For Immediate Release 10-31-11 at 5:07 p.m.
(Bozeman) – Gallatin County Search and Rescue personnel were able to locate a pair of hunters this morning after the two spent a chilly night on the west side of the Bridger Mountains.
According to Incident Commander Deputy Mark Hernandez of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the hunters, a father and son from Park County, began their hunting trip Sunday when they hiked the Fairy Lake trailhead and over Sacajawea Peak. The two hunters were looking to fill a mountain goat tag.
After successfully killing their game, the two dressed the animal out and began packing portions of the carcass out. Instead of traveling back over Sacajawea Peak (east), the pair attempted to hike downhill (west), toward Bozeman. Their assumption that going downhill would be easier tuned out to be wrong. The hike turned out to be much tougher and disorienting than they thought and when it got dark the hunters stopped, made a campfire and called their families to let them know they were lost and where they thought they were. Then their cell phone died.
Search and Rescue units were dispatched to the area after 11:00 o’clock when the families called 9-1-1. Last night’s search was unsuccessful, but an early helicopter recon flight by searchers this morning located the hunters in Dry Canyon, about two miles east of Springhill Community Road.
Other than having to spend a long night under a goat skin, both hunters were uninjured.
“Once again we remind hunters to be prepared,” says Deputy Hernandez. “A day trip can turn into a back country overnight stay very quickly. We urge hunters to take extra clothing, fire-making supplies, a first aid kit, a charged cell phone, extra food and extra water.”
Hernandez adds, “When these two hunters realized they were faced with a night in the woods, they did the right thing. They let someone know, they stayed put and they built a fire. They may have lost some sleep, we got them home safe and sound.”