RCMP reminding hunters of safe hunting practices

by Morinville News Staff

Alberta RCMP are reminding hunters and outdoor enthusiasts to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety while out in the bush now that hunting season is in full swing.

Police report at least three cases of individuals forced to spend the night outside after becoming lost or stranded in remote areas over the past few weeks.

Police say 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 on Oct. 10. The same day, three hunters reported missing were located 30 kilometres north of Peavine Métis Settlement by other hunters, after spending 30 hours outside in a deeply forested area that has no cell phone coverage. On On Sept. 22, 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. All involved were located before suffering serious injury.

The RCMP are asking Albertans to equip themselves with the needed supplies in the event they find themselves lost or stranded in the bush. These items include warm clothing, fire starters, food, medication, a 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 in a release Monday. “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.”

The RCMP are also reminding hunters to avoid leaving firearms in unattended vehicles. There have been 109 firearm thefts reported to the Alberta RCMP throughout the province so far in 2016. Of those, 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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