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Thread: Always have a Sat phone or Emergency plan in place.

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Default Always have a Sat phone or Emergency plan in place.

    Well I was reluctant to post this but after speaking with my dad I will because he feel it is important to emphasize how important a satellite phone and an emergency preparedness plan can be. My dad and I were on a sheep hut and started walking in on the 8th like many others here. We found our suitable camping spot and pitched out tent the night before sheep season at 5000 feet. We saw rams and one we felt was legal just needed a closer look once the season had started. We had discussed bring a sat phone a few times but decided not too until our wives caught wind of it and demanded we did, so we did.

    Early on the morning of the 10th we had a visitor bite my dad in the face a few times through the tent. He does not remember the bite happening. He thinks he sub sequentially rolled over and brought the animal on our tent and the tent collapsed. We both now were freaking out screaming kicking, punching and generally flailing to get this animal off of us. The animal was on us for only a few seconds 15- 20 maybe, but felt like an eternity. I finally got my foot up and on its ribs and thrust it off of us rather easily. I am a big guy and was adrenaline raged but the animal felt like it was 30 to 40 pounds and had it step on me a few times and felt like a small dog in weight. After finding my way out of the mangled tent I grabbed my rifle and raced barefoot to look below us and then to the ridgeline only 80 yards above us. Not vegetation to speak of and lots of smaller rocks. I saw nothing of the animal and came back to my dad looking like below. So we talked it over and his jaw was not operational and could hardly swallow. We debated if he could walk out the 6-7 miles but he felt he could not intake fluids or breathe properly so we needed to activate EMS and get some help. Since I was not well versed on a sat phone and was not aware if 911 worked I called an individual who in turn called 911 for me and then I called them back with a number to call the troopers. It took 2 hours for a med flight chopper to land on ridge and come and get him. With him in good arms it was up to me to pack up camp and walk out all our gear back to the drop off point and head to hospital to see how my father was faring. As it turns out he needed over 100 stitches to close all the wounds on his face and has a broken and dislocated jaw which is currently wired shut. I received no injuries.

    So many will ask.

    We did have food it was in our vestibule completely opposite of where the attack happened. So was it smell related? It was barely light so was sound involved? What type of animal did this? I gave our tent to an area biologist to analyze in the lab and had no conclusions for us. Area biologist said it was most likely 3 year old bear of some kind. I have a hard time believing that I can thrust a 3 year old bear off of us and send it flying rather easily. I also heard snarls and was stepped on a few times by it and it was rather light animal. If a bear cub where was momma? If was an abandoned cub why did it not go for easy food in the vestibule? Could it have been a small wolf or wolverine?

    Thing we learned!

    Don’t panic think things through. Stop the bleeding and analyze what needs to be done.
    Have an emergency call list with sat phone or other emergency contact form such as trooper dispatch or coast guard.

    Don't be afraid to pass your health history on to your partner and if on meds or illnesses like diabetic ect to pass along to EMT's if needed.

    Have a useful first aid kit. Be able to stop serious bleeding and a wrap for adequate pressure.

    Know what your partner is packing in terms of weight. We both did not have top of line high dollar gear that weighed a little more. I packed everything out including food so the SOB could not get an easy meal from us. I walked with all gear for 5 miles and couldn’t go any more with both so unstrapped second and then shuttled packs for the last 2 miles.

    He is OK and on the mend now just got an awesome tag stolen from him. Bottom line be safe and prepared for the worst case scenario! What do you think the animal was We have our guess and it doesn’t match ADFG’s guess.
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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    That's one hell of a story. Glad your Dad's OK.
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I would guess wolverine. Wouldn't be the first wolverine attack that couldn't be otherwise explained.

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    Unhappy attack

    Wow! Terrifying to be trapped in a tent. Glad your dads okay. Those are big wounds and seem like a bear but who knows. I bet if it was a 300 pound bear you would have thrown it just the same though..... I never bothered with food sheep hunting but a few years ago started storing my food 50 feet away from the tent in a good shooting position to be a little safer. But it doesnt seem like this predator cared about food. This reminds me of the couple in the Brooks who didnt fare as well.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Wolverine or a bear w/ cubs and you got stepped on and kicked a cub and momma tried to eat your pops.

    What do the Bio's think?

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Wish him a speedy recovery. Do they think it could be another rabid wolf? There's been a few accounts of rabid wolves doing outrageous things (like charging guys who had a fire going) lately. What area of the state were you in?
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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a heckuva deal!! Definantly a nightmare scenario. Glad you handled it well and were prepared and hope that your pops is well soon.

    I've never carried a sat phone, but honestly, this thread has me rethinking that...I wonder how fast the "rescue" would have been with a SPOT??

    I'm pretty paranoid about food in or near the tent even in the alpine, all food or food like things go under a rockpile at least 100' from the tent with my cook pot on top so it'll make some noise if a bear visits...

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Wow one heck of an ordeal... on the bear size weight thing... many a three year old has been gutted and carried over my shoulders down a hill... average weight seems to run 125-150 live unless they are coastal and can go a little larger. really hard to say... i think a bear would have still been nearby & spotable though... give your dad our wishes hope all mends well...

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    I had heard about this...Chugach right? Glad it didnt end any worse for you two. Speedy recovery.

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    This happened in unit 14

    Not sure on Rabid wolves but could be an option?

    State says there in no concern of Rabies in south central and would not release the rabies vaccine they had in storage to the hospital. Hospital had to order it from east coast and took 3 extra days to get and start to administer. He needed 5 seperate shots spaced out from initial dose out to 14 days and 2 were $550 so maybe money was a factor in the states decision? He has had 3 so far and waiting on proper time line for the other 2.

    As stated state says a bear but have a hard time believing a bear is as small as was prancing on us both so lightly.

    I also think the state does not want to even consider a wolverine as it would open a can of worms for them as there has never been a documented case of an unprovoked attack by a wolverine on a human. For sheer science perspective and you would think they would want to rule it out but my guess they don't want the publicity if it did turn out to be!

    They are in CYA mode not into true science like the smokescreen they often hide behind.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    There was a guy hunting way up this river on a float trip and saw this big moose, was using a Thompson Contender and did'nt fully lock the barrel and dang near blew his face off. It was lucky they had a SAT. phone.

    That had to be a bear, adrenalian kicks in you can move tons.

    Hope your Dad recovers and want's to go out again.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Good Post Title,
    that's a heck of a way to learn (fortunately, cause of your wives) not have to learn more the hard way.

    That's absolutely Unreal thing to have happen, I'm thinking larger animal than wolverine due to bite marks, you probably could have lifted a pretty major amount of weight off with the Adrenaline you had going.

    And as I have met you in person, Definitely a large, strong man, probably could have kicked a bear off I think, peakin' like you were at the time

    Glad your Dad's ok, tell him thanks, for helping us learn from this also, encouraging you to post
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Good Post Title,
    that's a heck of a way to learn (fortunately, cause of your wives) not have to learn more the hard way.

    That's absolutely Unreal thing to have happen, I'm thinking larger animal than wolverine due to bite marks, you probably could have lifted a pretty major amount of weight off with the Adrenaline you had going.

    And as I have met you in person, Definitely a large, strong man, probably could have kicked a bear off I think, peakin' like you were at the time

    Glad your Dad's ok, tell him thanks, for helping us learn from this also, encouraging you to post
    exactly the reason i own my own.... WIVES... AKGUY454 and i were a little late coming home one year, due to sever weather... when we got out to cell range,,, they (MINE AND HIS) were walking up to the troopers in Nenana to report us missing... and mine said your never going hunting again if you can't reach me... next day... $1700.00 to surveyors exchange.. see ya hun... fortunately i have yet to use it for any emergency, but it is always with me. those at home need that piece of mind...
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Question about the rabies shots

    dieNqvrs,

    Were the rabies shots just recommended for your dad, just in case whatever bit him had rabies? Or was there some kind of certainty the animal did indeed have rabies?

    Helluva deal, glad you had the satphone along and that your dad is gonna be okay.

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    Glad that things did not turn out any worse and wish your dad a speedy recovery.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Man... that sounds like a bad dream come true! Glad that it wasn't worse and that you had the SAT phone handy to get help in a hurry. Here's wishing your dad a speedy recovery.

    That definitely gets a guy thinking. I've taken a SAT phone along on some hunts, and have just gone with my SPOT on others (when I feel there's a decent chance people I know or troopers could get there without too much trouble). As dkwarthog said, though, makes you wonder how fast help would get there with a SPOT. In a situation like your's it'd be a lot more comforting knowing someone's listening on the other end - and can talk back.

    That's is quite the valuable lesson learned. Thanks for sharing.

    My guess is it was a young griz. Not saying it couldn't have been a wolverine (and maybe even a wolf, though I think that's an even longer shot). Young bears, especially desperate bears, do a lot of unexplainable things. I was on a caribou hunt in NWT back in 2005, and a young sow griz tried three times to get through the electric fence into camp. Guides ran it off twice, fired warning shots right by it the second time. Third time it showed up - dead bear. I helped the taxidermist skin it out - and it couldn't have gone 125 pounds. Not a bit of fat on it - hence the desperation to get at the meat locker. Anyway - point being a young bear probably wouldn't feel that big, especially when you're adrenaline is pumping and our worst thoughts tend to lean towards some monster 1000 pounder on the rampage.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for posting this!

    Wow. Those are some pretty serious lacerations. I'm pretty sure a person could survive a walk out in such a condition, but it would not be fun. Hats off to your wives for insisting on the satphone, and to you for listening to them. I would venture a guess that it will be among the first items in your pack from here on out.

    I always recommend some sort of reliable emergency communications gear on remote hunts; the tools we have for that are so easy to find and carry that it only makes sense to have something along. You just never know.

    All the best to you and your dad, especially as he recovers from this.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    as a note, we had a conversation thread last season with Greg at surveyors exchange on dialing 911 from a sat phone...

    if you dial 911 it will go to an emergency response center, (as i recall) in Colorado, and they will have to decide which is the best agency to contact for rescue. it is a good idea to have the troopers number stored in the phone and know how to get it out or a safe place in with your tags and such. there is a toll free number to contact the troopers for emergency rescue, and i will have to look it back up... i had to delete it from my cell as if i pocket called a number, invariably it was that one. fortunatly... they were understanding both times it actually rang through.
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    Speedy recovery to your dad, dieNqvrs. I would not wish that on anyone. I'm glad everyone made it back.

    Also look into ham radio. It has much better coverage in Alaska than cell phones, is cheaper than Sat phones, and can be packed into the bush. Try to have two forms of communications if possible.

    Best wishes on your dad's recovery.

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    dieNqvrs,

    Were the rabies shots just recommended for your dad, just in case whatever bit him had rabies? Or was there some kind of certainty the animal did indeed have rabies?

    Doctors and nurses talked it over with him. They recommended it because of the nature of the unprovoked bite and not knowing what animal it was. Also My father with a science and medical background didn't want to be a case study history for south central Alaska and rabies.

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