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Missing Hikers Found In Bighorn National Forest

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A pair of hikers missing since last week in the Bighorn National Forest were found Wednesday—and have been released from the hospital in stable condition.

The couple didn’t return from their trip on time because one of the hikers had injured her leg.

Many search and rescue operations occur in Wyoming wilderness each year for hikers who get lost or injured.

Johnson County Sherriff Steve Kozisek conducts search and rescue operations in the Bighorn Mountains.  Kozisek says the biggest obstacle to finding people who are lost in the wilderness is that they aren’t where they said they would be. He says the missing couple was found because they committed to their itinerary.

“They had an itinerary,” he says, “They notified people about it, they stuck to it, and that reduced our search area tremendously.”

Kozisek also says that hikers should be prepared.

“You need to carry some basic survival equipment with you and be prepared. In the worst case scenario, you get injured, or you have to spend the night out, or something like that. Preparedness is really important.”

Kozisek says that hikers should carry a GPS or cell phone.

Erin Jones is Wyoming Public Radio's cultural affairs producer, as well as the host and senior producer of HumaNature. She began her audio career as an intern in the Wyoming Public Radio newsroom, and has reported on issues ranging from wild horse euthanization programs to the future of liberal arts in universities. Her audio work has been featured on WHYY Philadelphia’s The Pulse and the podcast Out There.
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