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Missing hunter found safe west of Missoula

Posted at 1:20 PM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 21:04:21-05

Missoula County Search and Rescue was called out Sunday on a report of a missing hunter in the Nine Mile area west of Missoula.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reports that an 80-year-old male and his hunting partner decided to split up on Sunday afternoon to cover more ground. However, the man did not arrive back at the parked vehicle as originally intended.

A search crew was mobilized, and from late Sunday night into early Monday morning, ground search teams, a K9 team, and a drone were deployed to the area.

The lost hunter was located by search crews at approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday. Although the man was cold, tired, and thirsty he was in overall good condition, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities note that once lost, the hunter took all the correct steps to be located and to stay safe. At sundown the hunter decided to stay in the same area, which allowed search teams to more effectively narrow down the search parameters.

The man, who was dressed for the weather yet not ready for an overnight stay, periodically moved around to generate warmth. In addition to having a small supply of food on hand, the hunter kept a positive attitude during his time while lost.