Paul Schultz, 52, and his son Kyle, 16, were hunting in Colorado’s Wheatly Creek area when they became separated from the rest of their hunting party last Saturday. According to Sky-Hi News, the pair was pursuing an elk across difficult terrain before they lost their bearings. Luckily, the hunters were able to find a dilapidated cabin before morning.

With no roof and only two walls standing, the cabin offered meager shelter at best. A recent theft left the hunters without a hunting pack to carry valuable supplies such as food or heavier clothing. Without knowing when rescue would arrive, they built a small fire within the cabin and tried to keep warm.

When they failed to return, the other members of the Schultzs’ hunting party reported their disappearance to the police, which in turn notified the Grand County Search and Rescue team. A resident also called in after hearing three shots in the vicinity of Wheatly Creek. Three consecutive shots in the air, typically five seconds apart, is the traditional signal of distress for hunters.

Search and rescue personnel were dispatched to the area, but had little success in finding the hunters. Schultz was likely spreading out his three-shot SOS signals to conserve ammo, but rescue workers heard the last of his shots near an old ranch where the two were staying. The father and son were found in good health, although they were very cold. Officials in charge of the search say it was a well-conducted operation, and perhaps no one is more grateful for that than the Schultz family.

Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service

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