by JOANNE M. HAAS
WDNR BUREAU of LAW ENFORCEMENT
WDNR Conservation Wardens K9s are just as pumped as you snowmobilers (perhaps a tad more if you’d have a ball to throw) about the snowfalls that have turned Wisconsin into a paradise of incredible trails.
But before you hop on your sled — with your helmet securely fastened — please review these safety tips to help you have a fun, exhilarating and safe ride. You won’t be alone out there. Families and groups of friends and clubs will be enjoying the trails, too. That makes safety a top priority!
1. Ensure trails are open. Stay on the marked trails. Always stay to the right side — especially on corners. Assume another snowmobile is coming.
2. Operate at a safe and responsible speed; it will help you manage the trail hazards!
3. If trails include frozen-over waterways, check with local outfitters and bait shops for ice conditions.
4. Leave the adult drinks until you are home to enjoy the memories of your ride.
Last winter, alcohol was involved in 70 percent of the 23 snowmobile fatalities in Wisconsin. That is 23 too many people to lose doing a fun outdoor activity. Join the Zero Alcohol as Your Smart Choice campaign; regardless of what motor vehicle you’re driving. Let’s enjoy the winter safely and together — it’s just so much more fun that way! Wisconsin is known for thousands of incredible snowmobile trails, and speaking —or barking the praises — of those trails, K9 Bridger says do not forget to thank the clubs and many volunteers who maintain trails for snowmobilers, as well as the trails for skiing, snowshoeing (or snow-pawing) and more. Wisconsin trails rock thanks to them!
Teal, Vixen and Bridger say: Stay safe out there on the trails. (Would it hurt to throw a few treats in your pocket?)
Want to learn more? Visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/snowmobile/.
If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff relay reported information to conservation wardens.