On our podcast “Someone is Shooting at Us!”, we talked about three horror stories from the 2019 Elk season. Each of those stories were real life. Situations that none of us ever expect to be involved in personally. But as these three hunters found out, it can happen to anyone and you just never know. As your elk hunting coaches, our job is to prepare you for situations, give you a mental edge and work to help you be more successful. After this episode, we recognized the importance for being prepared for situations that could put us in danger by criminal or unscrupulous activity while out in the field. While we can never be prepared for every scenario, we can have a thought process to help us have a mental state and identified steps to mitigate the situation as well as give us a structure of steps to follow. We all need to be ready mentally and have a thought process in our tool set to be prepared. The following are a few suggestions.
Prior to your hunt:
- Make sure you can communicate from where you will be hunting:
- Cell phone
- Messaging/Location device like InReach (No Cell Phone service)
- A Sat Phone for extreme areas could be a great investment
- Have a list of contacts for where you will be.
- Local Game & Fish / Division of Wildlife office or officer.
- Local Sheriff’s Department
- State Police
- Local friends or area contacts
- Local Chamber of Commerce if you need help with local resources
- Leave a hunt plan with someone
- Areas where you plan to hunt/camp/hike. You can email/share your OnX pins of expected locations.
- Days you plan to be gone
- Your scheduled return date
- Know the laws and rules governing your hunt as well as the correct license and procedural requirements of you 1) during the hunt, 2) after the kill, 3) transporting your harvest home.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation here are some possible steps to follow:
- Find safety. Make sure that you are where you are away, as much as possible from harm.
- Once you know you are in a safe position, take a deep breath and assess the situation. Do not panic.
- Make contact with the authorities and those on your contact list as soon as possible.
- Depending on the situation, determine whether you need to take evasive or defensive actions. If you are in imminent danger and fear for your life, protect yourself. Goal number one is to always keep yourself and those with you from harm’s way.
- If you have a cell phone and can do so without putting yourself in harm’s way, use it to take video and/or photos.
- Remember that “things” can be replaced. Your life is not worth risking over any material good.
- Reach out to others. You are not in this alone. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how many people are out there willing to go out of their way to help those who have been wronged.
We pray that none of you have to put these steps into use. However, we also pray that if you do find yourself in a life threatening or dangerous situation caused by criminal or unscrupulous people, you come out of the situation safely because you had a plan of action.Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.