SAR Called Out Three Times Sunday | Big Horn Basin Media

SAR Rescues Bear Victim, County Commissioner Sunday

Written by on September 11, 2018

Park County’s volunteer Search and Rescue squad was exceptionally busy on Sunday.
Beginning early Sunday afternoon, the team responded to three separate emergencies over a 6 hour time period.
The first was the rescue of Park County Commissioner Jake Fulkerson, who had become injured when a boulder rolled onto his foot while he was hiking alone near the summit of Crow Peak. Lance Mathess with the Park County Sheriff’s Office says Fulkerson was fortunate that he heeded the advice of the staff at a nearby lodge and took a radio with him.

Fulkerson was evacuated from the site by a short haul helicopter from Tip Top Search and Rescue from Sublette County, and is recovering from his injuries. Mathess adds that Fulkerson took the whole thing in stride.

While this rescue was happening, dispatch received a call from a woman at the Top of the World Store who reported that a man had been mauled by a bear near Granite Lake. 48 year old Bradley Johnson from Plymouth, Minnesota was backpacking with three friends when the attack took place.
According to the report, Johnson was hiking ahead of his three companions when he was attacked by two bears. Based on the initial investigation by Game and Fish, this appears to be a surprise encounter between the individual and two bears, and the encounter happened too suddenly for Johnson to deploy the bear spray he was carrying. Dan Smith, Wildlife Supervisor for the Game and Fish Cody Office, says that the investigation is ongoing.

Johnson suffered severe injuries to his arm, shoulder, and back. A helicopter from Guardian Flight was able to evacuate him and two of his companions, but had to leave one behind, due to limited space.
The remaining hiker, Justin Reed from Medina, Minnesota, was left behind at Granite Lake, and because night was approaching and he was afraid he would get disoriented, Reed was unwilling to walk out alone. A Search and Rescue ground team was deployed from the Muddy Creek Trailhead to guide him out.
Then, at 6:25 p.m., dispatch was notified of a Cody woman who had become separated from her husband in the forest west of Crandall. 57 year old Kelli Snyder was reported missing by her husband, Robert Blaine Snyder. A ground and air search began, but just over an hour later, Snyder herself called dispatch to say she had found her way to Painter’s Outpost, and was unharmed.
Sheriff Scott Steward commended the selflessness of the Search and Rescue members, whom he called “true heroes.” He noted that residents and visitors alike can feel confident that help is on the way should they ever have the need.

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