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Hunter Found After Digging Into Snow to Survive Blizzard

'The poor guy was frozen,' but alive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2017 1:34 PM CST
Hunter Found After Digging Into Snow to Survive Blizzard
Stock image   (Getty Images/rusm)

A Utah hunter trapped overnight in a blizzard dug himself into the snow to survive before searchers found him by spotting his rifles stuck into the ground, police said. The AP reports Trevor Valentine, 38, remained hospitalized in serious condition Friday after he tried to hike to a road when his pickup truck got stuck in the remote, mountainous area near the Idaho border, according to the sheriff's office. Buffeted by blowing snow and a wind-chill temperature that dipped to minus 25, he dug a small hole for himself and crawled inside. The spot was nearly invisible by the time winds had died down enough for crews to search the area Thursday. "The snow had drifted over him," chief deputy Dale Ward said. "The poor guy was frozen."

Sharp-eyed search and rescue crews spotted Valentine's rifles stuck straight up in the ground and dug down to find him, Ward said. Valentine was awake and spoke with searchers who tried to relieve symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia as a medical helicopter crew worked to land in the windy weather. Valentine had gone hunting Wednesday and texted his wife that evening to say his truck was stuck. He decided to hike three miles to a state road to meet her but never made it, so his family called police. He was dressed for the cold, but wasn't prepared for a night in temperatures that the National Weather Service said reached minus 4. (More Utah stories.)

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