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View Full Version : N.H. tougher than neighbors on negligent hikers



spyboy
12-30-2008, 02:51 PM
This has been talked about before on the forums, but now it looks like it's going to be a reality.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20081230-NEWS-81230032

They can revoke driver's licenses, but what about for out of state hikers that need rescue? Can NH take a MA license?

Bill O
12-30-2008, 03:02 PM
Sucks for the hunters since this is really aimed at them.

mtruman
12-30-2008, 03:40 PM
Sucks for the hunters since this is really aimed at them.

Does that mean that the hunters don't have an equal responsibility to be prepared? Are there really more hunters being rescued than there are hikers?

Bill O
12-30-2008, 03:45 PM
Does that mean that the hunters don't have an equal responsibility to be prepared? Are there really more hunters being rescued than there are hikers?

Hunter rescues exceed hiker rescues by an order of magnitude.

mtruman
12-30-2008, 03:57 PM
Hunter rescues exceed hiker rescues by an order of magnitude.

Interesting. Where is that stat from? (Not saying that I don't believe you). I read the "Accidents Reports" section of Appalachia regularly and haven't seen any reports involving hunters. The reports come from F&G so is it that they only include hiker incidents? Just curious...

Bill O
12-30-2008, 04:28 PM
I'd guess that Appalachia doesn't really care about hunters, among many other classes of rescue.

I usually hear the statistic when a rational person, in-the-know, is reporting on a rescue story. Opposed to a reporter from New York City. They are usually quick to mention that lost hunters consume far more resources than lost hikers.

Maybe its because there are hundreds of calls every year for overdue hunters that are resolved in a few hours. Opposed to less than 10 for lost hikers that take days to resolve.

Its much more exciting to read about stranded mountaineers in a snow cave at 11,000ft than Bubba the hunter who got lost on the back side of the property.

mtruman
12-30-2008, 04:50 PM
Hmmm. I did a search of the F&G site and found a bit more info. The news page lists some (probably not all) of the hiker/hunter rescue missions. Not many hunter rescues listed. Also found an article from 2003 (a bit dated, but probably still relevant) which says this about hunter incidents and rescues:



The continuing success of the Hunter Education Program demonstrates the impact of these volunteer efforts. Hunting-related incidents in New Hampshire have decreased from more than 24 per year when the program started in the 1960s to an average of about four per year in the current decade -- a remarkable figure in light of the fact that about 78,000 people hunt in the state each year.



The number of lost hunters has also dramatically decreased as a result of the program. As recently as the early 1980s, nearly 30 hunters a year became lost or disoriented and required a costly search to be rescued. Thanks in large part to the emphasis on orienteering taught in hunter education, the number of lost hunters requiring a search and rescue mission has averaged just over four per year for the last five years.
I wasn't able to find any similar statistics quoted for hikers, but just searching the rescue reports on the F&G site there are way more hiker rescues than the 4/yr that they quote for hunters.

Not that any of these statistics really matter. What does matter is that there should be every opportunity taken to educate everyone that is going out in the backcountry (as is done by F&G via multiple means including HikeSafe) and providing penalties (and recouping expenses) for those that through reckless action put the SAR teams at risk.

Bill O
12-30-2008, 05:07 PM
Maybe all those reporters are recounting the days of yore when hunters were more careless...like in the 80's.

Either way, I'm not a big fan of charging people for their rescue. Determining who is negligent or reckless seems arbitrary. It has the potential of creating un-intended consequences. And why wouldn't the same be done for house fires or plane crashes or coast guard rescues.

jcm
12-30-2008, 05:21 PM
Indeed. Charging people for rescue is a very bad idea in general - though there are certain obvious exceptions I could think of. Until I few years ago I'd not really heard of charging people for their own rescue, but then, nor had I experienced charging people for medical care either.

I think a better way to implement this in general for places like Washington would be to waive the costs of resuce for those who register at the welcome center and demonstrate having all of the appropriate gear prior to embarking on their hike - others would be free to do whatever, but they wouldn't necessarily be spared from the cost of fixing their own mistakes.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-30-2008, 08:19 PM
A problem occurs in a couple of instances. One, when someone goes off into the woods and has no experience, gets lost and then either needs rescue, or dies. Two, when an experienced person goes off into the woods, gets lost a little while, gets off their time schedule, but makes it back because they knew how to refind themselves and extract themselves. That leads to un-needed SAR parties going out from worried relatives, or rangers etc. which of course involves peoples time, which translates to money (paid workers searching isn't free).

Daniel Boone was once asked... "Were you ever lost?" to which he replied "Lost? Never lost, only a might bewildered for a couple days". I myself can go with Daniels statement. I have only been a little off route, or a little bewildered til I sorted myself out. That is what everyone who wants to get off the beaten path needs to do - gain the experience and confindence needed BEFORE going off and putting yourself or others into danger. Learn the necessary route finding skills, proficient with maps, compass work, gps, as well as learning how to learn to read the lay of the land to get from A to B safely.

I also don't agree with setting a strict timeline. Check in with the ranger, let them know where you're going, and tell them you expect to be back on a certain day and check back in. However, I tell them not to immediately set out to track me down with Bloodhounds if I don't show up because I might have decided to detour to check something out and take a day or two longer.

Bill O
12-30-2008, 08:47 PM
That leads to un-needed SAR parties going out from worried relatives, or rangers etc. which of course involves peoples time, which translates to money (paid workers searching isn't free).


I don't buy it. People on salary are getting paid anyway and volunteers are free. If a rescue does add any incremental cost I'd consider valuable training for when a school bus goes into a ravine or a jet liner crashes in the mountains.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-31-2008, 12:02 AM
You're not following what I said Bill...


Two, when an experienced person goes off into the woods, gets lost a little while, gets off their time schedule, but makes it back because they knew how to refind themselves and extract themselves. That leads to un-needed SAR parties going out from worried relatives, or rangers etc. which of course involves peoples time, which translates to money (paid workers searching isn't free).

What I mean is that the extra people mobilized to run a search and rescue party because someone is a little off schedule to be back causes an increase in cost. If you have volunteers, that's great but not all the extra people are volunteers.

Nobody who got lost and needed assistance should pay any sort of fine. I am not condoning that. However I am saying that people should get the wood craft needed before they just head out and kill themselves, or get others killed rescuing them.

Charlie
12-31-2008, 07:38 AM
this is a tough thing to do .i am a member of a SAR team that has bin around for 30 yrs and now we have to close up shop because we have no money for liability insurance and to keep out truck on the road . the county cant help they have no money and it is hard to do fund raisers because the local fire company's say we are taking money away from them .
so now i will still go out if a fire or police dept calls me direct to bring my dog out to help, for free because i love working her .friends of mine have a sar team that is just a husband and wife team with 5 bloodhounds .the state police use them to track down criminals and for lost people if the state is called .

so it is hard for sar teams to keep going with out funds for supply's and training
so im not sure what should be done about this ,most sar teams do this because they like to help and the paid dept's have to help

KD Talbot
12-31-2008, 08:41 PM
Here's a classic example:

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2008/News_2008_Q4/Search_Young_RI_Hikers_123108.html

I have no comment.

KDT

Charlie
12-31-2008, 08:48 PM
now i hope they had to pay for the rental gear and the ot for the two that had to go get them
and they should have to sit and watch a survivor man show also :D:D

KD Talbot
01-01-2009, 09:29 PM
I don't know, Charlie! Making them watch Survivor Man might be considered Cruel and Inhuman Punishment. I'm not sure it fits the crime, though it would certainly teach them a lesson.

KDT

Charlie
01-02-2009, 07:10 PM
I don't know, Charlie! Making them watch Survivor Man might be considered Cruel and Inhuman Punishment. I'm not sure it fits the crime, though it would certainly teach them a lesson.

KDT

see if they watch them they will start to bring the right stuff with them and that way they dont have to do the things he does :D

or they should have to put in some time in with the AMC to help clean trails

RI Swamp Yankee
01-03-2009, 08:55 PM
Here is the story from today's Providence Journal. Several points are not the same as the AP story that was linked from the Conway Daily Sun. I don't think the PROJO reporter got it right.

http://www.projo.com/news/content/NH_FREEZE_01-03-09_G3CR3OH_v8.3acd82b.html

Bill O
01-03-2009, 09:12 PM
That article helps show that even "negligent" hikers are real people too. They seem like nice people who just made some dumb mistakes. At the time I'm guessing they didn't seem that dumb. 1.5 miles? Hell, I go to the track and run that distance backwards for fun.

Does that guy have seven syllables in his last name?

Brad
01-04-2009, 08:15 PM
For folks who hike in the winter - love to do things outdoors in cold conditions - think that 1 1/2 miles is the warm up stretch before the hike - these guys did not seem to have much experience. So, they prepared as best they thought was needed. They checked things out - but were not really prepared for what they were to do. It was a learning experience for them and better to ask for help and get home safely than have more major problems. Hopefully others will learn from reading about it.

Bill O
01-04-2009, 08:50 PM
That's it! People will start dying because they fear calling for help. Imagine what would happen if you had to pay to use the fire department. Instead of calling 911 people would decide to fight the fire themselves until they started losing the battle. Then maybe they'd call the FD, but it would be too late. Instead of a wet kitchen they'd have a destroyed house. Imagine how much homeowner's insurance would cost in that scenario.

Charlie
01-04-2009, 09:21 PM
That's it! People will start dying because they fear calling for help. Imagine what would happen if you had to pay to use the fire department. Instead of calling 911 people would decide to fight the fire themselves until they started losing the battle. Then maybe they'd call the FD, but it would be too late. Instead of a wet kitchen they'd have a destroyed house. Imagine how much homeowner's insurance would cost in that scenario.


how true .....