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MEEKER — Two hunters, who had not been heard from for 11 days, have been found outside of Eagle and are OK.
“They have made their way out of woods,” said Donnelle Boso, the wife of one of the men, who are brothers. “They were stuck in snow, and they are fine.”
Family members traveled here to search for the two missing hunters. Law enforcement and Division of Wildlife personnel also had been on the lookout for the brothers, though the size of the area they were in and weather had made searching difficult.
The two men, Mike Boso, 43, and a father of four daughters, and Mark Boso, 32, left Michigan on Oct. 30 for an annual hunting trip and arrived in Meeker the next day. There had been no communication with the men since, until Tuesday.
“Michael called me on his cell phone when they came down off the mountain and said, ‘Honey, I’m coming home,”“ Kim Boso said. “They said they got snowed in, like three feet of snow, since last Wednesday. Praise God, my husband is coming home.”
Asked what kind of shape the men were in, Kim Boso, speaking Tuesday over the noise of a roomful of people who had come to her house to celebrate the men’s return, said, “They’re hungry.”
The brothers were supposed to have arrived back in Michigan on Nov. 7.
“We know they went to the grocery store in Meeker that same Friday [Oct. 31],” said Kim Boso, Mike’s wife, by phone from her home in Kalamazoo, Mich. “When they didn’t come home, we started checking credit cards, and there was a credit card charge from that store in Meeker on Mark’s credit card. They were headed up on to the mountain to get camp set up and start hunting. We haven’t heard from them since. They were due back on the seventh [of November].”
Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Mike Joos said there was also a record the brothers bought gas on Oct. 31 at the Go-fer convenience store in Meeker.
“No one had heard from them since,” Joos said. “It is not known, for sure, where they were hunting. They had [hunting] licenses that cover three areas. Those areas cover four counties, including Rio Blanco, and more than 1,100 square miles.”
Bill de Vergie, DOW area wildlife manager, said it is “a huge area” where the Boso brothers were hunting.
“That’s a lot of square miles,” de Vergie said. “Our understanding is they were going to set up a tent, but we just didn’t know where.”
Kim Boso, Mike’s wife, said attempts were made to download maps from her husband’s computer that he had researched, in order to narrow down the search pattern.
De Vergie said hunters sometimes get lost, but not for this long a period of time.
“Yes, it’s unusual,” de Vergie said. “We will lose some guys overnight, but to not hear from them for 10 or 11 days, that’s a long time.
“We’re talking to a lot of hunters who are out there, and that’s a whole bunch of eyes that could be looking for this vehicle,” de Vergie said.
The brothers set out from Kalamazoo and drove straight through to Meeker, Kim Boso said. They were driving a 2000 maroon Ford F-350 extended cab long bed pickup with a Michigan license plate.
The brothers have been coming to Colorado to hunt for years, Kim Boso said.
“They always call when they come down off the mountain,” she said. “I really didn’t get concerned until Saturday morning (Nov. 1), when neither Mark’s wife nor I heard anything. We started to get concerned and on Saturday morning started contacting local authorities in Michigan.”
Kim Boso said her husband and brother-in-law are skilled hunters.
“They grew up hunting with their grandpa,” she said. “They know what they are doing. These aren’t two guys who are out there drinking or partying. These are family guys, Christian men. There are no marital issues, no depression, nothing like that. There’s a reason they are not back.”
Mark Boso’s wife, Donnelle, arrived in Meeker from Ashland, Ky., on Monday. Donnelle Boso is originally from Colorado. Her family lives in southern Colorado, in Monte Vista.
“We’re trying to get fliers up around town,” Donnelle Boso said Tuesday, before learning the brothers had been found. “We wanted to let local people know, with the fourth season starting (Wednesday). We’re just seeing if there are people who know the area, if there are local people who want to help out.”