Law & Order

Enjoy your hunt and stay safe

With hunting season upon us for Manitoulin Island, from Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 22, and with the expected number of 5,000 to 7,000 hunters on the Island, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) urge hunters to plan ahead and keep safety in the forefront during hunting season.

Every year, people get lost while hunting and sometimes these incidents end tragically. Every year the OPP in the North East Region conduct many searches for lost people—most of them hunters in the rugged wilderness.

“People who engage in activities in the bush should prepare for the potential of becoming lost,” advises Staff Sergeant Scott Taylor, a North East Region search and rescue specialist. Don’t think it can’t happen to you and ensure that you take all equipment along even for a short trip. Should you become lost, it is important that you remain calm and most important—stay put!

Before heading out on your hunting trip this year follow these safety tips:

Travel plans: Always tell someone where you are going and include the date, time of departure, the number of people in your party, direction of travel and an estimated time of return.

Equipment: Make sure all your firearms, compasses, global positioning devises (GPS), communication devices and anything else you bring relevant to your hunt is in good working order and that you know how to use them.

Clothing: Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the terrain and weather conditions you expect to encounter. Always wear your hunter orange. It is required by law and will maximize your safety while out in the bush.

First Aid/Medication: Always have a first aid kit on hand. If you require prescription medication, carry at least one week’s supply on you while you are out in the bush in case you get lost.

While you are in the bush consider the following:

Fatigue: Go slow. Heavy exertion burns up extra calories and makes you sweat heavily, wasting vital body fluids, dehydrating you. Fatigue, dehydration and damp clothing increase your chances of succumbing to hypothermia.

Hypothermia: Hypothermia means the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Hypothermia occurs when a person is exposed to rain, wind and cold without the proper, dry clothing and/or shelter. Your most important task if you become lost is to stay warm and dry. Build a shelter and fire if you can.

Matches: Always carry matches in a waterproof container.

Water: Dehydration will increase your susceptibility to fatigue and hypothermia. Remember, you can survive weeks without food but only a matter of days without water.

If you get lost:

Don’t panic: Fear is your worst enemy. It is impossible to think logically if you panic.

Stay where you are: Don’t try and walk to safety unless you have the skills and equipment necessary to survive. Staying where you are will increase your chances of being located quicker.

Fire: Making a fire is one of your best survival tools. With fire you can keep warm, dry your clothes and signal for help.

Shelter: If necessary, utilize natural formations (caves or fallen trees). Other materials found in the woods, like cedar or spruce boughs can be used to construct a temporary shelter to get you out of the elements.

Signals: The following are universal distress signals: three gun shots, three blasts of a whistle, three fires.

One last reminder: You may only hunt from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. If you are in an area usually inhabited by wildlife during the period from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise, you must unload and encase your firearms and make sure they are not readily accessible.

Single vehicle rollover sends driver to hospital

On Sunday, November 15 at around 2:30 am, the Manitoulin Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was dispatched to a single vehicle rollover on Honora Bay Road in the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands.

Police arrived on scene to find a black 2009 Hyundai SUV vehicle on its roof in the ditch with extensive damage. The driver was removed and transported to the local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It was determined that the driver had consumed alcohol.

As a result of the officer’s investigation, a 33-year-old male of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Township was arrested and charged with the following: Driving while ability impaired – motor vehicle, contrary to the Criminal Code (CC) and Fail or Refuse to Provide Breath Sample, contrary to the Criminal Code (CC).

The accused was released on a Promise to Appear and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, December 14 in Gore Bay to answer to his charges.

Protecting children from Internet threats

The Manitoulin OPP remind parents that they have an important role to play ensuring their children use the Internet safely. Approximately 94 percent of Canadian children are regular users of the Internet at home. They use the Internet for everything from homework research, to gaming to instant messaging. Police, parents and the community must work together to raise awareness and promote safe use of the Internet, particularly among youth.

While the Internet provides learning opportunities, it also opens the door to the potential exploitation of children, including cyber bullying and online threats. Parents should be aware of what sites their children are accessing and monitor their Internet use. There are numerous websites that provide parents with Internet safety information, including sites with pledges of safe use contracts and youth (www.safekids.com). Parents should access these sites to educate themselves on the safe practices of Internet use.

Parents should discuss the potential dangers of the Internet with their children and educate them on how to handle situations if they arise. Here are some basic things parents can do to protect their children:

· Monitor sites visited by your children.

· Keep the computer in an open area of the home.

· Remind children to protect their passwords; never let them share them with friends.

· Unplug webcams when they’re not in use.

· Be sure who they’re talking to before allowing them to turn on a web cam.

· Make sure they protect their online identity at all times and don’t give out any identifying information.

· Don’t let them get involved in a chat room discussion with someone you don’t know.

· Limit the amount of time they spend online.

· Explore the games your child plays to determine if they are age-appropriate.

· Communicate openly with your child, encouraging him/her to share feelings.

“Parents need to take a major role in their children’s safety. Though the Internet is an excellent tool for children to learn there are hidden dangers that children are not aware of,” says Manitoulin OPP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb. The OPP Crime Prevention Section has a number of tip sheets for parents and children relating to safe Internet use. You can check out the OPP website at www.opp.ca.