Idaho Hunter Survives 5 Days in Woods

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ghostrider, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Idaho Hunter Survives 5 Days in Woods

    Monday, October 23, 2006
    STANLEY, Idaho — A wrong turn changed an overnight trip into nearly a week of shivering and hunger in the snowy Sawtooth Mountains for a hunter who finally made it to safety on his own.
    Bill Helfferich set out on his two-day solo elk hunt on Oct. 15, but several hours after parking his truck, he took a wrong turn and found he was outside the area covered by his topographical map for a section of central Idaho near the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
    After snow began falling he decided to wait out the storm, hoping rescuers would soon be on his trail when he didn't return to his home and family in Eagle, near Boise, about 120 miles to the south.
    That first night was one of the worst of his five-night ordeal, he told the Idaho Statesman.
    "I shivered the whole night long,"said Helfferich, 53.
    He ate snow to stifle hunger pangs, and occasionally thought of shooting tiny pine squirrels at his camp site.
    "I ... decided I wasn't that hungry yet,"he said.
    At one point, he said, he was surrounded by a pack of howling wolves.
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    Custer County Sheriff's Deputy Levi Maydole said search groups shifted their focus to body recovery.
    "Day three was hopeful, but we had to start thinking of the inevitable here,"Maydole said."On day four, hopes begin to drain off. On day five, we don't expect to find people in those conditions at that time of year in that wilderness."
    By Friday, Helfferich decided help wasn't coming, so he opted to try to hike out of the woods on his own. He found some researchers studying pine beetle damage, and they gave him a ride to Stanley.
    He estimated he had covered a total of about 24 miles on foot.
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Boy he made some mistakes. Just goes to show that natural selection is sometimes elastic.:rolleyes:
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Yup he is very lucky that is one of the most rugged parts to be found in the world Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness has taken a few lives.
  4. Electric-Amish

    Electric-Amish Monkey+++

    Note to self:

    Be extra careful in a place called "No Return Wilderness".

  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    hehe. There is a National Park in TN called "Frozen Head"

    Also heard a report of a Diabetic guy lost in KY for the last few days. FOund his candy wrapper and an empty insulin syringe today but still no sign of him. Supposed to drop to below freezing tonight out his way.

    A lot of these things can be avoided by taking a few precautions
  6. Electric-Amish

    Electric-Amish Monkey+++

    I feel for the Diabetic guy.

    I just went on a camp out this weekend and couldn't sleep because of the cold on my head, neck and, shoulders. I have a 20 degree bag which was plenty warm but its the square style so no head cover.

    Windy high 30s low 40s would really suck without tent and bag.

    I hope he can be found quick.


    P.S. I drove past a town named Knob Lick
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    :lol: Used to live next to a park called "Big Bone Lick"

    Yeah. The hood makes all the difference. Last weekend at Knob Creek was cold. I woke up almost shivering until I cinched the hood down around my face. Was sweating the next morning. Might be good to try sleeping with a hat in your bag E-A
  8. Electric-Amish

    Electric-Amish Monkey+++

    There must be a technique for those drafts on the neck and shoulders.

    Maybe a hooded coat snapped around your neck and enclosing the bag.

    I'm looking at a Big Agnes sleeping bag so maybe this won't be an issue next year.

    In the Missouri Ozarks there a place called Bald Knob.

    This could be its own thread.

  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    close hood, pull hands in and zip up then velcro the neck draft then the chest.
    I hope that helps
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