Hunter rescued after heart problems in forest |

Hunter rescued after heart problems in forest

Joanna Dodder/Steamboat Pilot

— A Georgia bow hunter was rescued from the Routt national Forest with the aid of a helicopter Sept. 1, after he became ill from a heart condition.

David Parr, 43, of Riverdale, GA., was listed in stable condition last week at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.

Exhausted Routt County Search & Rescue volunteers returned to Steamboat Springs late Thursday morning after spending all night getting to Parr and readying him for Thursday' morning's helicopter flight.

Parr and other friends from Georgia were camped just north of Baldy Peak, on the western edges of California Park, about 18 miles directly north of Hayden.

At camp Wednesday night, Parr began complaining of chest pains and tingling in his arms. Prudently, friends decided not to move Parr, but instead went out of the forest and called the Moffat County Sheriff's Office about 10 p.m. Routt County Search & Rescue was immediately paged for the medical emergency, said John Witte, Search & Rescue incident commander.

"They were thinking about trying to walk him out on a horse, but that would have done him in," Witte said.

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Search & Rescue didn't park their vehicles near the site until 2:40 a.m., after having to drive through Craig and then double back northeast on National Forest back roads. One team of four came from the north and went over the top of Baldy Peak toward the camp, while the other came from the north near Bear's Ears. Parr's friend Steve Becker, who has used the same off-trail hunting camp the past six year, led one of the teams through the darkness, Witte said.

In the meantime, a helicopter from St. Mary's was requested to come to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport near Hayden and be on stand-by.

The team from the south was stalled by heavy downed timber, and the other team reached Parr about 5:00 a.m. with the aid of four-wheelers most of the way.

Parr was treated immediately for his cardiac condition and high blood pressure, Witte said. Nitro glycerin helped stabilize him.

The helicopter flew in at dawn, leaving behind one of the three crew members to lighten the load for mountain flying as well as for Parr, who is 6'4" and 285 pounds. The copter got Parr out about 7 a.m. and whisked him to Grand Junction.

"Things went real smoothly," said Witte. His teams returned to town by 11 a.m.

Search & Rescue is often busy with numerous calls to save or find hunters during the fall. The first fall hunting seasons got underway Saturday and already Search & Rescue has conducted one rescue and screened two other calls for lost hunters. That has Witte a bit worried, especially since the more popular rifle seasons haven't yet started.

"It kind of concerns you when this sort of thing starts happening early on," Witte said.

Search & rescue has about 30 members, and one-third of them went out on this latest call.

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