On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the Park County Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) was activated in response to receiving a “SPOT” satellite device 911 activation in the Marston Meadows area of the South Fork. “SPOT” is a satellite messaging device that when activated, determines the sender’s GPS location and relays the information to a central dispatch center. Marston Meadows is located along the Shoshone River approximately 10 miles southwest of the Camp Creek Trail Head at the end of the South Fork Highway.
The call from the “SPOT” Central Dispatch Center came into the Park County Sheriff’s Communications Center at 2:14 p.m. The nature of the emergency was unknown at the time of the “SPOT” activation. SAR immediately deployed a ground team to the trail head on standby in case they were needed. In addition to the ground team, SAR deployed their fixed wing aircraft and requested a medical helicopter from Air Idaho Rescue out of Idaho Falls. Local medical helicopter resources were unavailable at the time.
At 5:30 p.m., the Air Idaho helicopter was able to locate the subjects and evacuate a 33-year old male to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his lower right leg. The investigation of the incident revealed that a 33-year-old Powell man and a 29-year-old Powell woman were up the south fork of the Shoshone River in the area of Marston Creek and Bliss Creek Meadows on horseback scouting for elk in preparation for this upcoming hunting season.
The woman was riding in front of the man when his lead rope from his pack horse somehow got wrapped around his .45 caliber long Colt pistol causing it to discharge. The round struck the man in the back of his right calf and exited around his shin. After he was evacuated, the woman rode out of the wilderness with assistance from her father, who rode in to assist her. The victim's condition is unknown at this time.
h/t Park County Sheriff's Office