PARK CITY, Ut. — A full scale search and rescue operation is underway in a vast Utah National Forest for a missing West Virginia hunter. Officials with the Summit County,

Summit County, Utah Sheriff’s Department said Carl Crumrine, 69, of Buckhannon, was last seen when he left his camp for a day of elk hunting about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

“They all set out to go hunting and he never returned that day. After the sun had set a member of the group went to a place where they had cell service and contacted us and we sent search crews,” said Lt. Andrew Wright of the Summit County Sheriff’s Department speaking with MetroNews Wednesday.

Searchers were in the air around 9:30 p.m. Monday scouring the ground for light sources, but those found were not Crumrine. Crews using dogs and horses worked the thick and rugged terrain Tuesday and Wednesday working against the clock.

“We’ve got 25 searchers which include ground searchers, canines, horseback, a fixed wing plane in the air and our Utah Department of Public Safety Helicopter,” said Wright. “It’s a very remote area and where they are located it’s close to 10,000 feet. Anytime somebody goes missing in that higher elevation it’s a concern because the night time temperature drops down into the teens.”

Search teams held out hope of finding Crumrine since he was prepared for the elements with water, some food, heavy clothing, a headlamp, and also fire starting material. He also had his hunting rifle with him.

The search is centered in an area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the county lies in a rugged area along the border with Wyoming. Search teams have experienced difficulty seeing and worried about the possibility he might be injured.

“Because it is such big country if you wander a mile or two, you can get turned around. Another concern is if he may have fallen and been injured which makes it difficult to locate him. One of our search members on horseback said on the radio he couldn’t see more than ten yards around him because the brush is so thick.”