Thursday, September 16, 2004
A 72-year-old Arkansas man was found safe at about 2 a.m. Thursday in Routt County Search and Rescue's first operation of the hunting season. He was found resting in a hunting camp about six miles from where his hunting party was staying.
In a rare nighttime search, crews were called out at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to look for the man, who had gotten lost in the Dunckley Pass area earlier that day.
RCSAR usually does not do nighttime searches, president Tim O'Brien said, but made an exception in this case because of the man's previous medical conditions and because he did not have a compass, food, water, cell phone or clothing appropriate for the below-freezing temperatures the area had that night. His son, who reported the man missing, also said a horse had stepped on the man's foot before the two were separated.
The man reportedly was separated from his hunting party at about 10 a.m. Wednesday while the group packed out an elk. Search and Rescue was called out at about 9:30 p.m., after the man's son notified authorities, O'Brien said.
The hunting party was about five miles from Dunckley Pass and was transporting an elk to the hunting camp when the man, who was on foot, got separated from the rest of the group, which was riding horses. He was about 2.5 to 3 miles from the group's camp, in a heavily wooded area on U.S. Forest Service land, when he got separated, O'Brien said.
When the man did not show up at camp, the other hunters went back and forth on the trail, but could not find him.
The man was lost for about six hours before coming across other hunters, who had a cell phone he used.
After talking with someone in the hunting party, Search and Rescue was able to call the man's daughter in Denver. The man had left a message with the daughter saying he was OK and staying with another hunting party.
Search and Rescue had 10 members participate in the search, using dog teams and four-wheelers. A helicopter and a horse team were on standby to begin searching in the morning if the man had not been found, O'Brien said.
O'Brien reminds hunters to carry food and water supplies, to dress for the weather, to use on mountain areas and to be familiar with the area.
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