Park County Search and Rescue Saves Hunter with Impaled Leg
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 1, 2020
Park County Search and Rescue – at it again!
The latest call to the county’s elite rescue team was received on Monday afternoon. At 2:30 p.m., the Park County Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call regarding Walter Zimbelman, a 61-year-old hunter from Fullerton, North Dakota.
Zimbelman and two other individuals were hunting and successfully bagged an elk on the Meeteetse side of Carter Mountain. While field-dressing the trophy, Zimbelman rolled on a knife, which was impaled into his leg just below his knee.
By 3 p.m., Park County Search and Rescue deployed a ground team in their rescue side-by-side to reach the hunting party’s location. The team was joined by Cody Regional Health’s wilderness medical team and a Wyoming Game and Fish officer, who just happened to be in the area and was willing to assist.
A Guardian Flight medical helicopter was also called and flew directly to the scene.
By 3:34 p.m. the helicopter located the hunting party and was able to land within 200 feet of Zimbelman’s location. was conscious and alert but had no feeling in the injured leg.
The rest of the team arrived by 4:20 p.m., and by 4:30 p.m. Zimbelman was secured and aboard the helicopter, which evacuated him to the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings.
As of Tuesday evening, Walter Zimbelman’s condition is unknown.
This is the Park County Search and Rescue’s first call since early October, when another hunter in the Shoshone Plateau fell into a ravine, breaking his leg and requiring helicopter evacuation from the Sublette County Tip-Top chopper.
It’s been a busy year for the team, with at least eight calls and successful evacuations in Park County in 2020. It’s why Park County Sheriff Scott Steward calls the team “a resource that is invaluable to the residents and visitors of Park County.”