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Thread: Are You a Liability?

  1. #1

    Default Are You a Liability?

    Are you a liability to yourself and your hunting buddies?

    What if...

    your hunting partner suffered from a major injury due to a fall. A broken limb, a cracked melon and major blood loss. Would you know what to do?

    your batteries in the GPS went dead. You know you are at least two miles from camp in a dense forest and forgot your compass. Could you get back to camp?

    you watch your bush pilot fade off into the horizon knowing he will be the last person you see for 10 days and you go to dig in your pack for your bullets and realize...**** I left them on the garage floor. If that wasn't bad enough the next day a bear finds your food cache and suddenly you and your partner are left wondering what you will do for food. Do you get the feeling your buddy is looking at you as if you were a marinated rib-eye? Will those mushrooms next to the tent kill you? Hmmm....

    you're snowmachine, atv, or boat's motor seizes up in the middle of nowhere. Are you enough of a monkey wrench to get it running again? If not, what would you do?

    What if, what if, what if???

    Hunting and adventure in Alaska is inherently dangerous, but how many of you actually prepare yourself for the unthinkable? Or are you such a risk taker that you would prefer to gamble with the odds? Are you a jack of all trades, master of none? Any medics, botanists, mechanics, orienteerists, etc out there? Do you strive to be all, some or none?

  2. #2

    Default WOW

    Is this all at once or 5 or 6 different scenarios. Did you bring a shovel?
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Is this all at once or 5 or 6 different scenarios. Did you bring a shovel?
    Ha! If that all happened at once you might want to add gravedigger to the list of qualites.

    In general, are you going into the wilderness unprepared?

  4. #4

    Default IF

    If any of these scanerios happen, Just get on the Sat phone and call 1822 cause it's gonna be twice as bad as 911.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  5. #5
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Urban View Post
    Are you a liability to yourself and your hunting buddies?

    What if...

    your hunting partner suffered from a major injury due to a fall. A broken limb, a cracked melon and major blood loss. Would you know what to do?
    Use the knowledge gained from multiple First Aid training classes, Boyscouts or Mom (Nurse), as well as personal experiences.

    your batteries in the GPS went dead. You know you are at least two miles from camp in a dense forest and forgot your compass. Could you get back to camp?
    You should have extra batteries but chances are you will know what time it is, where the sun is, maybe use a breadcrumb trail etc. Not to mention I have a realive good sense of direction extept on the open water in FOG

    you watch your bush pilot fade off into the horizon knowing he will be the last person you see for 10 days and you go to dig in your pack for your bullets and realize...**** I left them on the garage floor. If that wasn't bad enough the next day a bear finds your food cache and suddenly you and your partner are left wondering what you will do for food. Do you get the feeling your buddy is looking at you as if you were a marinated rib-eye? Will those mushrooms next to the tent kill you? Hmmm....
    Chances are that we wouldn't both forget bullets, I have before and was fortunate that my partner shoots the same cal. as I do. If my food was gone and I still didn't have a gun I'd be real cranky and 30lbs lighter when they picked me up.

    you're snowmachine, atv, or boat's motor seizes up in the middle of nowhere. Are you enough of a monkey wrench to get it running again? If not, what would you do?
    Traveling in pairs usually elimates an emergency. If the motor is truely seized you won't have the parts or tools to repair it so don't even bother. If its minor I am a mechanic.

    What if, what if, what if???
    You only live once, you could what if that to death but you should at least use some common sense, take some short classes if you need or at least be smart enough to travel with someone smarter than you

  6. #6
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    Default thanks Jimmy

    I think this brings into light that a portion of the people that travel into the wilds do so with little or no common sense. How do you over come that? Experience helps but you could use the off season to enlighten your outdoors sense. Take an avalanche class, take first aid, go to a mountaineering lecture. Lots of people spend tons of time at the shooting range in anticapation of an upcoming hunt, but these same people might not be able to build adequate shelter if their tent gets ripped up in the wind. Can you start a fire if your backpack falls in the river and gets swept away. Take a day one weekend and try every technique youve ever heard. Try to do it.
    Ask yourself if the worst happens can you get along. If not do something about.
    Jimmy this is thought provoking, I hope everyone sees it as an oppurtunity to better themselves.

  7. #7
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    If any of these scanerios happen, Just get on the Sat phone and call 1822 cause it's gonna be twice as bad as 911.
    That's witty! I like it!

  8. #8

    Default

    Shoot, I am ready for just about anything, I watch Man vs Wild regularly!

    Seriously though, man thats a lot of woulda coulda shoulda's, got a better chance of getting kilt driving to work tomorrow in a car wreck than that sequence of bad events happening to you. Have been in more than one of those scenarios before and survived with a little calm cool headed thinking followed by action and in that order.

  9. #9
    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default First Aid

    I know it is a big committment, but being certified as an EMT II was one of the best things I ever did. Most volunteer fire departments offer an ETT course that trains the basics and qualifies you to drive the ambulance as a volunteer. The ETT training is alot shorter than the EMT cert. I did this for my job, but also because I wanted to know what to do if my children or family were severely injured. I think it would really suck to watch somebody die that you could have saved with a little training.

    As far as being prepared, my friends all make fun of me because I'm always checking over my list and supplies 100 times before the trip. I think being prepared is 1/2 the battle to survive alaska.

  10. #10
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default total preparedness?...

    Good post, Jimmy.

    I think about the folks that have everything in the pack for a great hunt, but they aren't mentally prepared.

    Many, many an expensive hunt has ended early due to the overwhelming nature of this place!
    The bugs, smoke, cold, bears, tough country, rain/snow, long weather layovers and tough hunting luck can really challenge the mental toughness of even the most seasoned outdoorsman.
    It seems it could be rather tough to mentally prepare for an Alaskan experience, especially for folks from other places.
    I'd suggest grabbing the pack/tent and heading into the toughest available local terrian surrounding a would-be Alaskan hunter. Spend some time out there and make it a challenge. It won't be Alaska, but it can help one to get in the right frame of mind.

  11. #11
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Only as good as you buddy

    After I killed my ram this year and we got him ready and packed up it was dark. We had a tough walk back down through rock slides, alders, we were both smelling like a sheep lunch. Already had 14 hour day chasing sheep and it had been raining all day. We both wanted to go down, but we knew that was not the smart thing to do. I have to admit that I did not bring my headlight. So do we try to decend to base camp or sit tight untill day light? Temp was around 38 degrees, rain and wind blowing at about 20 MPH. We got ready for a miserable night. I got out my bivy and my buddy had nada, I did have a space blanket. We made a shelter with our tarp by the biggest rock we could find. That wind was sucking the life out of us. We were side by side, I was in my bivy, cold but okay. I could feel him shivering, well before long he stopped shivering. This is a bad sign. I zipped open my bivy and we both put it over us, and tried that for a while. Still cold and on the edge of hypothermia. I fired up my msr stove. It was like a god send. Finnaly day broke and we packed up and headed down. I do not leave camp unless I am prepared to spend the night. Plus I ask my buddy the same, do you have what you need to survive the night. This is a great thread, please all that read this do not under estimate Alaska, I have been in many countries and hunted many states. Most people that have trouble are used to calling someone, or running to the truck and heading to town. You have to bring your A game here and be prepared to help yourself. So be prepared and make sure your buddy is prepared. Oh yea and have a great hunt.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Jimmy
    No one's going to admit heading out unprepaired. I have had too ditch more than one hunting partner because they simply were'nt up to the task mentally or phisically.

    I myself am a former R.N and W.O.L.F certified. I dont even head out for a day hike without my emergancy pack.(First aid kit, extra grub, space balnket, water proof matches ect.) I also star prepairing physically long before the actual hunt. For example I do several alpine hikes with a fully laoded pack that match my maximum hike out distance.

    As for a GPS I personally dead recon all my hikes and only use the GSP to double check myself. One of my biggest problems with hunters these days is there overreliance on gadets.

  13. #13

    Default Sat phone!

    Good post. I've had a few situations that could have been interesting for others, but being prepared helps in these situations.

    A couple of years ago, my buddy and I left camp in search of sheep. We walked LONG and FAR. The walking was hard as it was almost hopping from large rock to large rock for miles. We brought our water bottles with snacks for the day. Well, low and behold, we found the sheep about 8 miles from camp. It was early August, days are long, and HOT! We spent about 3 hours watching them and finally I decided to find the 2 largest that broke from the herd. As I went out of sight of my buddy, all 12 rams walked by him at 10 yards! He didn't go the 10 feet to the video camera as he didn't want to spook the sheep (drawing permit and I had the permit)!! Anyways, I get over, see no sheep and when I am in view of him, I see all the rams pass him! I hustle over and he tells me the sob story. I said lets go after them. Of course they are watching us and as we get closer, they get farther! I finally pick out the largest ram and fire! Rams are running everywhere! Some run below us, some are straight ahead, etc. Finally the big one we can see up about a mile ahead and running around a round mountain. It is now 11:00 pm, we are still 8 miles from camp, no sleeping bag, tent, etc. I tell him, there is no way we are making it back to camp, so we might as well climb over the mountain where the ram ran and see if he is on the other side. Sure enough, there are a few of them bedded down below us about 800 yards. It was getting dark, so I put my fleece top and bottoms on (I always hunt in shorts) and prepare for a cold night. My buddy doesn't have any fleece, but does have his rain gear! I fell asleep pretty easy and about 2 hours later wake up freezing my butt off! My buddy had the back packs over him trying to keep any heat he can. We both finally give up on any sleep and just walk back and forth to stay warm. Finally at first light, I put the stalk on and wound the ram. We follow it around the mountain for 3 miles! So much for sheep being the woosies that people claim. This ram wouldn't stop even after not chasing him. I followed him down into a drainage and up the other mountain still not getting into rifle range. I finally gave up and headed back to my partner. We had NO food and still a 6 hour walk back to camp. The sun was ridiculous and it was about 90 degrees out so we were sweating tons. We found a very small snow patch and fill our water bottles. My buddy starts looking pretty bad and tells me he is getting heat stroke and need to rest. I tell him okay. I keep talking to him and he is out of it! The last thing I get out of him is the last time he had heat stroke, he woke up in the hospital! I get him into the shade in the rocks where he looks like hell! I am asking him if he is okay?? I have the satellite phone ready and am contemplating calling my dad for a rescue flight! My buddy says to wait and give him some time. SO I do. After about 2 hours, he is feeling good enough to walk. We start back to camp and actually do a short cut (which I hate to do),but this one actually works out and is really a short cut. Anyways we reach camp 38 hours after leaving it the day before. I tell you what, mountain house NEVER tasted so good! That was a good trip to learn to at least carry a space blanket, some warm fleece, and some extra food as you NEVER know what can happen!

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default On Surviving-

    Nice thread, Jimmy!

    I think there's a thin shell around each of us, that looks good on the outside, but can be fractured in certain situations. Especially if you've never been put to the test. I'd even say that until you're tested, you really don't know what you can do. All the training in the world can't really replace practical experience and hard knocks. Well-trained folks can totally crack under pressure and become useless to everyone around them, and total rookies can become THE MAN under pressure. A lot of it has to do with innate confidence and a realistic assessment of yourself.

    We all depend too much on our tools, and when one of those tools fails, we may well find ourselves in a life-threatening situation. For me it seems that the remedy is to be OUT THERE frequently enough to know how things work, and how to make it work when one of your toys breaks. Here are a few things I have learned as a result of being there (other's experiences will vary, these are things that work for me):

    1. Space blankets and space bags are useless. For me, they are almost WORSE than nothing. Bring a small tarp instead, or better yet, a bivy. Cotton game bags make a passable blanket too (but not the synthetic kind).

    2. If you use electronic devices (headlamp, VHF radio, GPS, etc.) make sure they all use the same batteries. This covers you if something burns out.

    3. Same ammunition in everyone's rifle.

    4. Learn to hunt and survive alone.

    5. Watch your back-trail often, so you can return that way if necessary. It always looks different coming home.

    6. Work from a list when you pack.

    7. Always hunt with your pack on, loaded with everything you need for a couple of nights out.

    8. Always bring a backpacking stove, fuel, and matches, and possibly a small pot to boil water. Hot water warms the core, and messing with the stove gives you something to do.

    9. Never give up.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking discussion!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  15. #15
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm gonna double vote on 7, 8 and 9 in mikes posts those are very key, never give up is huge! the human spirit and will to survive is crazy powerfull, gotta keep it running.

    One thing i've got a huge advantage on being a guide is I hunt the same genereal area year after year, i know where all my water is, streams that have fish and ones that don't. old mining cabin's or private owned cabins, dirt strips, landing areas, best valley to travel to those cabins, knowing the lay of the land and wether or not you can "make it over that pass..?" is a huge advanage in a survival situation. I also know if theres any year round residents in the area, caretakers at cabin's or lodges and i know which cabin's have food and a source of heat....just knowing thats there will give you enough hope to be able to make yourself get there unless your legs are broke or something like that, then you back to firstaid, and getting help to you.

    a fly over of where your gonna be hunting never hurt....
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  16. #16
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default hey Northway

    Northway,

    I dunno that I ever want to go sheep hunting with you! You'd have to give me a couple days head start <grin>.

  17. #17

    Default Mark

    I promise to carry more food! That was not something I would repeat, but I would do it again with more food my thermarest and a space blanket! One of those things that you don't "expect" to happen and it does. To top it off, I was flown into an area that I have never hunted before. BIG country like yours. WHen you look at a place and say that is about a mile and it ends up taking you 2 hours to get there, it obviously was a lot further than a mile!

    Hoping for high water in August! Actually looking forward to it.

    Mike

  18. #18
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    Default

    In the spring of 1996 I took my best friend up into the mountains(a 3 mile hike) from the end of the road for a little bear hunting.After a beautiful day of sitting in the stand,passing on a few small bears,we decide to call it quits and I started to climb down (23 feet).After having my friend send down the guns(rope)he started to climb down but was having troubles with finding the first spike with his foot so he felt around(with his foot )and found a branch off to one side.Before I could get the words out of my mouth he was putting most of his weight on this DEAD branch while searching for the next spike.All of a suddden the branch snapped and down he fell.It was like slow motion watching him fall and I don't remember if either of us yelled but he finally hit the ground,on a big root,flat on his back.I quickly looked at his eyes right after he hit and I seen them roll back into his head.I had a bad feeling rush over me but then I seen him open his eye's and he looked to be very alert.I asked "man,are you ok?"not noticing him poking around his belly he said "no,I can't feel anything below my belly button!".That bad feeling started up again and then he asked "hey man,straighten out my leg,I can't feel it".I looked at his legs and one of them had a weired angle to it so I straightened it out for him.Right away I flip open my phone(the old motorolla style)and began calling 911.After hitting send the phone beeped and read "low battery".CRAP!I told my friend Mark that I would have to run to the truck(3 miles)to my charger and call from there.I had to leave my buddy there at the bottem of a tree at a bait station with both guns and run like I have never run before.I can't remeber how long it took me to get to the truck but it seemed like HOURS!Once getting to my truck I calmed myself and caught my breath plugged the phone into the charger and tried to call again and the phone beeped and read "no service"!CRAP!I fired up the truack and had to drive to the highest point down the road(about a mile) to finally get thru to 911.The Palmer medics were at my truck in about 45 min.and then we had to 4x4 back to my friend Mark.He was there,calm,smoking a cig.and glad to see us.The medics determined that he had broke his back and he would have to medivact(spl) out via helicopter.We had to cut a opening big enough for the helicopter to land and before it did we had to get under the truck because there was a TON of stuff wizzing around before it finally settled.They had Mark loaded up and was landing at Providence Hospitol in 34 minutes!Talk about a long quiet ride home that night.It turned out that Mark severed his spine and will spend the rest of his life in a chair.Some of you might know who he is,he runs the Midnight Sun wheel chair race from Fairbanks to Anchorage and usaully ends up first place "Alaskan".I learned alot that day and now find myself going over my gear many,many times before a hunt and it doesn't hurt to make notes or a check list to go over before you head out.

  19. #19

    Default

    I think that story we read here a while back about the father and son that went sheep hunting in the Wrangells and the son took a horrible fall was one of those ones where inner strength is all you can sometimes rely on. That guys father accomplished some amazing things, never quitting till the PJ's out of Anchorage had his boy in a HH-60 heading to Providence. We all need to use our heads when in the field no matter the means of access.

  20. #20
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default

    There is a lot to be said for risk assesment.

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