Search and Rescue helps hunter during overnight mission on Rabbit Ears Pass | SteamboatToday.com

Search and Rescue helps hunter during overnight mission on Rabbit Ears Pass

Routt County Search and Rescue volunteer Jason Weber helps a hunter Tuesday morning in steep terrain on Rabbit Ears Pass.

— Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers scaled steep rocky terrain and trudged through snow and mud to help a hunter on Rabbit Ears Pass during the early morning hours Tuesday.

Incident Commander Kristia Check-Hill said they were contacted at 10:30 p.m. Monday by an Ohio man who was hunting with his 18-year-old son. The man said his son had been separated from the hunting party. The son texted his dad his coordinates and wrote that he was cold, wet, not in good terrain and he needed help.

The son had fallen in a creek, had limited food but he did have a map and compass.

With cold overnight temperatures expected, Check-Hill decided to assemble a team to help the son. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, volunteers Jason Weber and Delbert Bostock took four-wheelers to the end of Forest Service Road 296 off U.S. Highway 40 and then bushwhacked their way another 1.5 miles. They reached the son at 5 a.m. east of the Walton Creek drainage. By then he had built a fire. The rescuers and the son warmed up before beginning the hike out in the daylight at about 7 a.m. They returned to the West Summit at about 9:30 a.m.

"He was fine," Check-Hill said. "He was just exhausted, wet and cold."

Check-Hill wanted to remind people that it is hunting season, and she urged hunters to be prepared when heading out into the backcountry.

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"Please be prepared," Check-Hill said. "We've been kind of busy already."

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

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