In light of the recent sheep hunting accident where the young man had/has a brain injury I thougt I would start this thread. See thread here http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=4650
I personally had considered a climbing helmet for my sheep hunt this year. I however did not bring it up on the forums, do any research or take one. So I was not very serious. Thankfuly I did not fall off a cliff 25 miles from the nearest road or I may have been the guy in the article.
I have never read or even heard mention of sheep or goat hunters wearing a helmet in steep sheep country. Given the fact that this type of mountain hunting puts us in the same type of situations as mountaineers (whom a lot of wear helmets) it might be worth considering. I do not know all of the details of his injuries in this case but he did have head and brain injuries and was not wearing a helmet. Perhaps a helmet could have made a difference. I have however seen some things first hand.
I am a Ski Patroller and have rescued injured skiers with head/brian injuries who were not wearing a helmet who hit trees. Last winter I rescued a snowmachiner with a bad head injury. He was in a collision with another machine and was not wearing a helmet. A ski clipped him in the side of the head, left a nasty gash and knocked him out. In this scene I was the first responder and personally provided care and transport. I can say with confidence that if he would have been wearing a helmet he would not have had this injury. If the head hits a tree or any other hard object the results can range from being uncomfortable to life changing or even death.
I started wearing a helmet for downhill skiing several years ago. I also wear one riding my bike around town. In either scenario I am minutes away from EMS. When sheep hunting we are hours or maybe days from EMS. Why didn't I take a helmet? Not sure. I found myself in a situation where I could have fallen and sustained a head injury very easily. I am rethinking this now.
A quality climbing helmet is less that $100 and only weighs about 8ozs. When not in use it can hang off the back of our packs. Here's an example http://www.rei.com/product/48018628.htm
Why don't us sheep hunters wear a climbing helmet? Is it the testosterone macho hunter factor? Is it an issue of just not thinking about it? Is it the weight/bulk? Frankly non of these are good reasons. We take SAT phones and ELT's but they won't protect our brain. In fact they may only be good to recover your hunting partners or your body. Maybe we should do our loved ones a favor and consider this. Does your wife want to care for an invalid the rest of her life? Mine doesn't. How about our kids?
This has really got me thinking. While this man was trying to save his sons life who was in seizures from a serious brain injury, I was sheep hunting but sitting next to a fire cooking tenderloins. Given a different twist of fate our roles could have been reversed. And, a helmet may have made a difference.