Credit: Scott Safechuck / S.B. County Fire Info

A deer hunter was rescued Saturday morning after deviating from a trail on an ATV and falling 80 to 100 feet over the side of a cliff, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. 

The victim landed on a ledge with a severe leg injury and was found by other hunters after firing shots from his firearm to signal for help in the Upper Oso area of the Los Padres National Forest. The hunters managed to stabilize the fallen man through a cable system, to keep him from falling farther, and called first responders around 1:13 a.m. According to Captain Scott Safechuck, the public information officer for County Fire, the hunters were only able to obtain cell service after partially hiking up a mountain. 

As seen in the video above, Search and Rescue with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and County Fire worked together to create a rope and pulley system to bring the hunter up the hill, using their vehicles as anchor points. The victim was safely transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital via ambulance to receive treatment for his leg injury. 

According to Safechuck, the hunters who found the survivor said that if they had not reached him in time, he “definitely” could have died from falling over the ledge.

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