Lost in the woods - things to know
Sep 23, 2013 / 10:54 am
Fall is the busiest season for Search and Rescue volunteers in the Central Okanagan.
Members get more calls during the fall and winter months than any other time of the year - and it all starts with hunting.
"We find during September, October and November . . . (that) a lot of hunters are not prepared for getting stuck or (prepared for an) extended stay, shall we say," says Duane Tresnich, VP of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue.
"For any hunters going out there we understand weight is an issue. So, we try to suggest a few things that will definitely help us in going out there especially when we need to find you," says Tresnich.
- The ability to start a fire. Matches, a Zippo lighter and some dry timber.
- Compass or GPS
- Flagging tape. Mark your way from your vehicle out. You can write your name and the time you left on the tape and the direction you are going from your vehicle.
- Make sure you have a cell phone. If you are within cell range turn your phone to vibrate. If you do get lost we can ping your phone if you are within range. If you are not within range turn your phone off until you think you can get back into a service area.
- Solo trips are not recommended - hunt in pairs. If you are separated have radio communication (cheap two-way radios/walkie-talkies) between the two of you
- Keep three rounds of ammunition for a signal so if you hear search and rescue flying around or you can hear ATV's use that as a way to signal for help
- Tell your family where you are going. Leave a map and let them know when you are going to be back.
As for those who may be concerned their loved ones may be lost or hurt, don't wait 24 hours to call for help.
"If you feel your loved one is not here, he's gone hunting, he's supposed to be home at 8 and it's 10, call the RCMP. They are the ones who dispatch us," says Tresnich.
"When you call the RCMP they will initiate a search."
Because it's better to be safe than sorry.
"Usually by the time we get called it's dark so we can't bring in a chopper so our initial contact will be on ATV's and going on foot once we've located where the hunter is."
If you are considering volunteering with COSAR, stop by 4860 Old Vernon Road Thursday evenings when training takes place.
"We ask that you get your criminal record check and at least have your basic first aid.
Volunteers are not paid and dispatching COSAR never costs the victim or their family money so those in need of help should never hesitate to use the service.
"If you call us, we'll come. That's what we're here for. That's what we do," says Tresnich.
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