Risk for hunters and anglers on ice
Officials warn hunters and anglers to take precautions on the ice
These cold temperatures aren't enough to keep hunters and anglers from going outdoors, but several incidents recently have brought to light the risks of being outside, especially on the ice.
Whether you're hunting or fishing, being on a lake or river can be dangerous if you don't come prepared and follow proper safety procedures.
"Just be careful" warns Mike Page, Public Information Officer for the Grand Junction Fire Department.
That's the message from safety officials after several recent incidents involving anglers and hunters. These accidents have brought up safety concerns on the ice.
"This year we have had one human rescue just recently. I think it was a goose hunter, that his dog went out after an animal he had shot and the dog got trapped, he went out after the dog (and) fell in" explains Page.
The colder temperatures are helping ice fishing grow in popularity. Lauren Truitt of Cabela's says people need to be sure the ice is safe before they venture out.
"A lot of people need to… realize when they're going out on the ice, is early season ice and late season ice tends to be thinner. Watching the waters edges. If you see pooling on the ice. It's just really good to be aware of your surroundings" explains Truitt.
You can also contact any of the state park offices to check the ice reports. When drilling with your auger, Truitt says to drill in progression to know the depth of the ice.
"Four to five inches is safe on the ice, but to be even safer go six to ten inches of ice" says Truitt.
Officials encourage people to go outdoors but the number one concern is to be safe.
"Just be careful. The waterways are not great shortcuts in the winter time and as it thaws out it's going to get even more dangerous" says Page.
If you do plan on going out on the ice, experts say it's a good idea to bring along a life vest and whistle in case of an emergency.
Copyright 2012 KJCT. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The following are comments from our users. Opinions expressed are neither created nor endorsed by KJCT, its web master or its television station management. These comments are moderated by the community. To report an offensive or otherwise inappropriate comment, click the "Flag" link that appears beneath that comment. Comments that are flagged will alert our editorial staff.