Wills Canyon, NM- Alamogordo Daily News, By Michael Shinabery

Two Texas hunters are dead after they were asphyxiated in their sleep.

Danny Lee Davis, 56, and Mark Edward Jackson, 38, both of Tennessee Colony, Texas, arrived in Otero County on Thanksgiving night, sheriff’s department Capt. Norbert Sanchez said. He said the two men were part of a group that intended to elk hunt on Friday in the Wills Canyon area off N.M. 130, near Peñasco.

However, when the men bedded down for the night in their tent, Davis and Jackson hoped to keep warm by lighting a small heater inside with them. Temperatures have been below freezing in the Sacramento Mountains at night. The heater was fueled by propane from a small, attached bottle.

Sanchez said the next morning the partners awoke and attempted to rouse Davis and Jackson.

“That’s when they first realized something was wrong,” Sanchez said.

He said both Davis and Jackson died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Known chemically as CO, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause symptoms ranging from headaches to dizziness, nausea and vomiting, even death.

The Web site vsearchmedia.com states CO is produced as “a major product of the incomplete combustion of carbon and carbon-containing compounds.” Improperly-operating furnaces and gas water heaters that are not maintained, regularly serviced, or properly vented produce the gas.

The site states CO “binds very strongly to the iron atom in hemoglobin; this renders the hemoglobin incapable of releasing oxygen. A sufficient exposure to carbon monoxide can reduce the amount of oxygen taken up by the brain to the point that the victim becomes unconscious, and can suffer brain damage or even death.”