A hunter in Colorado was rescued on Saturday night after a search team happened to take a look in an area where he wasn’t thought to be.
The hunter, who was not identified, had reportedly been given access to hunt elk on private land along with his hunting group, who set out earlier in the day and separated, with the intention of regrouping before dark, CBS4 reported. The man lost his bearings, however, and phoned his group from the top of a ridge in order to let them know he was lost.
His friends told him to start making his way south — but he didn’t go south.
Presumably by mistake, the hunter trekked north for another mile or so, according to Routt County Search and Rescue, who said the man had headed straight for “extremely isolated and rugged” terrain.
While preparing search parties that evening, a medical helicopter with the Routt County Search and Rescue just happened to fly north of where the man was last thought to be. The chopper’s crew then spotted him with night vision technology just before midnight and reunited him with his group shortly afterward.
He did not require medical attention, per CBS4.
The hunter lost his bearings, however, and phoned his group from the top of a ridge in order to let them know he was lost.
If the man hadn’t been located on Saturday night, the situation could have been direr, as the man did not have any overnight gear, and winds had reached 50 miles per hour in parks, said Routt County Search and Rescue President Jay Bowman.
Not every lost hunter is as lucky. Just days before, Routt County Search and Rescue was dispatched to find a 65-year-old hunter who got separated from his group last Monday, and wasn’t able to call for help until Tuesday, according to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
The rescue team eventually located the lost hunter early on Wednesday morning, but only after trekking five miles on ATVs, and then another mile-plus on foot.
“Even when we know where they are at, it is not a cakewalk,” said Kristia Check-Hill, an incident commander for Routt County Search and Rescue.