Hunters keep Rio Blanco sheriff busy

Heart attacks claim the lives of two out-of-staters

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— The Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with other agencies, conducted four search and rescue missions Monday, two of which involved fatalities.

Just before noon Monday, the Sheriff's Office received a report that a 73-year-old Wisconsin man who was hunting in the Pyramid Peak area, 48 miles northeast of Meeker, had a heart attack and stopped breathing. Other hunters tried to revive the man, but to no avail.

The Sheriff's Office, Rio Blanco County Search and Rescue and a Meeker Volunteer Fire and Rescue unit responded to the scene. The hunter, whose name is being withheld pending notification of the family, was found dead on arrival.

The second fatality also involved a heart attack, this time a mile north of Pagoda Peak, about two hours after the call for the first heart attack victim.

A 61-year-old Tennessee man was hunting with friends, who found him unconscious and not breathing. Authorities and rescue personnel also found him dead on arrival.

Sandwiched between the two fatalities were two other calls regarding hunters.

At about 9:43 a.m., a caller reported a 50-year-old Limon man hadn't been heard from since Saturday. He was on his way to a campsite 40 miles southwest of Meeker in the Piceance Creek Basin area but hadn't shown up as of Sunday morning.

Rio Blanco deputies, Colorado Division of Wildlife officers and a search plane were used to search for the hunter. He was found safe Monday morning at a camp site he had set up.

The fourth call was reported at 2:22 p.m. A caller reported that a 48-year-old Illinois man who was hunting in the Sawmill Mountain Area had been in a four-wheeler accident; the ATV rolled over him, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Authorities and rescue personnel responded to the scene, about 32 miles north of Meeker, and airlifted the man to Saint Mary's hospital in Grand Junction. He was last reported to be in stable condition.

Comments

advocate 7 years, 1 month ago

This is a grave reminder that hunters need to be physically active often and not just during hunting season. Although heart attacks are not necessarily preventable, there is a link between heart attack and subsequently fatality for men that are not very active most of the time, but who may do physical/stressful activities occasionally--hunting, shoveling snow. There are of course many more factors to consider, but part of hunting safety should be the consideration for physical activity prior to hunting season.

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