Search crews locate hunters

Two seniors safe after spending a cold night out in the woods

Two seniors out hunting got more than they bargained for when their vehicle broke down last Thursday.

Cindy Smith, a volunteer with Penticton Search and Rescue, said they were tasked by RCMP to find an 83-year-old and 70-year-old whose family was concerned when they did not return from a hunting trip. RCMP found their vehicle on Forestry Road 201 but did not know at the time it was abandoned because it had broken down. The hunters had left the vehicle around 4 p.m. and decided to try and walk out.

“They made it about four kilometres down the road and decided to go off the road to a cabin. It was all boarded up but there was some wood so they made themselves a little fire,” said Smith. “I think up there it got to around -3C so I’m not sure how well, especially one gentleman, would have fared had they spent the rest of the night out there. I think he was getting pretty cold.”

Penticton Search and Rescue were called around 1:30 a.m. and dispatched their mobile command unit, quads and the dog team.

“It was the dog master that found the men. He was in his truck at the time as he leap-frogged ahead of the trackers looking to see if and when the tracks left the road,” said Smith.

The older man was transported by BC Ambulance to be checked out at the hospital, and Smith said as far as she knew the man was fine. The 70-year-old man was given a ride home by RCMP.

Smith said the hunters had given the impression that they were going to a different area, so it took RCMP some time to locate the broken-down vehicle.

“It highlights the importance of letting someone know where you are going and to actually go where you say you are going. If you change your mind, let someone know,” said Smith.