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Hunting Safety: Dealing with Montana's changing weather in the backcountry

Posted at 10:37 AM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 12:37:25-04

It’s September in Montana which means archery and bird season, a time of year hunters rejoice. But hunting in the backcountry isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

"You have to be ready for the one bad step that you happen to blow your knee out on,” Gallatin County Search and Rescue commander Jason Jarrett said. “That can happen to anybody, anytime, anywhere. If you’re not prepared for that even if you’re young, fit and healthy."

Another dangerous circumstance is the weather at this time of year.

Temperatures can climb 30 or 40 degrees where dehydration becomes a factor. Temperatures could go the other way and drop a few degrees where hypothermia could become a factor. You need to prepare for all of this when you’re headed to the backcountry this season.

"You have to have something with you to keep you dry,” said Jarrett. “Regardless of the temperature, when we see that afternoon shower or you end up in that fall snow season, whether you’re hiking the M, Ridge or just a regular trail, when you get wet here, that means hypothermia isn’t that far away."

You need to be aware of hungry bears with hibernation right around the corner.

"Bears are more active on the landscape it’s always a good idea to hunt with a partner and let them know where you’re going and when you’ll be back," said FWP Information and Education Manager for Region 2 of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Morgan Jacobsen.

There isn’t a law that requires non hunters to wear orange, but it’s recommended that both hunters and non hunters carry bear spray.