Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us
by Dave Robinson
Originally published October 18, 2015
Every year about this time, hunters all across the country head into the woods in search of wild meat and some outdoor adventure. In our area it’s elk, deer, bear and sometimes wild turkey. It is also about this time every year when we read stories of hunters getting lost, stranded, injured, or otherwise having more adventure than they bargained for.
Having hunted, fished, camped and backpacked a time or two in my life, I have picked up a few lessons about being in the out of doors.
First, get your vehicle in shape for where you’re going to be hunting. Many years ago when I was a Deputy Sheriff we received a call that a single mom was overdue from an elk hunting trip on State Forest land. The dispatcher took all the pertinent information from the caller and assigned a couple of us to search for the missing hunter. We found her the next morning where she had slid her Oldsmobile sedan off in the ditch and spent the night in her car . (Pre-cell phone days.) She and her four year old son had slept in the car and were little the worse for wear. But an OLDSMOBILE!!? I have no idea what she thought she was going to do with an elk if she actually shot one, but her story is just so wrong on several levels. I have often used her story as an example of how not to go hunting. Your rig should be fully capable of navigating back roads and in good repair with good tires and recently inspected belts and hoses. Oh and don’t forget to top off your fuel tank! I know it sounds way too basic, but you never know.
Secondly, take a few things with you that you can use just in case you can’t get out. Sometimes a tree will fall across the road, blocking your way. That chainsaw you threw in the back on impulse could be a lifesaver. Or you could use it to cut firewood if you wind up spending the night. Some extra food never hurts. Most hunters take along plenty of snack food and some water or a thermos of coffee. How about a first aid kit? Some extra band-aids and gauze pads, tape, anti-biotic ointment are easy insurance and can bring peace of mind to what could be a trip-ending cut or other minor injury. Firestarter. Can you start a fire with what you have with you? Matches, a small propane lighter or a ferro rod and steel striker like a Lightning Strike starter should already be in your kit anyway. A good pair of walkie-talkies can be valuable when you and your companion get separated. The list goes on, but you get the idea. Murphy’s Law is always looking for a place to strike, so try to cover all the possibilities.
Finally, take along a good dose of common sense. Always let someone know where you’re going, when you’re going to return, and then stick to the plan. It’s a good idea to take a companion. After all, you need somebody to wrap that winch line around the tree and besides it’s just easier to have help packing your trophy out of the canyon. Remember your hunting grounds may not have cell phone service so don’t rely completely on that smartphone to get you out of a jam.
As always send your comments, questions and hunting stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Dave Robinson is Bandon's Postmaster and has worked for the postal service for 30 years. He has a background in law enforcement, served in the Air Force in Vietnam, worked nine years for the Coos County Sheriff's Department, and serves on the Myrtle Point School Board, where he lives. He is the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us.”
additional columns by Dave Robinson