Missing Hunters, as paged

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jimmnn

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Rescuers in Garfield County were hoping an unidentified hunter's outdoor skills would help him survive the night after a foot of snow hampered their search. Eagle County SAR mutual aid this morning.

"With snow the great insulator, all you need is a candle to stay warm, if you know how to build a shelter," Garfield County Sheriff's Deputy Evan Mead said. "It all depends on him."

In Routt County, searchers were looking for William Porter, 54, of Prospect who was last seen Monday when he went out to get an elk he had shot on Sugarloaf Mountain, said Darrel Levingston, Routt County Search and Rescue. CSRB activated for mutual aid resources along with CAP this morning as well.

Jim<
 

jimmnn

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A hunter lost in the snowstorm that hit the high country Tuesday spent a cold night in the open but was found by friends Wednesday morning.

Roger H. Debenham, 68, of Drake, got lost while hunting south of Heart Lake in the Flat Tops north of Glenwood Springs.

According to Tanny McGinnis, community relations deputy with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, Debenham had gone off to hunt on his own and became disoriented during the snowstorm.

He was reported missing at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after he missed a rendezvous with others in his hunting group and they were unable to reach him by two-way radio. Garfield and Eagle County search and rescue teams were called out to look for him.

McGinnis said Debenham tried to light a fire but the wood was too wet to ignite. Then he made a bed out of pine boughs and spent the night. About 8:30 Wednesday morning rescuers were able to contact him via radio. They found him at 9:30 a.m. near Grizzly Lake, about three miles south of the group's hunting camp on White Owl Lake.

McGinnis said Debenham was uninjured.

The Associated Press reported that Debenham's wife spoke to him soon after he was found.

Karen Debenham said she had spoken to her husband and he was "as best as can be expected. He's tired, cold and hungry."
 

jimmnn

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Steamboat Springs — A hunter who was missing for almost three days was found alive and in good condition Wednesday night.

William Porter, 54, of Prospect was “in good condition and good spirits,” Routt County Search and Rescue spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said.

After losing his bearings during a snowstorm Monday, it appears Porter, an experienced woodsman, walked east until he reached another camp on Wednesday. Those campers took him to nearby Whispering Pine Lodge at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, when Porter used a borrowed cell phone to contact authorities.

Search and Rescue member Darrel Levingston said about 45 people searched for Porter on foot, horseback and by helicopter and plane Wednesday.

Porter, who was hunting with friends near Sugar Loaf Mountain, left his camp Monday to retrieve an elk he had killed the previous day, Levingston said. Porter’s three hunting companions spent Monday looking for him but lost his tracks under the falling snow.

Search and Rescue crews began searching the California Park and Sugar Loaf Mountain areas Tuesday. They were forced to call off the search at about 6:30 p.m. because of blowing snow and other hazardous conditions.

Levingston said Search and Rescue member Scott Havener and his search dog, Duke, remained on scene late Tuesday night and found the elk Porter had shot Sunday. Levingston also said Duke picked up “an area of high interest” near where Porter’s tracks had been covered by snow.

Members of Porter’s family were in Routt County assisting with the search, Levingston said.

“We’re very excited,” Polumbus said. “We’re thankful to everyone who participated in the search.

Levingston said he didn’t know what steps Porter took to get through two nights in the wilderness.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
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