June 2021 - 28

Becoming lost disintegrates one's cognitive map and results in disorientation. How to find the way out is complicated when fear overrides reasoning.
Media accounts regularly report of peone
bad decision is all
it takes. Just one.
Frequently people make
a multitude of seemingly
innocent mistakes that
can be significant and
potentially deadly.
O
ple who have gone missing in the outdoors.
They could be picking berries, collecting
mushrooms, hiking, running, backpacking
or hunting. The why they are there doesn't
matter. What matters is they can't find their
way to their vehicles, camps or the places they
agreed to meet with others.
Consider a highly-experienced woman
hiking the Appalachian Trail. She was 45 minutes
from meeting her husband to resupply
her for another leg of the trip, but she didn't
show up. Two years later, a forester found her
body. She'd stepped 80 yards off the trail in
heavy brush to go to the bathroom. Apparently
disoriented, she couldn't find the trail.
Ultimately, she wandered some 2 miles from
the trail, set up camp and perished. People
searched for months to no avail.
In Wyoming, a Carbon County elk hunter
in October 2009 went missing in the Medicine
Bow National Forest. An early-season
snowstorm likely contributed to him becoming
lost. A search of the area proved fruitless.
A year later a hunter found his binoculars,
prompting another search with dogs. Other
items thought to be his were found, but he
28 | June 2021
wasn't. To date, there are no reports of him
being found.
In 2019, a Kansas hunter became separated
from his party. He reportedly returned to the
vehicle in the late afternoon. But at the vehicle,
his friends found no sign of him. Dressed
only in blue jeans, a jacket and hiking boots,
he was woefully unprepared for spending the
night in the Wolf Creek drainage of the Bighorn
Mountains. Cold, foggy weather hampered
searches and required him to survive
for two nights. Luck was with him. Searchers
found him - cold and hungry - but alive.
Every year Wyoming outdoor explorers get
turned around, befuddled and totally mystified
about where they are and how to find a
way out. Most are found or find their way.
Some don't make it - a tragedy for family
and friends, never fully understood, explained
or accepted. Frequently the narrative is, " They
were so comfortable in the outdoors. How
could it happen to them? " No one intends to
get lost. Those who survive do so because of
preparation, following basic tenets of staying
alive, some luck and often well-trained search
parties putting their lives on the line to find
the lost adventurers.

June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - 2
June 2021 - 3
June 2021 - 4
June 2021 - 5
June 2021 - 6
June 2021 - 7
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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/September2020
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com