Elk NetworkLost Elk Hunters Rescued in Northeast Oregon

General | November 13, 2020

Ever been lost in the backcountry? Below is a Facebook post from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office about two elk hunters who called for and received help after getting lost in the forest.

On November 8, 2020, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Umatilla County Dispatch received a call from Bruce Bryan, age 64, from Oregon City, stating that he and his grandson, Jesse Bryan, age 17, were lost in the Coyote Ridge area since about 4:00 p.m. Bryan said they were elk hunting and had hiked down a ridge from the Coyote Ridge Trailhead to the river and realized they were turned around. They were unable to locate the trail and walked in circles looking for it. They had been in the river four times and tried to use their GPS but were unable to get a reliable signal. The men climbed out of the drainage area to get cell service and called 911.  Both men were wet and cold and unable to get a fire started because everything was wet.

Search and Rescue volunteers, Bob Carrell, Dottie Carrell and Shari Mueller responded to the trailhead and located the hunters’ vehicle.  Searchers Tom Phelan, Scott Schuening and Sgt. Dwight Johnson drove to Bingham road, then began hiking toward the lost hunters. Phelan, Schuening and Johnson hiked for approximately four hours through snow, washed out areas from the spring floods, fallen trees, thick brush and waded across Coyote Creek before locating the hunters.

The men were located about 3:00 a.m. and were cold and wet, but not injured.  They all walked out and arrived at their vehicles about 8:30 a.m.  Bryan said they were completely disoriented and did not think they would have found their way out without the Search and Rescue team.

(Photo source: Great Smoky Mountains National Park)