MT: Bitterroot Valley hunter found dead in Big Creek area
October 18, 2010
Bitterroot Valley hunter found dead in Big Creek area
HAMILTON - The body of a missing hunter from the Hamilton area was
recovered in the Big Creek area northwest of Victor on Saturday afternoon by
Ravalli County Search and Rescue, one day after family members reported him
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman confirmed that the man was Chris K.
The Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula is examining the cause of death.
According Hoffman, his office received word that there was an overdue
hunter on Friday.
"He had set up camp on Oct. 10 six miles from the Big Creek trailhead,"
Hoffman said. "There was some expectation that he would come out in the
middle of last week. When he didn't show up, Forest Service rangers noticed
that his camp didn't look occupied. His family rode up and couldn't find him
The sheriff's office and Ravalli County Search and Rescue began to search
for the man Friday and into the night.
"Everyone stayed in the hills Friday and continued looking," Hoffman
said. "We had 10 people looking, along with another half-dozen civilian
friends and family members looking."
St. Patrick Hospital's LifeFlight helicopter was also involved in the
search. On Saturday, the LifeFlight crew spotted a piece of camping gear
above the original camp and directed Search and Rescue staff to the site.
Searchers on the ground found the piece of gear and from there they followed
footprints to the missing hunter.
"Unfortunately, when they found him he was deceased and he had been there
for a couple of days," Hoffman said. "We got a helicopter to recover him and
he was taken from there to the state crime lab in Missoula. We are still
waiting on the cause of death, but it doesn't look like he met a violent end
and it didn't appear that his death was caused by an animal. We are looking
into whether he took a fall or if there was some underlying medical issue.".
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