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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 15, 2014

9/5/2010 9:58:00 PM
Prescott hunter found, remains in intensive care

Linda Stein
The Daily Courier

A relative in a private plane helping to search for a missing 84-year-old Prescott hunter found his Jeep in a ravine north of Yarnell Thursday.

John Basham headed out early on Sept. 1 to go dove hunting in Aguila but did not return. His wife, Lavelle, reported him missing after he failed to come home and he couldn't be reached by cell phone.

"I was concerned," Lavelle Basham said Sunday. "You don't know what to think."

Deputies were told that Basham liked to hunt near stock tanks, but otherwise had no specific area to focus the search effort on, said Dwight D'Evelyn, a spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff. Agencies that helped with the search, including the La Paz County and Maricopa County sheriff's offices, the Department of Public Safety, Southern Yavapai County Sheriff's Response Team and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Air Group. Overnight, patrol vehicles checked the route Basham might take back to Prescott but did not find him or his vehicle.

On Thursday morning the Sheriff's Air Group conducted two aerial search missions while ground search teams looked in the Aguila hunting areas without locating Basham.

Just before 5 p.m. Thursday Basham's nephew, Mark Peterson, and pilot, Brent Barton, who were looking for him in a private plane, spotted Basham's Jeep Cherokee in a deep ravine off Highway 89.

Lavelle Basham said her husband had suffered a broken back in the crash and remained at the John C. Lincoln North Hospital Sunday in intensive care. Deputies and the Yarnell Fire Department personnel had arrived at the accident site after the pilots saw the Jeep and found Basham conscious and responsive, according to D'Evelyn. After Life Line Ambulance transported Basham to the Yarnell Fire Department, he was airlifted to the hospital.

"He's a very positive person, very strong, in very good physical shape," said Lavelle Basham, of her husband of 49 years, an avid hunter. "He was down there 24 to 30 hours." John Basham had water in his Jeep but because of his injury he couldn't reach it and had become dehydrated by the time of his rescue, she said. Since the ravine was so deep, vehicles driving on Highway 89 could not see him. He tried honking his horn to no avail, she said.

Lavelle Basham believes the crash happened around 10 a.m. this past Wednesday, as her husband returned from hunting. She thanked the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office profusely for its efforts in trying to find her husband.

"We want to stress how much they helped us," she said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Article comment by: John Moffett

Speedy recovery to Mr. Basham! It's great for people to get out and get some game in the freezer but it's bad when things go wrong. This could have happened to anyone. I think I'll donate some doves to him as a token of good will from one hunter to another.

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Article comment by: DOVE HUNTER

old people hate using tax dollars on youngins (students) but we are paying for his rescue ? pot meet kettle. driving limitations should be put on elderly just like juveniles...

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Article comment by: Animals - 1 Hunter - 0

"tired of it all " - Hey, if the guy wants to shuffle his walker out in the woods/desert and try to kill stuff, more power to him. Just don't use my my limited public safety resources to clean up the mess...

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Article comment by: It's what I would expect.

He should go with someone else, not alone. Would you let your 85 year old dad/grandad go off in a jeep hunting alone? I think not. It's an accident waiting to happen, and it happened.

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: tired of it all

Animals...that's it, just sit around and hide in the closet. I give this gentleman kudos for getting out. At least he's active, and now he's alive, something not everyone is able to do at any age.

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: Glad he's OK, now work out the details...

Ten to one his wife did not feel good about him going hunting alone. I'd bet a ton on that. The wives always know the deal, and the husband either says "I'll be fine" or they just keep it to themselves until disaster strikes. I've seen it again and again. Until he falls off the ladder, or in the yard, or ends up in the hospital with a broken leg. It's gotta end sometime, and it usually ends badly.

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Way to take the self-initiative on the part of the nephew,Mark Peterson, and pilot, Brent Barton for finding Mr Basham and relaying his location to the authorities.

As far as his taking off to hunt at his age, better that than spending his time whining on these comment sections about the teapartiers or Obama's efforts to pull us out of the 'bar ditch' that we all drove into.

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: Coldbore at 200 yrds

Good grief Animals... it's not like this guy was hunting bear or elk. The accident happen while DRIVING not during the hunt.
At what age should you lose your right to drive? Much less hunt.

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: Animals - 1 Hunter - 0

With all due respect to octogenarians everywhere, should an 84 year-old man really be traipsing around the woods like this?? And by himself no less! They should send him the bill for the search and rescue efforts. Wonder if MediCare covers that??

Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010
Article comment by: peter white

YCSO done good!

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