NEW CASTLE, Colo. -- 65 year old New Castle resident Dudley
Blaylock left his hunting camp on Saturday morning looking for a
bull elk to fill his tag.
He was camped near Meadow Lake in the White River National Forest,
north of Rifle. As it was getting late, he saw a six-point bull elk
disappear into some dark timber. He pursued the bull into the trees.
"I took about two steps and all of the sudden, I was falling," he
He isn't quite sure how he fell because it was so dark. He just
remembers falling for a long time. "As I hit, the butt of the rifle
came around and hit me in the back of the head." That's when he says
his mind goes blank.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. His first memory was seeing a
helicopter nearby and waving at it, not realizing that he was in
trouble. In fact, he believes he was actually hunting but doesn't
remember anything between then and the fall, including the entire
night spent outdoors.
At that point, his memory is fuzzy once again.
Meanwhile, rescuers from various agencies around the Western
Slope were combing the mountains looking for him in the rough
terrain. A helicopter was even dispatched from the Colorado National
Guard; the same helicopter he has memory of seeing. "I don't
remember anything until the next day (Monday) and it was snowing."
He recalls being cold and trying to start a fire. "By this time, it
was getting through my head that I was in trouble."
It took him a day and a half, including two nights outdoors, to
actually realize what had happened. Though his memory is dark, he
believes he just wandered around, dazed. He was unable to start the
fire because he could not get either of his lighters to work, but he
says that soon after, the helicopter returned. This time, he was
able to flag down the aircraft with his orange hat.
"The medic came down and asked me my name and I told him. And he
said, 'Are you hurt?' And I said, 'Yeah, I'm hurt.' I couldn't put
my thoughts together. I couldn't think of anything. Later on they
told me at the hospital that I had a concussion."
Initially, it was believed that he may have broken his back, but
the x-rays did not show that. He was also treated for possible
frostbite on his feet, but no permanent damage was found.
Blaylock is at home in New Castle, recovering now. He is still
suffering from a bad headaches, a severely sunburned face and is
quite sore, but is happy to be alive. He is also very grateful for
the search and rescue teams that found him. Though he did have some
provisions with him, he says that if he could change anything, he
would have brought some matches and more clothing. The fall, he
says, was just circumstance.
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