Search and Rescue staying busy during hunting season | SteamboatToday.com

Search and Rescue staying busy during hunting season

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Even the most experienced hunters can get in trouble in the backcountry, and there are a lot of them in the woods right now trying to fill up their freezers with meat.

"It's usually our busiest time of the year," Routt County Search and Rescue volunteer Delbert Bostock said.

A mission on Tuesday had a good ending.

On Monday night, Search and Rescue members learned about an overdue hunter.

Bostock said the hunter, who is from the Front Range and is familiar with the area, was dropped off in the Big Red Park area Monday morning but did not return to the designated pick-up spot at the end of the day.

Bostock said the people who reported that the hunter was overdue were not too concerned because the hunter was prepared to spend the night.

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Five Search and Rescue members went up to Big Red Park on Tuesday morning and began searching for the man.

They located him Tuesday afternoon three miles from where he was supposed to get picked up.

The hunter was tired, a little banged up from a fall but did not require medical treatment.

Also on Tuesday, North Routt Fire Protection District firefighters helped a hunter who had signs of altitude sickness.

The young man was having difficulty breathing and had chest pain. He was driven by someone in his hunting party to meet firefighters and was then taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Fire Chief Mike Swinsick said it was a classic case of someone coming from lower to higher elevations.

Altitude sickness is serious and can be deadly.

"It can be if the person doesn't recognize the signs and symptoms and get themselves to lower elevations," Swinsick said.

Two years ago, after a four-day-search, the body of a 43-year-old male hunter was found in North Routt County.

The man died of altitude sickness with an enlarged heart contributing to his death.

Last month, a 20-year-old woman died after coming down with altitude sickness on the Conundrum Creek Trail near Aspen.

Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep and a general feeling of malaise.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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