Two missing hunters back home after spending night in backcountry

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Andrew Blomquist and Lonnie Labee. | Courtesy photos via Idaho State Journal

INKOM — Two missing hunters were found by emergency responders late Sunday morning after spending the night in the backcountry northeast of Inkom.

Lonnie Labbee, 50, of Pocatello, and Andrew Blomquist, 28, of Inkom, were found by search and rescue personnel around 11 a.m. along Webb Creek in the Inman Canyon area. Family members reported Sunday afternoon that both men were fine and back at home.

There had been concerns about Labbee’s health because he reported having chest pains during a cell phone conversation with his wife around 8 p.m. Saturday. He also told her that he and Blomquist were lost before the line went dead, prompting her to report the hunters missing to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office when she could not reconnect with them via cell phone.

Sheriff’s deputes and search and rescue personnel from Bannock and Caribou counties with help from the Portneuf Medical Center emergency helicopter and at least one civilian aircraft launched an intense search for the men that began Saturday night and continued Sunday morning until the hunters were found.

Labbee and Blomquist were with a third hunter, Stan Wallerstedt, 69, of Inkom, who was located in a pickup truck in Inman Canyon around 11:30 p.m. Saturday by search and rescue personnel.

Family members said Wallerstedt is OK and is now back at home. He was waiting with the pickup while Labbee and Blomquist went off looking for deer. When they did not return Wallerstedt decided to stay with the truck.

The three hunters had left Saturday morning to go bow hunting for deer in Inman Canyon.

The men’s families said they want to extend a sincere thank you to the search and rescue personnel who found the missing hunters.

This story originally appeared in the Idaho State Journal. It is posted here with permission.

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