Sunday, September 4, 2005
A 42-year-old hunter who got lost in the woods Saturday found his way out Sunday morning.
Christopher Bryant of Denver was bow hunting in an area near Toponas off Green Ridge Road, or Forest Service Road 285.
He left Saturday with plans to return that night, said Scott Havener, incident commander for Routt County Search and Rescue.
Bryant did not return, and his hunting companion called police. Havener was called just after 10 p.m. Saturday and immediately went to interview the companion.
Havener learned that Bryant was not dressed for the rainy, cool weather, so he called together several members of Search and Rescue for a quick search, in which rescuers yelled and used flashlights to try to attract Bryant's attention. He was not found that night.
Sunday morning, when Bryant had not walked out by 8 a.m., nine additional members responded to the scene.
But at 9:30 a.m., Bryant had found Colorado State Highway 134, or Gore Pass, and had hitchhiked to Toponas and called police.
On Saturday night, Bryant sat under power lines and listened to coyotes, Havener said. He had a flashlight and matches, and also had a long-sleeve shirt. He walked four or five miles.
He did not have a map or compass or any knowledge of the area in which he was hunting.
Bryant was not injured, Havener said, but was "a little thirsty and a little hungry and glad to be out."
Havener said that hunters and other backcountry users should always know the area where they are hiking and should be prepared for weather, which can change quickly.
Routt County Search and Rescue has had almost 50 mission this year, about double what they had last year, Havener said.