The quietest deer hunt opener in recent memory had law enforcement officials scratching their heads Saturday and wondering what might happen next.
Hunter safety courses were paying off, as a brand new batch of 14- and 15-year-olds joined the estimated 600,000 hunters and companions who took to the hinterlands.The only human death associated with the hunt reported by late Saturday was a 26-year-old Salt Lake County woman who was hunting with her husband and brother-in-law in southeastern Utah. She died in her sleep from an apparent seizure.
Donald Wickham, 34, found his wife, Tanya, dead Saturday about 7:30 a.m., the San Juan County Sheriff's office said. The couple was camped in the Gold Basin area of the LaSalle Mountains.
A trailer house exploded and burned late Saturday morning in Millard County, but all the occupants were out hunting.
The trailer was parked at an old homestead west of Millard when the explosion occurred. The owner, Richard Sorenson, Richfield, and two other adults and one child were away from camp at the time.
Dispatcher Ben Smith said the cause of the explosion is unknown. The trailer was destroyed.
And a grandfather who parked his son-in-law's pickup truck on the side of a mountain in the LaSalles with his grandson inside it took an unplanned ride 150 feet down a hill as he tried to regain control of the vehicle.
A dispatcher said Gil Phillips, 56, Moab, was trying to catch the truck in which his 5-year-old grandson, Matt Murphy, was riding.
Phillips was parked near Pine Ridge on Saturday when the brake slipped. The pickup went 30 feet off the road before it came to a rest. The boy was not injured, and Phillips suffered only minor injuries.
Parched conditions and a campfire are believed responsible for a 25-acre fire that consumed brush and grass on private land 8 miles southwest of Woodruff.
Hunters in the area helped Forest Service firefighters extinguish the blaze, said Lori Ensley, a dispatcher with the Interagency Fire Center. "There's a lot more cooperation than non-cooperation. It's just a few who cause problems."