The arrival of fall marks the start of big game hunting in Idaho. In mid-October general deer season opens followed by elk hunts. We see a great number of hunters come to Gem County. Every year the Sheriff’s Office receives panicked calls from family and friends about overdue or lost hunters. For the Sheriff’s Office to be able to provide assistance we need to know where to start our search. Too often those concerned family and friends only know a general area and say something like “somewhere above Ola.” While that points us in a general direction, that information isn’t much help otherwise! There’s thousands of acres of timber and many miles of roads and trails above Ola.
Please, for the sake of your loved ones sanity, leave them with a hunt plan. That plan should include a location with a known name that can be found on a published map. If the location doesn’t have a name then use reference points from a published map. Also give them an expected return time that includes an idea of what time you would return if you’re successful on the last hour of the last day. Often we deploy a search team only to find that an expected hunter didn’t say that they would hunt until dusk on the last day. Then find success just before last light which means that they have several hours until they get of the mountain causing a panic at home. So before you head out this fall for that hunt of a lifetime leave your loved ones with peace of mind. Leave a map and hunt plan at home and go prepared to stay the night every time you leave camp or head out for a day hunt.
Contact the Gem County Sheriff’s Office at 208-365-3521.