Lost hunters urged to STOP for survival

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Lost hunters urged to STOP for survival

Postby Mike Brooks » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:59 pm

Lost hunters urged to STOP for survival

State conservation officers responded to several incidents of lost
hunters during the opening weekend of the Minnesota firearm deer season.
In each instance the hunter was rescued.

Getting lost in the woods happens to even the best hunters. Captain
Mike Hammer, DNR Education Program Coordinator, said that if you become
lost don’t panic, just STOP.

"Being lost is serious so Sit down. Do not panic. Think about your
problem. Observe the area.
Plan what to do. STOP," says Hammer. "If you've completed a DNR Hunter
Education Firearms Safety Education course, you know about STOP."

Hammer says the best way to survive an extended period out of doors in
Minnesota is to not let it happen in the first place. He has these tips
for those who have not followed that rule.

Admit you are lost: This is critical. If a person continues to assume
that they will find a familiar landmark over the next hill or around the
next comer, they will just heighten their sense of panic. That sense of
panic could even cause a person to discard clothing or hide from
would-be rescuers.

Stay where you are: Make plans to stay in one spot until you are
rescued. Find a good spot to use as shelter. There should be shelter
materials, water, and firewood close by. Sometimes there are "shelter
helpers" you can use. A natural shelter such as a cave or rock overhang
is great, but sometimes a large downed tree, a boulder, cliff base, or
rock wall will do. Gather wood and start a fire. This will give you
warmth and companionship and also act as a signal for searchers. Build a
shelter with the top closest to the fire to reflect the heat. Use
sticks, branches, and pine boughs if available. Gather plenty of
firewood. You can estimate that it will take one hour to build a fire
and three hours to build a shelter, depending on the shelter type and
what you have to work with. Plan so that smoke and sparks don’t blow
into your shelter.

Stay dry: Hypothermia is the main factor in making bad decisions in the
outdoors. If you can stay dry, you will have a much better chance of
staying warm. The head and neck need to be kept warm and dry since a lot
of body heat is lost in this area. If the blood gets cooled because of
no protection on your head and neck, it cools the body core and you
become hypothermic. If the body loses one degree of temperature a
person’s ability to think clearly is affected. If you get wet, fire
and getting dry is a must.

Have a plan for survival: Being lost in the woods does not have to be
life threatening. Plan for it by having a cell phone, matches in a
waterproof container, a compass, a knife, a small candle, a whistle, a
pocket survival blanket, high-energy snacks, and a water container. A
person can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days
without water.

Hammer said these few items can be carried in one small fanny pack and
just may save your life. He also recommended telling someone where you
will be going and when you will return.

"Be aware of changing weather conditions and plan to be out of the
woods before a storm changes familiar surroundings into something that
you no longer recognize," says Hammer. “Survival is an attitude, but
you need to plan and be able to think clearly for that to happen.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not into your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5
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Mike Brooks
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Postby D1 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:58 pm

this is one of the things we teach in hunters ed classes.......thanks for sharing,Mike
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