Hunter rescued after two days trapped in the woods near Dillon - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Hunter rescued after two days trapped in the woods near Dillon

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Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office

DILLON- It was a harrowing weekend for the hunter who spent an estimated 44 hours trapped under an ATV when he wrecked on a washed-out two-track road south of Dillon.

On Sunday afternoon, the Beaverhead Sheriff’s Office was notified of an overdue 69-year-old male hunter from the Bitterroot who was camping in the Hennabery area, 15 miles south of Dillon.

Sheriff Frank Kluesner said rescuers weren’t able to find the hunter on Sunday.

“One of the most important things you can do is tell someone where you’re going and let them know the area you’re hunting in,” said Sheriff Kluesner. 

On Monday, rescuers expanded the search area and the Montana Army National Guard came in to help with the aerial search. A UM-60M Blackhawk helicopter was deployed from Helena with five soldiers. At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, a ground team found the missing hunter and notified the helicopter crew, Kluesner said.

He says the hunter was found pinned under his ATV in a washed-out two-track road. Rescuers estimate he'd been there about 44 hours and was in critical condition. The man was airlifted to Barret Memorial Hospital in Dillon and then transferred to St. Patrick in Missoula. 

Another man also needed rescue on Friday afternoon after an ATV wreck at the south end of the Gravelly Mountains. A Lifeflight helicopter retrieved him from the scene less than two hours after the call. Kluesner says that man had a relative with him who helped rescuers find them. The man is hospitalized in Bozeman with critical injuries.

Both men are expected to be okay.

The sheriff's office responded to four calls in total for rescue over the weekend, Kluesner says. 

Beaverhead Search and Rescue Manager Mel Rice said it’s better to hunt with someone rather than alone. “If at all possible travel with a friend, don’t travel out there by yourself, because it’s proven that if you get in trouble, it’s going to be days before we find you, rather than hours before we find you.”

Rice said if you're hunting alone, leave a note at your site that says where you’re going if you can’t contact someone.

Sheriff Kluesner said they’ve already seen an increase in ATV accidents this year, and he wants to remind people to wear helmets and avoid washed-out areas. 

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