Search and Rescue helps 65-year-old hunter separated from group
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers rescued a 65-year-old hunter Tuesday night who had gotten separated from his party.
The man ended up spending Monday night in the wilderness alone. By Tuesday, he had made contact with his group, telling them he would either make it back to the group by 4:30 p.m. or call for help.
Search and Rescue got the call around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday from the man who realized he was not going to make it back to his group. The man had injured his knee, which complicated his efforts to reconnect with his group.
Rescuers got a good location from the hunter’s call for help, which placed him off of Routt County Road 12 between Yampa and Phippsburg near Lawson Creek. While the team was on its way in, members were able to make further contact with the man through his cellphone.
“He was able to start a fire and stay a little bit warm, but he was pretty cold and wet at that point,” said Kristia Check-Hill, incident commander for Routt County Search and Rescue.
Volunteers trekked 5 miles on ATVs and another mile and a half on foot to reach the man.
Check-Hill said it would have been helpful had the hunter had a device that could have alerted him to where his camp was, like a GPS, potentially preventing the need for a rescue.
Search and Rescue personnel were able to get the hunter out and finish the call around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday after over nine hours.
“Even when we know where they are at, it is not a cakewalk,” Check-Hill said.
Check-Hill cautioned people to pay attention to the weather, bring some food and water and make sure someone else knows where they are going if they choose to go out into the backcountry.
“Even though it is that dreaded sunny afternoon in Colorado, we know that rule — wait five minutes, the weather might change on you,” Check-Hill added.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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