More survival techniques for the great outdoors

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Dennis Clay

Groups of deer hunters will head into the field this Saturday as the general deer season opens. Today we will continue with survival techniques.

We finished yesterday with the idea of every member of the hunting party carrying a whistle, the kind a sports referee uses. The blow or sound of a whistle will carry a much longer distance than just a person yelling.

Two-way radios

Two-way radios are a valuable survival tool. All members of a hunting party should have a radio capable of transmitting several miles. There are many brands on the market at reasonable prices.

These radios are line-of-sight radios. This means the two radios must not have an obstruction in between them. If two hunters are three miles apart, but donít have an obstacle in the way, they should have good communication. If there is a barrier, such as a hill, communications may be lost.

As a test, a friend held a radio as the Ram was driven away from him. The road wasnít straight, but had curves and depressions, with cuts in the landscape to accommodate the road. Every time the Ram would go down in a dip, we lost communications, even at three miles. The same was true when the Ram entered a cut.

However, when there was line-of-sight, we could talk, even out to 10 miles for a radio rated for seven miles. Suggestion: Make sure every hunter in your party has a two-way radio.

Making fire

Make sure all first-time hunters know how to build a fire and have fire-making materials with them. Plus teach these hunters how to make fire.

Waterproof matches might be sufficient, plus make sure they have some sort of tinder. It might be easy to build a fire most of the time, but when there is snow on the ground or it is raining, the task becomes more difficult.

A friend shot a moose near Colville a few years ago. There was six inches of snow on the ground.

Five of us were in a vehicle driven by a man from the local area. They asked me to build a fire as the rest worked on the animal.

This is when it was realized my hunting pack, holding my fire-making materials, was in the Ram back at the motel.

There were a few matches in the pickup and some paper scraps. The wet ground didnít help and neither did the wet twigs. Finally, the chore was successfully completed, but with great difficulty.

Survival training is important, because it may save a life. The life may be yours or one of your children.

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