(West Yellowstone, Mont.) On October 27, 2016 at 12:30 p.m., West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a 911 call from a hunting guide reporting that one of his hunters had sustained a compound fracture of his leg after being kicked by a horse. The incident took place on the Kirkwood Trail approximately seven miles from the trailhead, which is about sixteen miles northwest of the town of West Yellowstone. The injured party was a 49-year-old male from South Dakota who was on a guided hunt with friends.
Due to the recent large rain showers, the resulting muddy trails, and accessibility to the area only by hiking or horseback; Gallatin County Search & Rescue personnel made the decision to launch a helicopter from Air Idaho to retrieve the injured hunter.
The Air Idaho helicopter was able to land safely at the scene, package the injured hunter, and transport him to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for medical evaluation.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind hunters that the outdoors we enjoy can quickly become a dangerous arena, particularly if you are unprepared. Make sure you have proper survival gear, clothing, food, water and first aid gear. Traveling with a group can also be extremely beneficial as an injury such as this can be immediately and completely debilitating. The hunting party in this case had multiple means of communication, emergency equipment, gear to survive in the wilderness for days, and the ability to provide rescuers with exact GPS coordinates.