Mark Jordan spends one night in the cold before being located

Thanks to the tracking skills of local search and rescue dogs, Prineville hunter Mark Jordan was located Wednesday morning following an overnight stay in woods.

On Tuesday afternoon, Jordan set out on a solo hunting trip, but didn’t return later that evening. Family members were able to locate his vehicle in the Mt. Pisgah area, located east of Prineville in Wheeler County, but Jordan was nowhere to be found.

They subsequently notified the Crook County Sheriff’s Office around 2:30 a.m., prompting search and rescue to respond to the incident.

“A lot of these situations happen because a person thinks they are going to walk out there a little ways and be back in a couple hours,” said Crook County Undersheriff John Gautney. “They just continue to walk and get turned around and walk the wrong direction.”

The Crook County Search and Rescue team searched through the night for Jordan, but did not find him until 8:30 a.m. the following morning. Between the time the hunter left his car and got lost, the area received four inches of fresh snow.

Ultimately, the search and rescue K9 unit located Jordan, using their unique talents to succeed where humans had not.

“K9s are amazing,” said Search and Rescue Coordinator Brandy Lange. “They are amazing to watch. They do a great job and we have a pretty good team of them.”

Although Jordan was not prepared to spend a cold, snowy night in the woods, Lange said that he appeared to cope with it well. When he was found, he said he was cold, but was in otherwise good condition and did not require medical attention.

The situation serves as a cautionary tale for hunters who plan to go out into the woods. Although deer season has concluded, elk season is set to start later this month. Temperatures will likely get colder and create harsher overnight conditions, so Gautney recommends hunters prepare accordingly.

“It is always best to hunt with at least a partner,” he said. “That way, if something happens — you fall or you get injured or something — somebody can go for help.”

If somebody chooses to hunt alone, Gautney advises them to take precautions in case something goes wrong.

“It’s a great idea to let somebody know what your plans are,” he said. “If you have a GPS (global positioning system) and they know how to use it properly, that is the best way to find your way back to your rig. If they are going out for a late-evening hunt, they should at least pack a survival kit with them.”

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