A lot of times when we post stories about Montana hunters, anglers, hikers, or campers getting lost, the stories don't end well.

While this case does not sound like it was nearing a crisis stage, it's still nice to be able to share the good news and give props to Search and Rescue personnel. It also serves as a good reminder about taking necessary precautions this time of year, as more and more hunters venture off trail into new terrain.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that over the weekend, a hunter called 911 to report being lost in an area of Gallatin County backcountry. The hunter's phone was fully charged, but we don't have to tell you that service in remote, mountainous areas of Montana can be spotty.

Fortunately, through the static and the garble, there was enough clear communication to get the search going, even though darkness was about to become a factor. Gallatin County Search and Rescue team members were able to get an approximate location and instructed the hunter to remain stationary and keep checking in at regular intervals via phone as best as he could.

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The team responded with ground volunteers, including a search dog team. And a Billings MedFlight unit assisted by flying over the area to confirm the coordinates obtained from the 911 call. The helicopter crew spotted the lost hunter at dusk. Even with darkness approaching, it was determined that landing at a safe location nearby could bring a speedy conclusion to the rescue. The lost hunter was flown to a Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy at another location for further assistance.

So, three cheers for a job well done! Authorities would like to remind you to be prepared for unexpected overnights, have a map and compass and know how to use them, and consider bringing a GPS locating device. Fortunately In this case, the hunter was able to send out a call for help and did not complicate the situation by continuing to move.

We're glad this one came to a quick and safe conclusion.

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