Search and rescue volunteers respond to lost hunter
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers received a call Saturday evening for a lost hunter north of Hayden in the Elkhead Creek area.
The man had been hunting on a ranch in the area with outfitters during the day, then decided to go out on his own. He got lost several hours in and called the outfitters to tell them where he thought he was. Outfitters told him to walk down the river about a mile toward a group of cabins, where they said they would pick him up. When the man did not arrive, the outfitters called Search and Rescue.
“We got really lucky,” said Jay Bowman, Search and Rescue president.
The group had a team in the field getting ready to start out on foot to go to the hunter’s last known spot. Classic Air Medical was called in to help, and the helicopter arrived right before Search and Rescue started into the field. Medical personnel used night vision goggles to find the lost hunter and then flew him to the Craig-Moffat Airport, where his hunting partners picked him up.
While Bowman was not positive about the man’s condition, the fact that the medics flew the hunter to the airport rather than taking him to a hospital means he was likely fine, Bowman said.
As temperatures continue to drop, Bowman said those venturing into remote areas, particularly those without cellphone service, should be prepared to stay out longer than planned in case of emergency.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve had three searches where we’ve been out almost all night,” he said. “All three of those people were not expecting to be out very long.”
Bowman recommends bringing an extra set of warm clothes, nonperishable foods, resources to start a fire and a means to contact someone in case of emergency.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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