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So I promised I would put out the story of finding and returning about $20K worth of equipment.

I apologize this may sound a bit choppy, it happened a couple years ago…

My dad happened upon a small equipment bag while assisting with the elk hunt with the following items (among other items):
Digital camera with two telephoto lenses, $3000-5000
Binoculars; can't remember the name on them but at the time he looked up the model and found a price tag around 4-6K
Rangefinder, $300-600
Altogether, we figure there was almost 20K worth of equipment in the bag.

The pack looked like it had just fallen off a four wheeler off to the side of the trail, the loss of which went unnoticed by the owner.

Quickly glancing through the contents, and noticing there were NO PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION ON ANYTHING IN THE BAG he stopped every hunter he saw in an attempt at returning these valuable contents to the owner. No one on the mountain the entire hunt had lost such an item.

After returning from the hunt began the real investigation!

We thought, digital camera; there should be something we can use to locate the owner. My sister began rifling through the digital pictures one by one to see if there was anything we could use. There were several shots of a young man playing rugby and even a shot of the back of his jersey with a last name! Clue#1

Clue #2 came on another picture from the side of a vehicle parked outside a home (hopefully the owners). In the side view mirror we could read (backwards mind you) the number of the house!

Even with these two clues we did not get much further. We had several pictures of the young man so if one of us ever saw him we could recognize him instantly and call him by his surname to boot! But we didn't know where the house was, was it a N, S, E, or W number???

Week three of sifting through the hundreds of pictures, we stopped at one picture taken inside the kitchen of a home. Again, hopefully the home of the owner.

Clue #3 On the countertop in the kitchen was a stack of mail! Yes, their mail on the counter finally gave us the exact LOCAL address to the owner of the camera, bino's, and other equipment he had found.

We did some online searching to confirm this was the owner. He is a neurosurgeon here in Salt Lake (explanation of the valuable contents). We found the address to his office in town and tried to contact him. My dad did this for several weeks, each time he called he inquired as to when this person would be available as he had found some valuable property of his and was trying to return it. Finally he had a window of opportunity to visit the office when the owner 'might' be in the office.

As my dad introduced himself to the receptionist, she said; "You're the guy!"

She went back and had the surgeon come to the front to acquire his belongings. He offered my dad $100 for returning the bag which he refused, we were just all so glad we were able to help return what he had thought was a lost cause as he had not realized the bag was gone until he returned to his vehicle several miles away. He had looked for it at first but gave up empty handed.
This doctor is not even a hunter, he was in the area fishing and taking photographs of the area just before the general elk hunt.

It is this story and all those others out there; just as we all witnessed the return of a lost bow just last week, that keep my faith and hope in others. We live in the greatest country in the world and honestly have the greatest people that we get to live among and with; so thank you to all those with integrity and honesty to do the right thing.
 
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