Search For Missing 69-Year-Old Intensifies As Winter Weather Approaches
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — An elk hunter in the Uinta Mountains has been missing for three nights and searchers said they hope they can locate him before stormy weather arrives Thursday night.
“There is a lot of urgency anytime we have a search, but when we have weather coming in, that makes it a lot more urgent for us,” said Lieutenant Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Carl Crumrine, 69, was last seen early Monday morning when he left his campsite on foot walking towards his tree stand 100 yards away. But his hunting party said it hasn’t seen him since.
“Our searchers are very determined to locate Mr. Crumrine, and they are working as quickly as they can,” Wright said.
Summit County put out a call to other search and rescue teams and got extra help from neighboring counties, as more than 30 searchers today combed areas of dense forest for Crumrine.
But searchers said the weather was already causing problems and restricting their search abilities.
“With the impending storm that’s coming in, weather conditions up there are starting to take a turn for the worse,” Wright said. “It’s very windy right now. So, unfortunately, we’ve had to take our air resources out. Even our horses have had to stay at the base camp for now.”
Crews were near Lyman Lake on the north slope of the Uintas, less than 10 miles from the Wyoming border. Wright said the forest is so thick that searchers had to use an ax at times yesterday to clear the way.
“One of the searchers yesterday from our office described the conditions being so difficult that he couldn’t see 10 yards away,” he said.
Crumrine’s hunting party called for help Monday after the West Virginia hunter did not return to camp after sunset. Overnight temperatures in the area have dipped into the teens and while there’s no snow on the ground now, there could be soon Friday.
“Snow could make it a lot more difficult for us,” Wright said.
Rescuers said they were looking for items the hunter may have dropped, such as food wrappers, or water bottles as they combed the area.
“If we get a layer of snow that comes in, that makes it more difficult for us,” Wright said. “But the plan as of now is to continue searching until we find him.”
Crumrine’s family told rescuers he is an avid hunter who has spent a lot of time in the wilderness. Searchers also gathered information from his fellow hunters.
“His group told us that he was prepared with food items, cold-weather gear, and he had a lighting source. He had the ability to light a fire,” Wright said. “That gives us hope that he at least has enough tools available.”
Summit County Search and Rescue plans to head out again Friday and work until they find the hunter unless the weather forces them to alter their plans.