Staying safe while hunting or fishing in winter - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Staying safe while hunting or fishing in winter

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Hunting in Montana could be described as a lifestyle, but it also comes with risks, especially in the winter.

To keep yourself safe while on a winter hunt, Bob Gibson, Communication Program Manager with Fish, Wildlife & Parks, says to "plan your hunt and hunt your plan." 

He says if you plan how, where and when you will hunt, loved ones at home can call for help if you don't respond by a certain time.

Gibson says prepare for the unexpected, whether it is getting hit with severe weather or lost in the dark.

"In those situations, you need to be prepared by having clothes, fire starting material, etc.," Gibson says.

Gibson says when you pack your survival kit, in addition to fire starting material, bring something like a light sheet of plastic that will break the wind, and a portable phone charger or set of batteries.

He recommends wearing layers compared to a big heavy jacket.  He says have a base layer that will stay dry, like polypropylene or wool.

He says, if you're taking your hunting dog with you, make sure you're warming up your furry friend quickly if they get wet.

For ice fishing, Gibson recommends not standing on ice unless it is at least 4 inches thick. He says if there are people around, ask about the safe areas and how thick the ice is. He says it's important to know where the thin spots are.

Gibson says right now the Big Horn River is a great spot in eastern Montana for duck hunting and ice fishing.