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Hunter Not Lost, Just In A Bad Mood

October 23, 2007.

A South Carolina hunter disappeared in to the mountains on the opening day of Colorado's 2nd combined rifle elk and deer season after squabbling with his companions. Snow and cold moved in that night, and the next morning one of his partners hitched a ride to get within cell phone range and call out the Mesa County Search and Rescue team to look for his missing companion.

On Sunday at 2:00pm, about 30 county, state, and federal officials began to search for the hunter on foot and with the use of a helicopter. Around 6:30pm, however, they received a call from the man's wife. Turned out he wasn't missing after all -- his temper tantrum over the hunting camp squabble had prompted him to hop on a bus back to South Carolina without telling his partners.

Upon recieving this new information, the expensive search and rescue effort was called off.

But the story continued...

It turned out that the man had lied to his wife for some reason, and was not on a bus back to South Carolina. He was, in fact, hanging out in a room at the Rocky Mountain Inn in Paonia, Colorado. He had called another of his relatives and asked them to wire him money for the room. (Rooms at the Rocky Mountain Inn go for $55-75 per night. Tip for traveling hunters -- take a credit card or at least a few $20s to cover miscellaneous expenses, especially if you're prone to tantrums).

The latest report on this guy was that his dad was driving from South Carolina to pick him up and take him home. Although the hunter is 30 years old, it seems like a little parental supervision might be just what he needs.

Note that the fee for a Colorado hunting license includes a $0.25 Search and Rescue fee, so it is unlikely he will be billed for all the trouble and expense he caused.


Coverage from the Grand Junction Sentinel.

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