As many were expecting, Montana's pleasant fall weather started to shift dramatically over the weekend.

Some outdoor activities are starting to wind down, but others are ramping up. That is especially true of hunting in Montana right now. And the lure of a rock climbing adventure can't necessarily be ignored, either.

Two separate incidents that occurred over the weekend remind us of the importance of emergency responders, and how lucky we are to have such terrific teams all over the state. A hunter with a broken leg and a rock climber who took a fall can attest to that.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commended search and rescue teams who put a lot of time and resources into the response to a SOS call via a Garmin satellite communication device. Personnel made contact with a Montana hunter, who it was determined had broken their leg while navigating rough terrain near Big Sky.

Gallatin County Search and Rescue Big and Big Sky Fire Department responded to the call, which required ground teams on foot in rugged terrain and harsh winter weather conditions, along with ropes and a 4-wheeler side-by-side. With the injury stabilized, the hunter was transported a few miles back to a trailhead, then ambulance transport to an area hospital for further evaluation.

Gallatin County emergency personnel had plenty on their plates over the weekend, as they also responded to a call that a rock climber had fallen about 20 feet and sustained ankle and back injuries, also in the Big Sky area. In addition to ground crews, this one also required a "Heli Team" because of the patient's condition and the location of the fall.

Along with first responders, other climbers were commended for staying with and helping the injured climber.

Here's wishing both of these accident victims speedy and full recoveries. Accidents can happen to anyone. Bring plenty of supplies. High tech communication devices and companions sure went a long way to save the day in these two incidents.

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