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One of the joys of deer stalking is being out in the woods on your own, enjoying the solitude as the world wakes up or settles down for the night. However, there is a downside. What if you fall and hurt yourself, your truck runs off the road or you just feel very unwell? How do you get help?
BASC has a range of risk assessments to cover all aspects of field sports. For deer stalking in particular, they consider the risks associated with using high seats, doing group culls, landowners’ site-specific assessments and, most importantly, lone stalking.
Stalkers often use the ‘buddy system’. They nominate someone to act as their buddy and give them details of their plans, route and vehicle. The two agree a system of timed checking in and checking out during the stalk, such as sending an “I’m okay” text every 15-30 minutes. If the stalker misses a check, the buddy tries to contact them. If the stalker responds and all is okay, things carry on as usual. If after an hour, the stalker cannot be contacted, the buddy escalates the matter and contacts emergency services if necessary.
Lately, technology has been developed which allows stalkers and other lone workers to be monitored more easily via mobile check-in and GPS tracking. One such system is Trackplot, now in use on the BASC members’ deer stalking scheme on the Isle of Arran. By integrating a GPS unit with a dedicated app and the company’s unique Trackplot portal, the system can track your movements in the forest in real time.
It is a complete lone worker monitoring solution offering a range of communication methods and does not need mobile phone reception to work. This is especially important for people who work in isolated areas with poor or non-existent signals.
The Trackplot portal control and command centre delivers notifications, a check-in and check-out facility, and alerts. Should a lone worker become incapacitated, an automatic escalation procedure raises the alarm. Users can check in and check out using a smartphone, dedicated GPS device, landline, text message, computer, laptop or tablet. If your device has GPS your position can be tracked, too.
For more information, see: https://basc.org.uk/solo-stalking-stay-safe/
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