UMATILLA COUNTY — Three area search and rescue teams worked earlier this week in Umatilla County to save an injured hunter.
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 10, requested mutual aid with the rescue of an injured hunter, according to Union County Search and Rescue, which posted about the event on its Facebook page. Winter weather prevent helicopters from flying to the location, so a team from Union County responded and worked through the night, cutting an access trail to the hunter, whom Umatilla County Search and Rescue personnel were tending to.
Early Wednesday, additional personnel from the sheriff’s offices of Union and Baker counties responded and assisted the Umatilla County team with evacuating the hunter, which required multiple rope systems due to the steep and slippery snow-covered terrain.
Union County Search and Rescue did not disclose the location of the rescue.
This was the second time in the span of a few days that Umatilla County Search and Rescue was looking for someone missing in the mountains. The first was less eventful.
The team located a man and his grandson after they were lost on the Coyote Ridge Trailhead outside of Weston for more than 12 hours on Sunday, according to a sheriff’s office press release.
The search and rescue team responded after Umatilla County Dispatch received a call around 7:40 p.m. Nov. 8 from Bruce Bryan, 64, who reported he and his 17-year-old grandson, Jesse Bryan, had been lost since 4 p.m. while elk hunting in the area.
Volunteers Bob Carrell, Dottie Carrell and Shari Mueller responded to the trailhead and located the hikers’ vehicle, the release stated, while Sgt. Dwight Johnson and searchers Tom Phelan and Scott Schuening drove to Bingham Road and began hiking toward the hunters.
“Phelan, Schuening and Johnson hiked for approximately four hours through snow, washed out areas from the spring floods, fallen trees, thick brush and waded across Coyote Creek before locating the hunters,” the release stated.
Searchers located the Bryans around 3 a.m. They were “cold and wet but not injured,” according to the release. Search and rescue led the hikers back to their vehicle, which they reached at about 8:30 a.m. Monday.