Montana News

Nov 1, 2011 12:08 PM by KBZK (Bozeman)

Lost hunters spent night under goat skin in Bridgers

More details have been released about the search for two hunters who were lost in the Bridger Mountains on Sunday night, including that they kept warm by spending the night under a goat skin.

Gallatin County Search & Rescue located the father and son from Park County on Monday morning.

The pair were looking to fill a mountain goat tag and began their hunting trip on Sunday, hiking the Fairy Lake Trailhead then over Sacajawea Peak, according to Incident Commander Deputy Mark Hernandez of the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.

After successfully killing their game, they dressed the animal out and began packing portions of the carcass out.

But instead of traveling east back over Sacajawea Peak, they 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," the Sheriff's office explained in a press release.

Search and rescue units were dispatched to the area after 11 p.m. on Sunday after their family called 911, but searchers could not find the men.

They resumed the search with the help of a helicopter on Monday morning. The hunters were found 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," the release states.

"Once again we remind hunters to be prepared," Hernandez said in the release. "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."

"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," he added.