SAR rescues hunter in distress

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Graham County SAR helped an injured hunter out of a canyon near Bonita on Friday.

Hunter injured knee while attempting to recover deer

By Jon Johnson

KLONDYKE – A 21-year-old hunter was airlifted to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC) on Friday after being injured while attempting to retrieve a deer.

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, a deputy was dispatched at about 12:40 p.m. to an area north of Klondyke near Buford Hill and Klondyke Road for an injured person.

The deputy first spoke over the phone with the victim’s uncle who was with him during the incident. According to the uncle, the victim shot a deer and then fell down a hill and severely injured his knee while attempting to retrieve it. The uncle advised the injured hunter was in a canyon roughly 300 yards from the road.

Upon arrival, the uncle took the deputy to where the hunter had fallen and the deputy could see the hunter’s leg was deformed.

Graham County Search and Rescue responded to the scene and climbed down to the victim. Team members then put the hunter in a Stokes basket (a type of stretcher used in search and rescue operations) and carried him out of the canyon to the roadway. From there, he was placed in the bed of the deputy’s patrol truck and was driven approximately 200 yards to an awaiting helicopter that had landed to do the transport due to Lifeline Ambulance being unable to respond because of the road conditions, according to the report. The hunter was then airlifted to MGRMC for treatment.

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