Remains of Missing Idaho Hunter Found over 50 Years Later

A hunter discovered the remains of Raymond Jones. (Photo: Idaho DPR)

An Idaho bowhunter stalking mountain goats discovered the remains of Raymond Jones, last seen on Sept 7, 1968. He was 39 years old when he went missing while bowhunting mountain goats.

Jones’ remains were spotted outside the city of Salmon, in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, near the East Fork Hayden Creek, on Sept. 17.

“The hunter was seeking a shortcut from one hunting area to another when he found human remains and then contacted the sheriff’s office,” said Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner. “Due to the lack of remaining daylight and ruggedness of the terrain, recovery efforts began on the morning of the 18.”

At the time, Jones was camping with a hunting party but went off hunting on his own, never to return. Two days later on Sept. 9, 1968, then-Sheriff Bill Baker ordered a search involving more than 70 people on land and with aircraft, and while they found footprints, the search had to be called off due to poor weather.

A thank you note was published for the people assisting with the search for Raymond Jones from the Oct. 10, 1968, Recorder-Herald. (Photo: the Recorder-Herald)

The sheriff’s department was able to identify the remains after finding part of a wallet, which had Jones’ identification. The department informed Jones’ survivors, including his widow.

Jones was officially declared dead in 1970. He would have been 92 if he was still alive today.

SEE ALSO: What You Need to Get Bowhunting in Idaho

“The family will claim, and he will be turned over to them,” Penner said. “It is still pretty fresh, so they probably need a little bit of time to figure things out.”

“It’s pretty wild, ain’t it,” said Penner. “You have another bowhunter looking for a shortcut who stumbled upon a bowhunter from 53 years ago.”

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Russ October 5, 2021, 10:23 am

    Thankfully his family now knows what happened and can have him back.

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