Search continues for missing hunter

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Routt County Search and Rescue crews continued their search this morning for a missing hunter thought to be in the California Park area near the Moffat County border.

Search and Rescue member Darrel Levingston said about 16 people on horseback began searching for 54-year-old William Porter of Prospect at about 8 a.m. today.

Porter, who was with his hunting party near Sugar Loaf Mountain, left the camp Monday to retrieve an elk he had shot. Porter never returned to the hunting camp, Levingston said.

Crews began searching the California Park and Sugar Loaf Mountain areas Tuesday, but they were forced to call off the search at about 6:30 p.m. because of blowing snow and other poor conditions.

Levingston said Search and Rescue member Scott Havener and his search dog, Duke, stayed out later than the other search members Tuesday night and found the elk Porter shot Sunday. Levingston also said Duke picked up "an area of high interest" near where Porter's foot tracks had been covered by snow.

Today's search crew includes 12 hunters, a Routt County Sheriff's Office sergeant, a North Routt Fire Protection District medic, and other personnel from Routt and Moffat counties. Crews planned to search areas of California Park, including both sides of Stucky Creek.

Porter is described as in good physical condition, Levingston said. But he did not know whether Porter was properly equipped to spend several nights in below-freezing temperatures and wintry conditions.

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