by Saltzer Health
We hear the stories every hunting season, an overdue hunter who has perhaps gotten lost or disoriented or experience some other unexpected incident. While most return safely, just a little cold and hungry. It is still important hunters can take precautions and prepare for the unexpected, and remember our Saltzer Urgent Care locations are open 24/7.
Check out these tips from The Idaho Fish & Game has put out for big game hunters to help prepare for those unexpected situations you might encounter while hunting in the fall.
Know the area you’re hunting
Always be conscious of your surroundings, prominent points, river or creek drainages, and occasionally turn around and look behind you so you will remember what it looks like when you’re coming back. If you’re on a trail, don’t hesitate to put a temporary marker at intersections. Things can look different on your return, especially if you return in the dark.
Don’t rely solely on electronics
Devices like GPS, cell phones and two-way radios are handy, but dead batteries and other malfunctions render them useless. A map and compass are less likely to fail, but you also have to know how to use them.
Tell someone your plans and set a check-in time
Often hunters are out longer than expected, especially when they are pursuing big game animals far from a road. You may want to set an absolute deadline and have someone who can alert the authorities if you haven’t returned, or contacted someone by that time. Ditto for your hunting partner. Hunters often get separated, so set up a rendezvous time and place and decide in advance when a third party will seek help if you or your partners do not return in time.
Watch for extreme weather changes
You’re more likely to get lost or turned around in poor visibility when it’s raining, foggy or snowing, which are also conditions when it’s potentially more hazardous to be lost in the woods. Cold, wet weather can mean the difference between an uncomfortable situation and life-threatening one.
Remember even on clear days temperatures can change dramatically. A warm, sunny afternoon can quickly drop to subfreezing after dark, and daily temperature swings of 30 to 40 degrees are fairly common during fall.
Dress for, or carry clothes, for the worst weather you’re likely to encounter
It’s also common to quickly go from warm and sunny to raining or snowing. Dressing in layers is a good way to account for weather changes, and wearing a daypack means you can stash clothes when they’re not in use and keep them handy when you need them.