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Thread: N.H. tougher than neighbors on negligent hikers

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    Default N.H. tougher than neighbors on negligent hikers

    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/articl...-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?

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    Sucks for the hunters since this is really aimed at them.
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
    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?
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtruman View Post
    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.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
    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...
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
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    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


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    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.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    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.
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    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.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by ColdWeatherClimber; 12-30-2008 at 08:20 PM. Reason: mis-spelled word.
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