Iowa man not hurt, but spends cold night in wilderness

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— Routt County Search and Rescue located a lost and cold but uninjured hunter in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area on Sunday.

A helicopter, shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, assisted in the rescue effort, which centered on Bear Canyon, approximately nine miles east of Clark.

When last seen Saturday, Ken Rewerts, 41, of Parksburg, Iowa, was muzzle-load rifle hunting with a friend, incident commander Joe Stevens said Sunday night.

Rewerts and his friend, Kevin Kyle of Fort Collins, decided to split up at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday and meet at a meadow two miles away, Stevens said.

When Rewerts did not return, Kyle could find only some tracks as darkness set in. Rewerts had given his lighter to Kyle that afternoon, and therefore did not have means to make a fire, Stevens said.

“This guy got to spend a nice, cold, snowy, wet night out,” Stevens said. “Cold snow, rain, fog, hail - you name it, they had it.”

However, Rewerts kept his head about him and spent the night in a place that turned out to be not far from their base camp. He ran in place from time to time to keep warm, Stevens said.

By the time Search and Rescue had assessed the situation, garnered 15 people, divided into teams and begun searching around 8:30 Sunday morning, Rewerts had made his way into the steep Bear Canyon south of Seedhouse Road.

Using a helicopter from Glenwood Springs and help from Kyle, Search and Rescue spotted the lost hunter just as a ground search crew closed to within 500 yards of him. They spotted him at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday.

Search and Rescue guided Rewerts out of the canyon by 6 p.m. and wrapped up operations around 10 p.m.

Stevens said Rewerts knew how to use a compass and map, but could do so with proficiency only in clear weather. The wilderness area was struck by snow and a rainstorm Saturday.

Rewerts was cold, damp and tired, but uninjured and did not need to be taken to the hospital, Stevens said.

In other emergency activity during the weekend, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an apparent suicide victim north of Hayden on Saturday.

An unnamed party reported seeing the victim off the road near a sign for California Park, approximately 22 miles north of Hayden, according to emergency incident logs. The reporting party believed the person to be dead when seen, the reporter added.

Further information about the incident was not available Sunday night.

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