UT: Missing Taylorsville hunter found sleeping after 2 days in tough terrain
October 12, 2010
Missing Taylorsville hunter found sleeping after 2 days in tough terrain
ROOSEVELT - Juanita Drew's first words to her father Monday were fairly
"I said, 'You're in trouble,'?" Drew told the Deseret News with a smile
on her lips, "and he just got teary-eyed and said, 'I know it.'?"
Ralph Dobbs, 82, of Taylorsville, had just been found by five members of
the Duchesne County sheriff's search and rescue team after spending nearly
48 hours wandering around Dry Gulch Canyon north of the town of Mountain
Home. Drew and other family members saw him for the first time as he was
being transferred from the state Department of Public Safety helicopter to
an ambulance that would take him to Uintah Basin Medical Center in
Ralph Dobbs of Taylorsville is wheeled into the emergency room at Uintah
Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt, Utah after he was found by search and
rescue crews Monday, Oct. 11, 2010. Dobbs, 82, was missing in the canyons
north of Mountain Home, Duchesne County, for nearly 48 hours.
"He said he tried to get down the hill, but the terrain was too bad,"
Duchesne County Sheriff Travis Mitchell said five searchers on horseback
were in an area known locally as Adams Creek when one of them spotted an
orange hat in a field. The men dismounted and began a methodical search. It
ended about 12:30 p.m. when one of them saw a small blaze of orange in a
heavy stand of brush about 150 yards west of where Dobbs' hat was found.
Mitchell said Dobbs was found lying face up, sleeping.
"He was into some really rough, really thick stuff," the sheriff said.
"He was very disoriented. I don't think he would have moved from that spot."
Searchers helped Dobbs walk to their horses, then moved him on horseback
to an area where the helicopter could land.
"He started coming around in the helicopter," Mitchell said, noting that
crews provided Dobbs with water and some food after finding him.
Dobbs was dressed in relatively warm clothes and had a canteen, the
sheriff said, but had no means of starting a fire.
Dobbs, who was in Duchesne County to hunt elk, was last seen about 3 p.m.
Saturday, according to Mitchell. He was staying with a friend at the
Yellowstone Ranch, the sheriff said. His ATV was found abandoned by his
friend Sunday morning in the area of Dry Gulch Canyon.
The sheriff's office first learned Dobbs was missing about 1 p.m. Sunday
and began its search.
The incident is not the first time Dobbs has gone missing in the same
area, Mitchell said. About six years ago, the sheriff's office was called
out to look for Dobbs after he went missing in Dry Gulch Canyon. He was
found after he walked out of nearby Yellowstone Canyon.
Drew said her father was suffering from hypothermia when he was found
Monday and had numerous abrasions.
"He told us he fell down 19 times," she said. "But he's in real good
spirits. He's such an independent person."
As if to reassert his independence, Dobbs has refused to go home with
family members, Drew said. Instead, he planned to leave the hospital Tuesday
today after a night of observation Monday and return to the ranch to pack
his gear and then drive himself home.
"One of our guys told him, 'We've been looking for you. You were lost,'?"
Mitchell said. "He replied, 'I'm not lost. I'm still in the United States.'".
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