RCMP remind hunters to be prepared

Spotlight Staff
With hunting season now in full swing, the RCMP is reminding Alberta’s outdoor adventurers and hunters to take the steps required to ensure their safety when they venture off the beaten track. Over the past few weeks there have been at least three cases of individuals forced to spend the night outside after becoming lost or stranded in remote areas. Fortunately, these individuals were located before suffering serious injury.

The RCMP is asking Albertans to equip themselves with the supplies they may require in the event they find themselves lost or stranded in the bush, which include warm clothing, fire starters, food, medication, light source and a fully-charged cell phone.

“Nobody thinks it can happen to them, but it can. At this time of year, a snowmobile or ATV breakdown in the middle of nowhere can be fatal if you don’t have the supplies you need to survive until help arrives,” said RCMP Sergeant Jack Poitras. “Many remote areas do not have cell phone coverage, so it is critical that someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.”

On October 10 at 3:45 p.m., a group of three individuals called 911 to report they were stranded after their 4×4 vehicle became stuck in marshland in a remote area outside of Boyle, Alberta. Having safely exited the vehicle, the group became disoriented while walking back to safety and called 911. Weather at the time was near freezing with light flurries and freezing rain. Boyle RCMP, Fire Department and EMS worked together to successfully locate the group who were treated for exposure and safely evacuated from the area at 8:45 p.m.

On October 10, 2016 at 1 a.m. three hunters reported missing were located 30 km north of Peavine Métis Settlement by other hunters, after spending 30 hours outside in a deeply forested area that has no cell phone coverage. Fortunately the hunters were unharmed.

On September 22, 2016 at 11 a.m. workers on an oil lease site 50 km northwest of Peavine Métis Settlement located a hunter who had spent overnight outside after his ATV broke down. When he was reported missing, his family was particularly concerned as he did not have his medication with him when he set out. The hunter was in good health when located.

The RCMP is also reminding hunters to avoid leaving firearms in unattended vehicles. To date in 2016, of the 109 firearm thefts reported to the Alberta RCMP throughout the province, 39 involved thieves breaking into vehicles to steal guns. The 2016 numbers are consistent with those at this time last year.

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