Missing hunter found

Porter in 'good condition,' good spirits

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— A hunter who was missing for almost three days was found alive and in good condition Wednesday night.

William Porter, 54, of Prospect was "in good condition and good spirits," Routt County Search and Rescue spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said.

After losing his bearings during a snowstorm Monday, it appears Porter, an experienced woodsman, walked east until he reached another camp on Wednesday. Those campers took him to nearby Whispering Pine Lodge at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, when Porter used a borrowed cell phone to contact authorities.

Search and Rescue member Darrel Levingston said about 45 people searched for Porter on foot, horseback and by helicopter and plane Wednesday.

Porter, who was hunting with friends near Sugar Loaf Mountain, left his camp Monday to retrieve an elk he had killed the previous day, Levingston said. Porter's three hunting companions spent Monday looking for him but lost his tracks under the falling snow.

Search and Rescue crews began searching the California Park and Sugar Loaf Mountain areas Tuesday. They were forced to call off the search at about 6:30 p.m. because of blowing snow and other hazardous conditions.

Levingston said Search and Rescue member Scott Havener and his search dog, Duke, remained on scene late Tuesday night and found the elk Porter had shot Sunday. Levingston also said Duke picked up "an area of high interest" near where Porter's tracks had been covered by snow.

Members of Porter's family were in Routt County assisting with the search, Levingston said.

"We're very excited," Polumbus said. "We're thankful to everyone who participated in the search.

Levingston said he didn't know what steps Porter took to get through two nights in the wilderness.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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