Missing hunter found around Thomasville

By Real Aspen
November 8, 2010

A hunter who became separated from his party was found this morning in the Thomasville area near Seller Meadow.

The missing hunter, 34-year-old Joseph Nelson, was found by another group of hunters around 9:15 a.m. Nelson became separated from the rest of his party at about 9 a.m. Sunday. Nelson’s brother-in-law reported him overdue at about 8 p.m. when he had not returned to camp.

Members of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Rescue Aspen, Basalt Ambulance, and West Eagle Search and Rescue responded to the area this morning. In addition, a Flight for Life helicopter was put on standby in the event that Nelson required speedy transportation. Two Basalt Volunteer Firefighters who were in the area also responded to aid in the search effort. Nelson was transported out of the field by West Eagle Search and Rescue members. He suffered only minor hypothermia and was cleared by the Basalt Ambulance.

It appears Nelson was found just in time. A storm was expected to move into the region Monday night.

This is the second hunter rescue in the last couple of weeks. Three hunters missing in the snowy and rugged environs of Flat Tops Wilderness were rescued by a National Guard helicopter Oct. 27.

The Division of Wildlife recommends that hunters always tells others where they are going, never go into the woods alone, bring proper clothing and equipment like a compass, survival kit and map of where they are going. They also advise staying put if you get lost.

"Hunters should always carry a personal survival kit that includes signaling devices, shelter and fire starter," Division of Wildlife education coordinator Mark Cousins said. "A larger vehicle survival kit with sleeping bag, food, water, shovel, sand and tire chains is also a good idea."
Hunters are currently taking part in the third rifle season, which runs through Sunday, Nov. 14. A fourth season is scheduled from Nov. 17 through Nov. 21.

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