Lost Hunters Found with Cooperative Effort
Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
John Schulz, Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office Deputy Donnie Robbins was checking out his family's new walkie-talkie radios last Saturday night when he suddenly heard a hunter calling for help. Deputy Robbins immediately notified the Larimer County Sheriff's Office Emergency Services unit of the lost hunter who said he was in the Crown Point area near Pingree Park in rural Larimer County. Attempts to contact the hunter were not successful.
That call involved not only Deputy Robbins and the Emergency Services personnel but ultimately included Larimer County Search & Rescue, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office Posse, Poudre Valley Ambulance medical units, the Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol and the Civil Air Patrol. At 11,000 feet, the weather was definitely a factor with temperatures below freezing, six inches of snow on the ground and light flurries.
The 30-year-old hunter, a Livermore man, was finally spotted early Sunday afternoon by the Civil Air Patrol who directed searchers to his location. After more than a 17-hour search, the hunter was found cold and tired but otherwise alright.
As the search got underway for the original hunter on Saturday night, the team received another report of a father and son hunting team who were lost in the same area. The father and son, from Loveland, were located mid-morning on Sunday and, after being checked by the medical team, were released.
Sheriff Justin Smith said, "This is an excellent example where cooperation between Patrol, Emergency Services, Search & Rescue and the Posse as well as the assistance and cooperation of others resulted in a positive outcome."
Hunters, and others, are reminded to follow some basic guidelines when enjoying the beautiful outdoors in Larimer County .
• Tell someone where you’re going, your general route and when you intend to return. Stick to your time frame or you may find yourself the object of a search the next day, and don’t separate from your hunting companions unless you have an emergency. If you change your plans at the last minute, leave a note on your car with the new plans.
• Carry matches, first aid kit, a flashlight with fresh batteries and clothes warm enough to wear if you have to spend the night. Be sure to have a whistle or other noisemaking device you could use to help rescuers locate you if needed.
• Have rain & snow gear with you on every hunt. Colorado weather can change quickly. When your clothes are soaking wet, hypothermia is a danger even in the summer and rain parkas can provide extra warmth. The same goes for ponchos, which can also provide rudimentary shelter. Carry an extra jacket and gear. Dress appropriately, the weather where you are hunting at may be radically different than where you start.
• Carry a map and compass and don’t be lulled into a sense of security by merely carrying them as a magic talisman. You also need to know how to use them. If you’re unsure, get a book on the subject of “orienteering.” If you have a GPS unit, practice its proper use and bring it with you. Recognize that there may be times when the GPS, like the cell phone, will not work on our mountain trails.
• Don’t depend on a cell phone to send a plea for assistance if you get into trouble, another very good reason to avoid going solo. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged if you take it.
• What to do if you are lost - Stop walking! Find a tree to hug. Draw attention to yourself any safe way
possible. Put on your brightest clothing. Yell or whistle if you hear your name called or another whistle.
Keep calm! Pull out your survival gear, build a fire if necessary, and wait. If you have a cell phone, and can find a cell signal, call 911. Do not waste batteries calling friends and family.