Two hunters have been rescued in Beaverhead County after serious ATV accidents around the opening of general hunting season. Both rescues involved helicopters, one from the Montana Army National Guard and one from Life Flight.
According to Sheriff Franklin Kluesner II, the first call came in Friday at 12:27 p.m. The caller said his 58-year-old brother was unable to move after an ATV accident in the south end of the Gravelly Mountains. The men were scouting hunting areas for the next day when the accident occurred, Kluesner said. The caller hiked about a mile and a half from his brother to find cell service.
Kluesner said his office was able to help the caller determine his location coordinates through a cell phone app, which showed he was near Fossil Creek, over 60 miles southeast of Dillon — a two or more hour drive for emergency vehicles.
After learning their location, Kluesner said Life Flight was requested and a helicopter was dispatched from Rexburg, Idaho. Ground support was also dispatched, including a local search and rescue team and an ambulance from Lima.
About 90 minutes after receiving the call for help, the injured man was transported via Life Flight to a hospital. Kluesner believes the man is from North Dakota and is at a hospital in Bozeman as of Wednesday afternoon, with serious injuries.
Two days later, Kluesner’s office received three more search and rescue calls within a few-hour time frame. One was from a woman concerned about her husband, who returned back to his camp shortly after she called; another was from a group of people whose truck slid off of a road west of Lima, and were assisted by Bureau of Land Management rangers in the area; and a third resulted in a full deployment of local search and rescue volunteers, along with assistance from the Montana Army National Guard.
Around 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a woman who said she hadn’t heard from her 69-year-old husband since Saturday afternoon. The woman told law enforcement she had driven to his campsite Sunday morning, about 15 miles south of Dillon, but did not find him or his ATV. The man had planned to hunt in the area.
Kluesner said after his office spoke with the woman, Beaverhead Search and Rescue volunteers began a ground search for her husband while aircraft searched overhead. The hunter was not located on Sunday.
An expanded search resumed early Monday. At this time, Kluesner’s office looked at what other resources they had available. The search and rescue team decided to call the Montana Army National Guard, which promptly deployed a five-person crew via Blackhawk helicopter from Helena. The helicopter arrived in the area around noon.
At 1:30 p.m., the ground crew located the missing hunter, who had spent 44 hours pinned beneath his upside-down ATV in a ravine. The crew called the National Guard helicopter, which landed in the area, stabilized the man and transported him to Barrett Hospital and Healthcare in Dillon. Kluesner said the man is now at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula with serious injuries.
In the last four years Kluesner has been sheriff, he said he’s seen a steady increase of ATV use in Beaverhead County. This has also led to an increase in accidents.
“We have a lot of areas where you can still use four-wheelers and side-by-sides, which have become very popular,” Kluesner said. “But they aren’t that stable and do have the potential to cause real serious injuries.”
Kluesner went on to say these injuries are especially concerning when hunters and other recreationists ride into the backcountry, where they become harder to reach and there is little to no cell service. He said his office was extremely lucky to have access to Life Flight and Montana Army National Guard teams to rescue the two injured hunters, and he is proud of the collaboration that went into finding them.
“Helicopters are invaluable in these situations. They (helicopter flights) are expensive endeavors, but there’s no price you can put on a human life,” Kluesner said.
A deadly disease that’s threatening deer herds across the country is prompting South Carolina wildlife officials to reconsider which products hunters are allowed to use to lure trophy bucks.
The state Department of Natural Resources wants to introduce a regulation that would ban hunters from using scent lures that contain natural deer urine, according to Charles Ruth, a certified wildlife biologist and big game program coordinator with the wildlife agency.
“It would take about a year for us to file the regulation and go through the legislative process, but we’d like to see a ban on natural urine products by the 2019 deer hunting season,” Ruth told the Greenville Journal during a recent phone interview.
Many hunters use buck and doe urines to lure deer to their location or cover their scent, but the foul-smelling liquid is thought to contribute to the spread of chronic wasting disease, according to Ruth.
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological illness affecting deer, elk, and moose populations throughout North America, according to Ruth. That includes the white-tailed deer, a popular game species in South Carolina. Greenville County hunters alone harvested more than 3,000 white-tailed deer in 2017.
“We haven’t detected signs of chronic wasting disease in South Carolina yet, but we don’t want to look back several years from now and wonder if we did everything possible to prevent it,” Ruth said.
Since it was first documented in a captive mule deer in Colorado about 35 years ago, CWD has slowly spread to more than two dozen states and a number of Canadian provinces, according to SCDNR.
Ruth said the disease, which has no treatment or cure, is caused by deformed proteins called prions that replicate upon ingestion and attack the animal’s central nervous system, ultimately killing it.
“The incubation period for chronic wasting disease can range from a year to five years,” he said. “But if a deer contracts the disease, it’s going to eventually die. There’s no question about it.”
Scientists believe CWD prions likely spread from deer to deer through feces, saliva, blood, or urine, either through direct contact or indirectly through environmental contamination of soil, food, or water, according to Ruth. Once a deer contracts the disease and dies, its tissues become vectors. The prions can only be destroyed by burying them in a landfill or through incineration.
While there has never been a documented case of a human contracting the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people do not consume meat from an infected animal.
Natural scent lures pose a risk to South Carolina’s deer population, because they are often produced by facilities that collect urine over a grate system, which doesn’t prevent contamination from feces or saliva, according to Ruth.
Collection facilities also have no way of knowing whether or not their deer are disease-free, because there is no certified live-animal test for CWD, nor is there a way to test urine for prions once it’s been collected, according to Ruth. These facilities also generally don’t treat their urine-based products with chemicals or heat to kill the infectious proteins, because these treatments would secondarily destroy the desired scent characteristics.
Several states, including Alaska, Arizona, Virginia, and Vermont, have enacted outright bans on urine-based attractants, while others have drafted regional bans and/or rewrote rules to allow only synthetic lures. These bans, however, have been met with opposition from some hunters — who dribble the foul-smelling fluid on foliage near their tree stands — and manufacturers, who market products like “Cold Blue” and “Buck Bomb.”
Ralph Brendle, owner and president of River Bend Sportsman’s Resort in Spartanburg County, said the proposed regulation to ban urine-based attractants in South Carolina wouldn’t likely impact his business. “We don’t use scent lures of any kind. We just hunt them naturally in the woods,” he said. “The only thing we do is set out some bait every now and then.”
Brian Sullivan, co-owner and manager of Toney Creek Hunting Plantation in Anderson County, said his company currently uses urine-based attractants for guided deer hunts but won’t likely seek out an alternative if South Carolina enacts the ban. “Synthetic lure doesn’t work nearly as good,” he said. “I’d just prefer not use it.”
Ruth said the proposed regulation to ban urine-based lures in South Carolina would need to be passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor before it could be enforced. If approved, it would become one of many regulations instituted by the wildlife agency over the years to combat the spread of CWD.
In an effort to help prevent the disease from entering South Carolina, SCDNR has banned the commercial transport of deer and other related species, such as elk and moose, since many cases of CWD have been linked to captive animals, according to Ruth.
The agency also continues to maintain regulations restricting the importation of whole carcasses or parts containing nervous system tissue from deer and elk harvested in the U.S. states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been documented, according to Ruth. If hunters dispose of these carcass parts in South Carolina, the disease agent could potentially infect deer in that area.
Ruth said South Carolina is far from any state where the disease has been diagnosed, but SCDNR has tested more than 6,000 deer from all 46 counties since 2002 and developed a response plan that’s designed to contain the spread of CWD should an outbreak occur.
Current research shows that CWD outbreaks can lead to significant declines in deer populations over time. In Wisconsin, for instance, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002.
John Quinn, an associate professor of biology at Furman University, said scientific understanding of the ecology and transmission of CWD in free-ranging wildlife is limited, but a major decline in South Carolina’s white-tailed deer population due to such a fatal disease would likely have ecological consequences.
The white-tailed deer is considered to be a keystone species, one whose very activities have an immediate effect on both the landscape and the natural habitats of other animals in the wild, according to Quinn.
White-tailed deer not only serve as prey for coyotes and other predators, but their feeding habits and preferences can affect the variety, quality, and structure of plants in a habitat, Quinn explained. While chronic browsing can kill or hinder the growth of preferred plants in an ecosystem, deer avoidance of non-native, invasive plant species can cause them to become more prevalent and spread faster.
“A loss of deer populations is going to change forest understory,” Quinn said.
Quinn said a decline in South Carolina’s white-tailed deer population would also likely lead to fewer hunters, which in turn would mean less dollars for SCDNR, which collects a large portion of its funding from hunting-license sales and federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and other hunting equipment.
Deer hunting generates more than $200 million annually for the state’s economy, according to Ruth. South Carolina sells more than 700,000 recreational licenses each year to residents and out-of-state hunters and fishermen.
Recreational and commercial hunting licenses can be purchased online at dnrlicensing.sc.gov. Deer hunting on private lands in Game Zones 1 and 2, both of which include parts of Greenville County, runs through Jan. 1, 2019.
For more information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov.
September 13, 2018 04:17 PM
Updated September 13, 2018 05:23 PM
A man was shot in the shoulder late Thursday morning while he was hunting in the Caliente Mountain Range near the Carrizo Plain National Monument, officials said.
Six people were hunting deer in the mountains near Cuyama, which border the southwestern part of the Carrizo Plain, Capt. Todd Tognazzini with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
One of the hunters saw movement in the brush and fired with a “high-powered rifle,” but instead of hitting a deer, he hit another man in the party in the shoulder, Tognazzini said.
The man, who is in his 60s, received non-fatal injuries and was flown to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield for treatment, Tognazzini said.
Tognazzini said sheriff’s deputies also responded to the scene and determined that there was no foul play involved.
“There were unsafe hunting practices that led to the injury,” Tognazzini said, noting that to legally shoot a deer in California, the hunter has to make sure the deer is male and has at least one branched antler. “We don’t see those kinds of injuries often here.”
Fish and Wildlife officials are investigating the incident.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) — Newport News announced they will not be extending its hunting season on Wednesday.
The city recently enacted an Urban Archery Season that would have added four extra months to the current hunting season. However, they decided to revoke it after receiving negative feedback from the community.
On Wednesday, there was a community meeting where residents for and against Urban Archery Season were in attendance.
“In my own backyard I started counting them jumping over my fence about two years ago, and I stopped counting at 17,” said Martha Miller.
Miller is talking about deer. She said it was bad enough that they were eating her flowers, but she said when they attacked Max the family dog, enough was enough.
“She put her head down and butted him and rolled him in the grass, and I went to her to get him away, and he came up here, and the deer kind of came at me a little bit,” said Miller.
Miller, who lives in Fisher’s Landing, was one of several homeowners looking forward to September 1. That’s when the state’s Urban Archery Season begins, allowing homeowners the opportunity to bring professional archers into their yards to shoot and kill deer using a crossbow.
Posted: Jul 16, 2018 7:20 PM PDTUpdated: Jul 17, 2018 2:15 AM PDT
Local lawmakers were supposed to vote Monday night on whether to reduce the population by killing the animals, but that vote was postponed.
The ordinance that lawmakers were considering would have allowed the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey to kill deer over the next two years.
Supporters of the plan say that the deer are eating plants in the town and bring about the threat of Lyme disease. They also say that reducing the deer population will also help reduce car accidents.
But other said that the ordinance was too vague. It did not indicated how many deer were to be killed or if neighbors are to be notified of the hunt.
There was also a question as to if $5 million in liability insurance was enough if there was an accident during the hunt.
Other opponents say that killing the animals, especially by bow hunting, is cruel.
It is believed that 200 to 400 deer roam around Saddle River.
The Saddle Brook Borough Council will now rewrite the resolution and vote on it at a later date.
INDIANAPOLIS — With deer hunting season well underway in the state, Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to use their heads and follow the law when out in the woods.
To kick off firearms deer-hunting season Saturday, DNR re-shared a popular video recorded a few years ago that details some of the most common hunter violations and why they are important to follow.
Top 5 Hunting Violations According to DNR:
- Hunting/Tracking a deer from a vehicle
- Hunting on someone else’s private property
- Not wearing hunter orange
- Over-bagging and breaking the one buck rule
- Over-bagging any animal / killing more than the per-person limit
This laws are being carefully watched this year after an error in the law passed by the legislative session initially banned the use of rifles on state and federal property.
The Department of Natural Resources issued an emergency state rule allowing hunters to use rifles during the 2017-18 season until they are able to update the law next year.
You don’t hear all that much about 104-year-olds, perhaps since they’re usually squirreled away in some nursing home ‘for their own protection’ by then. Or perhaps because the average human life expectancy is 79.3 in the U.S. (for both sexes combined), while in Sierra Leone it’s still only 50.1 and the longest-lived people in the world these days, the Japanese, live an average of 83.7. But ironically I happened across articles about not one, but two century+4-year-olds while leafing through the news today.
By now we’ve probably all heard of Australian scientist David Goodall, who decided to spare himself any future suffering and make the long trip to Switzerland to humanely end his own life (just as you would a beloved old dog or cat who had outlived his or her ability to know joy in life). “Why Would Anyone Oppose This 104-Year-Old Man’s Decision to Die With Dignity?” asks, in an article from the Friendly Atheist, which goes on to say:
‘Goodall didn’t want to travel to Switzerland for the procedure, but it was the only option for him since his home nation of Australia forbids assisted suicide in all instances. He made sure everyone knew about his frustrations.
“I greatly regret having reached that age; I would much prefer to be 20 or 30 years younger,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. during the [104th birthday] festivities in April. When asked whether he had a nice birthday, he replied: “No, I’m not happy. I want to die. … It’s not sad, particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented.”
“My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights, including the right of assisted suicide,” the 104-year-old man added.’
Meanwhile, in what turned out to be the NRA’s American Hunter website, I spotted an article from December 27, 2017 entitled “America’s Oldest Hunter Bags Third Deer of the Season at 104 Years Old.”
Well, bully for him, the old codger got to go out and kill something—actually, three somethings—on what will surely be one of his last seasons of life!
From the NRA article:
‘Congratulations to Clyde Roberts on another successful season, and best wishes in the seasons to come. His recent 8-pointer marks the 11th deer he has taken since turning 100 years of age!’
A hunter has died after being shot in the chest in the Kaimai Range.
Waikato Senior Sergeant Mike Henwood said police received a call about a hunter being shot about 10.15am. Henwood said the area was very remote and had no communication. The hunter was shot in forest near Wairakau Rd, about 15km south of Te Aroha.
It comes during the beginning of the roar, a favoured hunting period, for many parts of the country.
The roar is when stags are most vocal, calling to attract the attention of females and are less cautious than other times.
The roar lasts about four weeks, and stags are the most vocal in the middle two weeks.
Red deer roar from late March through April.
A fellow hunter called emergency services about 10.15am.
The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was sent to the remote spot and a paramedic winched down to work on the man, who was about a two-hour hike from the carpark.
Police would conduct inquiries on behalf of the coroner.
New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association national president Bill O’Leary said the reality was a fatal hunting incident such as this happened once or twice a year.
A Pensacola hunter was shot twice by his friend in a hunting accident. Gregg Pachkowskifirstname.lastname@example.org
On the opening day of turkey season earlier this month, longtime hunting buddies Hilton Hutto and Fred Wilson were staked out in blinds on Wilson’s property in Ponce de Leon.
The 80-acre lot is surrounded by a timber mill, with planted pines lining the property line. The area is isolated, making it a prime spot for hunting.
The two men were about 75 yards apart, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report that would follow, when Hutto saw a turkey walk in front of his friend.
Wilson recalls seeing Hutto line up the shot with his barrel facing directly at the turkey —and in turn, at him. He thought his friend was just getting his target ready so he could get the bird when it took a few steps away from Wilson.
He was wrong. Hutto shot twice.
“I guess he got all excited and didn’t realize he was shooting at me, too,” said Wilson, 65.
More than 20 pellets from the two shotgun shells drove into Wilson’s face, torso, arms and hands.
“The turkey got in the way, I didn’t think it was between us and I guess it was, and I shot, then he came out of his blind and said, ‘Hey, you shot me,'” said Hutto, 86.
Wilson said he and Hutto immediately packed up and drove the roughly 80 minutes from Ponce de Leon to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where both men live. Wilson said he could have gone to a hospital in Crestview but wanted to be treated at home.
There was blood running down Wilson’s face and pellets lodged in his hands, but Wilson said he gripped the wheel and sped down Interstate 10.
“The adrenaline was there, I knew I was shot and there was blood all down my face but the adrenaline was just going,” Wilson said, adding that he didn’t yet feel the pain of the shooting.
Hutto said he felt terrible about the accident, and sat in the passenger seat with Wilson as the two sped toward the hospital.
“I felt real bad about it, I’d just shot a good friend of mine, someone I’d been hunting with for years. It’s a no good feeling,” he said.
The incident happened March 17, and as of Thursday, Wilson was still meeting with doctors and scheduling surgeries to remove the pellets. Some can never be removed, he said.
“A couple of them they found had gone in and right out, and I’ve got two in my face that are going to be removed, the one in my right hand and index finger,” Wilson said. He said the pellets that need to stay are around his lungs.
FWC is still actively investigating the shooting, according to spokeswoman Rebekah Nelson. She said no further information about the incident could be released, but, she said, there were no turkey hunting accidents reported last season.
Wilson said there’s no animosity between him and Hutto, but he is now dealing with flashbacks of seeing the shells explode toward him.
“The only bad thing is I have nightmares about it, and sometimes I’ll be sitting down and I’ll see it all over again,” Wilson said. “The first time he shot I was looking right at him.”
The pair has plans to hunt together again soon, although Wilson laughs, saying he won’t be setting up anywhere close to Hutto. He’s in good spirits, despite the multiple surgeries and time consulting doctors, chalking it up to a mistake between friends.
“He didn’t kill me and he didn’t blind me, the big guy was watching out for me,” Wilson said.