The first hunting casualty in Northwest Colorado this year was confirmed Monday in Routt County.
Kristopher Carrol Key, 36, of Benton, La., was found dead after a three-day search. Key was bow hunting in the Shield Mountain area 39 miles north of Steamboat Springs when he died.
The search for Key began Friday about noon after he was reported late returning from his hunt.
Routt County Search and Rescue found his body Monday at 3 p.m. The cause of death is being investigated by the Routt County Sheriff's Department and the Routt County Coroner's Office.
Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead believes there are precautions hunters can take to reduce the chances of medical problems while hunting and to help authorities with a search if something should go wrong in the field.
Grinstead said it is good practice that hunters always let someone know the location they are hunting and when they expect to come back. If possible, give specific directions to the area the hunter plans to be in, for example, a certain drainage or reservoir.
"We at least will have a good starting area to look if a hunter doesn't show up when they're expected to," said Grinstead.
Grinstead also recommends people give themselves a day or two to acclimate to the Colorado altitude before they start hunting and hiking. This will help the hunter decrease chances of suffering a heart attack or aggravating a pre-existing medical condition, according to Grinstead.