Idaho- Missing Bowhunter (1968) Found

OutdoorWriter

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Idaho
By Channel 8 News Team
September 21, 2021 10:40 AM
Published September 21, 2021 10:50 AM

Remains recovered of bow hunter who went missing in 1968


LEMHI COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Lemhi County Sheriff's Office recovered the remains of a bow hunter who went missing in 1968.

39-year-old Raymond Jones of Salmon was bow hunting for a mountain goat in the east fork of Hayden Creek when he was last seen on Sept. 7, 1968. The next afternoon, Lemhi County Sheriff Bill Baker was called to the camp as Jones had not returned.

On Sept. 9, 1968, an official search was initiated and lasted for several days. The search was hampered by foul weather, and Jones was never located.

On Sept. 17, 2021 at about 4 p.m., the Lemhi County Sheriff's Office received a call from a bow hunter who was hunting in the east fork of Hayden Creek. The hunter was seeking a shortcut from one hunting area to another when he found human remains and contacted the sheriff's office.

Due to the lack of remaining daylight and ruggedness of the terrain, recovery efforts began on the morning of Sept. 18.

During the recovery effort, sheriff deputies found the remains and wallet which contained identification indicating this was indeed Jones.


Officials say next of kin has been notified.
 

Shadow

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I’ve been thinking about this one and I have to wonder what the family of this man is going through? I’m sure they’re relieved to finally have closure but at the same time having an old wound reopened must be tough.. Either way, you have to feel for them, wondering what happened for the last 50 years.
 

DeerHunter53

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I'm sure we all have had the same thoughts when hunting in a remote area. Like if I fall here the birds will build a nest in my ass and hatch the eggs before I hit the ground.
But you still go on and climb over the rocks and crevices to get to that special place.
Take care my friends this fall and don't be a statistic 50 years later.
Thoughts and prayers to the family.
 

littlebull209338

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A high school class mate went missing about 5-6 years ago south of Rock Springs. They found his pickup stuck but no sign of him. He had gone hunting, got stuck and disappeared. I have wondered what his last hours must have been like? They have never found him.
 

eelgrass

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A high school class mate went missing about 5-6 years ago south of Rock Springs. They found his pickup stuck but no sign of him. He had gone hunting, got stuck and disappeared. I have wondered what his last hours must have been like? They have never found him.
I've been stuck south of Rock Springs in that slimy mud. Luckily the sky cleared and the wind blew and within a couple hours I was able to drive out, just barely.
 

DeerMadness

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I've been stuck south of Rock Springs in that slimy mud. Luckily the sky cleared and the wind blew and within a couple hours I was able to drive out, just barely.
My luckiest was getting back to my truck in the dark and over 25 miles from a main road with clothes that were not warm enough if I had been stuck there as temperature was dropping it would have been tough to avoid freezing. My truck would not start and not even a click from the starter. I prayed and got back in the truck and it started. I made it from.the mountains near Yakima all the way home to Pasco. My lights got dim and the truck quit a mile from my house. It was the alternator was shot. I was young and didn't even have matches with me that day.
This guy could have had many different things that caused his demise. Great that they get closure.
 

OutdoorWriter

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I always think about that movie where the guy hacks off his own arm in order to survive.

I've only been somewhat lost once in the Adirondacks in NY State when I was 18. This incident from the 1980s is about as close as I've come to a 2nd time. It was written about 30 years ago as one of my LAST SHOT columns for ARIZONA HUNTER & ANGLER.


ONE-DOG NIGHT
Copyright by Tony Mandile​

Thirty years have passed since my first venture into Arizona's great outdoors. During that time I've had both some good and bad experiences. Thankfully, most have been of the former variety. One experience I never had was getting lost. Oh, I had times when I was slightly "turned around," but none where I had absolutely no clue as to my location. Consequently, I've never spent a night away from my main camp unless it was intentional -- with at least a basic supply of necessities. Like most of us do, however, I frequently wondered how I'd handle it.

My late grandfather indoctrinated me early about the perils of being unprepared if it becomes necessary to spend the night away from camp. So I committed myself to carrying matches, an extra candy bar or two and water in areas where it is scarce. Under the right circumstances a person can live many days without food or water other than in the hot desert. So the candy and water were simply feel-good conveniences. But the matches seemed the most important to me.

We often read stories about people getting lost and dying. These accounts continually upset me, especially when the victim had spent only a night or two in the woods. I always wondered how someone becomes a casualty in such a short time. Yet it happens too many times every year. Most folks who get lost and perish die of hypothermia, the medical name for exposure. Characterized by a rapid lowering of one's body temperature and uncontrollable shivering, it soon causes disorientation and a loss of energy. Death is the final consequence. Hypothermia frequently follows panic, a common occurrence when a person becomes lost. Of course, it's very disheartening because the tragedy can be avoided if a person keeps his head on straight.

About five years ago on a lion hunt with Joe Mitchell in the Mazatzal Wilderness Area near Rye, I finally found out what's it like to spend a night in the wilderness alone without any food, water or equipment.

Luckily, I knew where I was all the time. But my camera, a .357 handgun, matches, a candy bar and a light rain jacket made up my meager supplies. About the only panic I had came with the realization of having only three cigarettes. I knew I had to ration them to make it through the night and part of the next morning.

Mitchell and I had cut a hot track early that morning and stayed on it for six hours. Eventually, that track crossed another set. The dogs, confused by the second track, split into two groups. So I trailed one bunch, while the guide followed the other. At sunset, my group of dogs were nowhere to be seen. I dropped off the ridge into the canyon where Mitchell had been about an hour earlier. He was gone, too.

Realizing it was at least a five hour walk to the truck and thinking I could make it before midnight, I stumbled through the darkness along the meandering trail. It was a bad decision.

I lost the trail three different times when it crossed the stream bed, got smacked in the face by an unseen branch and had more than one prickly pear cactus deposit its spines in my shins. I decided hiking in the dark without any moonlight was not my thing.

Thoughts flowed readily, but panic was not one of them. Instead, everything I had read or been taught about this kind of situation came to mind.

I began looking for a protected place on the trail with enough nearby firewood to get me through the night. Such a place existed only a few yards up the trail. A downed tree, though rotten and and a bit damp, offered plenty of firewood, and the light from my cigarette lighter revealed enough dry kindling nearby to sustain the wet wood. After building a fire ring out of rocks on some level ground, I gathered enough small wood to get a blaze started, broke the rotten log into smaller pieces and stacked them outside the fire ring. As the pieces dried from the heat of the fire, I would have a continuous supply of larger chunks to burn.

The warmth from the flames quickly countered the chill from the March evening. Hungry and weary from hiking around the up-&-down wilderness all day, I ate half of my candy bar and saved the rest for breakfast. I then cleared a "bed" next to the fire within easy reach of the drying wood. With my rolled up daypack tucked beneath my head, I snuggled up beside the now blazing fire.

A few minutes later, a noise that sounded like something walking through dry leaves came from the blackness. Just as I reached for my handgun, one of Mitchell 's hounds wandered into the light of the fire, and I let out a sigh of relief. It was the guide's lead pup.

"Here, Jake," I called.

The hound moved warily toward me, then stopped ten feet away and laid down on a bed of fallen leaves.

"Suit yourself," I said, thinking it was nice to have company anyway.

I tried sleeping again, but I worried about Joe and what he would think. No doubt he might imagine the worst. Just then, the sound of rustling leaves made me look over my shoulder.

Jake, with head lowered, cautiously crept to where I lay, circled once and then lowered himself to the ground and pushed up against my back. Providing a bit of body heat for each other, my canine buddy and I went to sleep.

Over the next 11 or 12 hours, I woke often to rekindle the flames with a fresh supply of the dead tree. And each time, I lay back down, Jake wiggled his body closer to mine.

The next morning, after a five-hour, uphill hike, Jake and I reached the main road. I immediately heard the whine of an ATV. As the three-wheeler came around a bend, the driver spotted me and stopped.

"Are you Tony?" he asked.

"Yes."

He then told me he was Mitchell’s dad and had arrived the previous night. "Joe called me and said you might be lost. He drove down to Rye this morning because he thought you might come out that way.

Did you have a bad night?

"Well, I could use a cigarette and a sandwich. But other than that, I'm fine. I spent the night with a warm fire in front of me and a warm dog behind me."

The man smiled. "Oh, you had a one-dog night, huh?"

----- 30 -----​
 
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Old Cowboy

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There was a similar event near ogden utah many years ago. I dont remember the dates but a deer hunter named Bertanoli ( probably spelled wrong) disapeared in Lost Creek in the late 1940's I think. I think it was some scouts who found his remains in the Ogden river drainage above Causey reservoir in the late 1990's. As I remember they found the metal parts of a rifle, a belt buckle and a wallet. The wallet was sent to the crime lab and they were able to bring out a name on the drivers license. If someone else remembers the story better than I do please chime in and share it with us.
 

JB1975

Active Member
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There was a similar event near ogden utah many years ago. I dont remember the dates but a deer hunter named Bertanoli ( probably spelled wrong) disapeared in Lost Creek in the late 1940's I think. I think it was some scouts who found his remains in the Ogden river drainage above Causey reservoir in the late 1990's. As I remember they found the metal parts of a rifle, a belt buckle and a wallet. The wallet was sent to the crime lab and they were able to bring out a name on the drivers license. If someone else remembers the story better than I do please chime in and share it with us.
Details in the article below:
 

JPblind

Active Member
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At least the guy passed doing what he loved doing, but on the other hand sad he passed with no one there with him. Just hope he had some peace in his final moments. I think of this all the time because all my hunting for game and antlers is a solo event. Being out there alone makes one really have to think more of your next step, surroundings and weather. R.I.P.
 

OutdoorWriter

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I seem to always have a tale of my own to add to these things...:)

Although it wasn't a span of many years, I had the unfortunate experience of finding a someone dead a while after they went missing. It happened when I was living at Vallecito Lake near Durango & guiding hunters & anglers in the Weminuche Wilderness.

It involved a young male backpacker who went missing in 1977. After his dog returned alone to the trailhead to Granite Lake on the Pagosa side, they conducted an extensive search that included bringing in the National Guard and divers. They found his pack and stuff in the lake but never found him.

Several weeks after, I had a family of five at the lake to fish. Around noon, I went to gather some wood to cook lunch. There was a pile of dry stuff wedged between a small spruce tree and large boulder. I picked up several pieces and then saw the tip of a boot sticking out. A few more pieces revealed a dark blue tarp that was covering the backpacker's body.

I pulled the tarp part way off the head end. What was left of him wasn't a pretty sight. I could clearly see a bullet hole in the skull, and his jaw was agape & filled with maggots. I nearly tossed my cookies.

After explaining the situation to the husband, I took a bunch of photos of the site. We them rode back to our base camp, which was about 1/2 hr. away on horseback. We immediately sent our wrangler back down the mountain to Vallecito to inform the authorities.

The victim was the son of some VIP back east who had friends in Congress. That's how they got permission to bring in the NG via helicopter, which is normally a no-no in a designated wilderness.

What amazed me was how they could have missed finding the body. It was less than 50 yards from the lake in a fairly open area with few trees and almost no brush. It would be a good spot to set up a camp. I was also surprised other backpackers hadn't found it because of that.

I later provided 8x10 B&W prints done in my darkroom to the Pagosa Springs sheriff's office. As far as I know, the case has never been closed. A few weeks after he went missing, someone used one of his credit cards one time in Las Vegas, but I don't think anything ever came of it. I never followed up on it after that.
 

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