Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR) located two missing Hot Sulphur Springs hunters on Friday, Oct. 28, after conducting a night search near Hot Suplphur Springs.
James “J.W.” Lawrence, 14, and Tim Wishon Jr., 22, had left their camp in Long Park for an afternoon of hunting around 1:30 p.m. They were equipped with rifles, water and an FRS radio. Long Park is west of County Road 3, about 8 miles south of Hot Sulphur Springs.
After wounding an elk around 3:30 p.m., they called in to their camp but shortly afterward their radio ran out of battery. When they did not return by sunset a search effort was started by the other members of their party.
Due to the “at risk” nature of the situation including the young age of Lawrence, medical issues, lack of appropriate clothing and equipment along with sub-freezing temperatures GCSAR initiated a night search for the missing hunters.
A team of GCSAR members and several local citizens entered the field just after 3 a.m. Saturday morning. A second team staffed with more citizen volunteers was working to clear all the nearby 4x4 roads by ATV while two Grand County Sheriff''s deputies were providing containment on other roads.
Near the hunter's camp, the foot team found the tracks of the men and began to follow them. The track indicated that the two had wounded the elk and then tracked the blood trail of the elk until at some point they abandoned the hunt and started moving cross country, away from their hunting camp.
About 7:30 a.m. Wishon and Lawrence were found by the tracking team in an abandoned cabin in Cow Creek, about two air miles from their starting point. They were cold and tired but otherwise in good health. Even though the cabin had a stove, they had no way to start a fire.
After being transported by ATV and checked out by EMS, they were reunited with their families.