Lost Hunters Sleep Under Goat Skin

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A father and son went hunting Sunday in the Bridger Mountains of Montana to fill their goat tag. After shooting their goat, they added the extra weight of the goat carcass to their packs. Then instead of returning the way they came, they chose a different route and assumed going downhill would be an easier task now that their packs had the extra weight. This was not the case, it was a very strenuous hike down and the pair got disoriented.

Nightfall was setting in on the pair. They started a fire, called their family to let them know they were lost, and their assumed location. Their cellphone died soon after the call. For extra warmth the men slept under the fresh goat skin.

The family of the lost men called 911, and responders got out around 11 pm but could not find the pair. Monday a helicopter was dispatched as well. Gallatin County Search and Rescue were able to find the men Monday morning and they were unharmed.

"Once again we remind hunters to be prepared," Incident Commander Deputy Mark Hernandez of the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said in the release. "A day trip can turn into a back country overnight stay very quickly. We urge hunters to take extra clothing, fire-making supplies, a first aid kit, a charged cell phone, extra food and extra water." The duo did do the right thing by calling after realizing they were lost, and building a fire and staying in the area. Glad that they were found safe and are home now. From KRTV.com.


hunter25's picture

An amazing survival story

An amazing survival story here and I'm happy it's not a situation that I have ever fund myself in. I have hunted goats before and hopefully will again. If your not one hundred percent sure of where you are heading then it's usually not a good idea to go there. If you have a map and compass or a gps it's not so bad but otherwise just like these guys you could find yurself in a lot of trouble. I can't imagine a goat hide being enough to keep even one person warm enough to survive in th econditions up there. And having your son with for me would make it even worse thinking of what my decision could cost.

I very happy these guys made it out ok and that they were lucky enough for the phone to work. Every decision in the mountains could be very costly so make sure you make the right one.

COMeatHunter's picture

Sounds like Man vs. Wild

This sounds like an episode of Man vs. Wild.  Sleeping under the goat skin?  Geez.  Fortunately, I've never been lost long enough to have to spend a night in the woods.  But then again, I don't set foot into the woods, no matter how well I know the area or how many times I've been there, without my map and compass.  I would probably choose to go downhill too, but not without my map to plot a route back to the rig.

I'm glad they got out OK and had the presence of mind to make a fire and do their best to stay warm and safe overnight.  I'm betting they were pretty darn cold come morning.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Wow!  Lucky for them they

Wow!  Lucky for them they were "prepared", and had shot a goat.  Having that goat skin had to have helped out tremendously.  Glad to see they got out okay.  I am sure that it helped that they were together, at least mentally.  If you're alone, then you have to play the mental game as well as keep yourself physically okay.

Even if it's the tougher way, it's always the best idea to backtrack, unless you know another way to go.  You shouldn't just assume one way is going to get you back to where you need to go.  Keep to the familiar routes so you don't get lost.  And, as they said, the best thing they could do was to stay in the area until help arrived.  Make yourself comfortable, gather the basics for survival, and stay put!

Retired2hunt's picture

  Definitely good to read


Definitely good to read that these two hunters were able to make it out safely with the help of the county's Search and Rescue people - My hats off to these people who volunteer their time or choose this job as their career. 

It reads as the two hunters did have some supplies based on being able to build a fire.  But I think most likely they were missing other things - like a compass and a map of the area.  I bet their next hunting trip will include more within the pack - or at least I would hope so. 

Glad this came to a good ending and congrats to them for their harvest.


groovy mike's picture

I'm glad to hear this had a happy ending.

I'm glad to hear this had a happy ending.  I think I would have slept on TOP of the goat skin rather than under it, but maybe they didn't have anything else to cover up with.  They definitely made a smart decision to call their family and let them know that they were lost.  That started with the good decision to bring the cell phone along on the hunt.  As you have seen here on BGH often - it is wise to be prepared.  ALWAYS carry a small day pack - ALWAYS have fire starting equipment in it.  A thermal blanket ('space balnket') doesn't take up much room and is well worth carrying the little bit of weight if you ever need it.  Food and water are also good choices to bring along.  Most of us already know this and these guys probably did too.  It might have saved their lives.  At the very least it made them more comfortable until rescue.  I'm glad that they not only got teh goat, but got it out too.

LAAngels's picture

Sounds like they were fairly

Sounds like they were fairly well prepared.  I have to agree with Mike though, always carry a space blanket.  They don't take up any more room than a box of shells and I have used mine and you would be surprised how well they work holding your body heat in.  Another thing to remember is to shut your cell phone off while hunting as you are usually (in MT anyway) not in service areas and 'searching for service' doesn't help your battery life.