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Barking dogs help Crook County searchers find overdue Mill Creek Wilderness hiker


Woman in good condition, but she stopped because her 2 dogs' paws were sore

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Barking dogs helped Crook County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers find a 33-year-old Prineville woman early Sunday, more than three hours after she was reported overdue with her two dogs on a hike in the Mill Creek Wilderness Area east of Prineville, officials said.

The sheriff’s office was contacted shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday by family members of the woman, who said she had not returned as planned from hiking to Twin Pillars in the Mill Creek Wilderness, according to Michael Ryan with the sheriff’s office Special Services Division.

Shortly after midnight, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue began search efforts in the area of Wildcat Campground, on Mill Creek Road, at the south end of the wilderness, Ryan said. Volunteer teams began from the north end of the trail, at Bingham Prairie, and the south end at the campground.

Around 3:20 a.m., the southern search team heard barking dogs, reported to be with the woman, and found her about 10 minutes later, Ryan said. She was uninjured and in good condition.

The SAR team escorted the woman back to Wildcat Campground and carried the two dogs, as their paws were sore, due to the rough ground.

The woman told officials she had started back late Saturday afternoon, after running low on water, and stopped for the night around 7 p.m. due to exhaustion and the dogs’ sore paws.

"The Crook County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to leave detailed plans with someone when venturing out into the wilderness and then try to stick to the plan," Ryan wrote in a news release. "It’s always a good idea to have some basic supplies like food, sufficient water and warm clothing.  A GPS is also an excellent tool for staying on trail systems. Some are equipped with the ability to text your location via satellite to 911 or a friend.

"The Sheriff’s Office has small pamphlets with an 'outing plan,' developed by one of our long-time Search and Rescue volunteers, which can be filled out with important information and left with family members," he added. "The brochures also have a recommended list of items to keep on hand, as well as survival tips.  If anyone would like one of the pamphlets, they can be picked up free of charge at the front counter of the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.

Article Topic Follows: Crook County
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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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