Staying Safe in the Cold, Part 1

We’re getting closer and closer to winter, which means many of us outdoor enthusiasts will flock to the ski hills, snowmobile trails and woods.

In Part 1 of Mike Stark’s series, ‘Staying Safe in the Cold’, Mike has a look at what safety precautions hunters and ice fishers need to take for a safe and enjoyable season.

Heavy snowfall is right around the corner.

That means frigid temperatures, snow shoveling and slick roads.

It also marks the time of year for some of the U.P.’s favorite outdoor activities, like hunting, ice fishing, skiing and snowmobiling.

But no matter what you do to kill time over the next several months, you need to make sure you take the necessary precautions.

The most important is to dress warm.

Of course, firearm deer season is going on right now.

And that means hunters will spend a lot of time outside — not just over the next week during firearm season, but during archery and muzzleloader seasons as well after that.

That means if you hunt, you need to take special care to be prepared when venturing out into the woods.

Ernie Lindsey manages Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming.

He says besides gloves, you need to have an additional heat source for your hands, like heat packs.

Dr. Karen Eldevick of Marquette General Hospital says it’s also crucial to make sure your head is covered with something warm.

We’re also about a month away from the lakes freezing and ice fishers setting up shanties.

And if you’re going to have one, make sure you bring the proper equipment.

DNR Conservation Officer Elton Luce says there are small ice-pick-like objects that you can use to raise yourself out of icy water should you fall in.

Coast Guard BM2 Chris Connolly says no ice is safe ice, so it’s generally not a good idea to venture onto it at all.

But he agrees that those picks are necessary if you do head onto it.

The DNR and Coast Guard also suggest that when you go out hunting or go out on the ice, go with a friend.

Also, make sure your family knows exactly where you’ll be and exactly when you plan on returning home.

Tomorrow, Mike will look into the safety measures snowmobile riders need to take this winter.