SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A deer hunter walking in a wooded area in rural Pulaski County died Monday when he fell into a deep sinkhole, authorities say.
The incident occurred Monday evening while Curtis S. Powelson, 31, was bowhunting close to his home off Red Oak Lane near the Buckhorn area.
Around dusk, Powelson made contact with his wife, saying he had just shot a deer and was returning to the woods in an attempt to track the animal.
When he failed to return home, his wife reported him missing to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.
Law enforcement and firefighters then began a late-night search, which ended shortly after 3 a.m., when Powelson’s body was discovered at the bottom of a large sinkhole just a short distance from his home.
The sinkhole was about the size of a car at ground level and was estimated to be approximately 65 to 70 feet deep.
After examining the scene and speaking with the property owner, authorities assume the sinkhole recently opened, possibly during heavy rains last month.
It is believed Powelson did not see the opening before falling into it because it was hidden behind tall foliage, and the light was poor, according to the sheriff’s department.