Searchers remain hopeful in finding hunter

The search for a hunter who went missing nearly a week ago in the Sierra Madres will continue today.

Mark Strittmater headed out alone from Saratoga early Saturday morning to hunt elk. He sent a text message to his longtime girlfriend, Kimberly Meis, around 11 that morning. The experienced hunter hasn’t been heard from since.

At least a foot of snow fell in the area he was hunting Saturday night and Sunday, covering his tracks and complicating the search. When he did not return by Sunday evening, Meis set out looking for him. She found his truck Sunday evening on Forest Road 830, the Deep Jack Road, in an area where she said they often go hunting.

If Strittmater had kept the phone with him, searchers could ping his exact location with the cell tower that relayed his last message on Saturday morning.

The heavy snow that fell Saturday night and Sunday covered his tracks and any signs of his whereabouts.

Searchers don’t even know which side of the Deep Jack Road he may have gone. His father Mike, who lives in Wisconsin, said his son may have set off to track an elk he had shot.

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How deep Strittmater may have ventured into the forest remains one of the big questions.

Thursday was the fourth day of the search organized by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Department. Like searches earlier this week, yesterday’s produced no results.

Sheriff Archie Roybal said a Civil Air Patrol plane from Pinedale flew the area around Forest Roads 801 and 830 for approximately three hours. At the same time, several search and rescue members hiked the area by foot.

Sheriff Roybal said every effort is being made to find Strittmater and searchers remain hopeful.

The sheriff said the search is active and will continue today. Weather conditions are favorable today and tomorrow with another storm forecast to move in tomorrow night.


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Photo: Cali O’Hare/Bigfoot 99.

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Wyoming Frontier Prison Historic Site Director Tina Hill giving a tour as an ‘inmate’ looks on during last year’s 150th celebration.

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