First-Time Hunter Finds Corpse in California Desert

First-Time Hunter Finds Corpse in California Desert
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Kyle Gibson sat shaken and sweating in the air-conditioned patrol car’s back seat, silently hoping the two Southern California sheriff’s deputies wouldn’t arrest him.

Gibson, 36, knew his fears were irrational. He’d done nothing wrong and everything right since arriving an hour before at the Bureau of Land Management desert east of Twentynine Palms. Still, just in case, he kept the squad’s rear door cracked open. That was irrational, too. The desert’s early-morning air on Aug. 8, 2020, was already soaring past 80 degrees and would hit 100 before noon. He should be conserving the car’s cooled air, not letting it vent into the arid landscape just north of the Joshua Tree National Park and Wilderness.

Still, Gibson kept the door cracked and waited quietly, hoping he didn’t look paranoid to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department deputy in the front seat. Gibson—an avowed MeatEater fan—had hunted that morning for the first time in his life, hoping to shoot…

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