Missing Hunter

September 29, 1976
Black Mountain Area

Tom Aldrich

It had been a while since the last mission and when the call went out near midnight, the response activated nine team members.

The mission was a lost deer hunter somewhere above where Black Mountain Truck Trail leaves the Banning-Idyllwild Highway.

I expected the mission to be a big one. At 1 a.m., a bit of mental effort is required to drive a mountain road through thick fog. However, I soon learned this is all that would be required of me as the lost hunter, Doug Canterbury, was sighted at approximately that time. In addition to his T-shirt, jeans and street shoes, Doug carried a loaded rifle. He signaled by firing his rifle into the air. Perhaps this was even better than a whistle as it can be heard farther.

Upon hearing the rifle shot, the deputy drove in the direction of the shot and managed to contact Doug over the sheriff's unit PA system. When the deputy heard Doug answer and a definite voice contact was established, he radioed base camp and advised the team who was just ready to go into the field. Three

team members who already had their packs on, Larry Roland, John Dew and Hal Fulkman, threw their packs in their cars, drove up the highway a mile or so to the deputy's unit.

By this time, Doug was almost to the highway. There was just one slight problem, heavy brush and a 60 ft. cut Doug would have to descend to get to the highway. These three team members immediately took a call-out rope and other gear, made their way up the cut, roped Doug and assisted him off the road cut to the highway itself.

Another successful mission was completed and even though it was short, we were pleased to have had a part in it.