updated 1/19/2009 3:32:43 PM ET 2009-01-19T20:32:43

A search dog helped rescuers find the body of a man who was buried by an avalanche, one of three men killed by snow slides in Montana during the weekend.

The man's body was found Sunday under 3 feet of snow, his rescue beacon accidentally turned off, the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center reported. The site was near Cooke City in south-central Montana.

In southwest Montana, a 50-year-old man died in a small avalanche in Madison County, and a 21-year-old died in an avalanche on Mount Jefferson in Beaverhead County.

All three accidents happened Saturday.

Authorities identified the victim found Sunday as Travis Engstrom, 35, of Bozeman. He had been riding with friends when his sled got stuck, and the avalanche was triggered as he worked to free it, the avalanche center reported.

In Madison County, Sheriff Dave Schenk said a group of 15 snowmobilers had gone "pleasure riding" but during a stop they realized one member of the group was missing.

"When they came back they could look across the ravine in an area where they saw a small avalanche had occurred," Schenk said. They dug out Kirk Hewitt, 50, of Belgrade but were unable to revive him.

The third man died when he and two companions were engaged in "high-marking," or riding up the side of a mountain to see how high they could go before having to turn around, authorities said. He was identified as Joshua J. Jenkins, 21, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

There also have been a series of avalanche deaths among snowmobilers in British Columbia.

Snow slides left two more snowmobilers dead there over the weekend, raising the province's avalanche death total for the season to 15.

As of Sunday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police had not released the identity of either victim.

The most recent death occurred Saturday when a snowmobiler was high marking, zooming uphill to see how far he could go, and was caught by an avalanche in the Back Meadows area of Babcock Mountain near Tumbler Ridge in the northeastern part of the province, police Constable Tim Hawkes said.

Five others on snowmobiles in the same group remained off to one side near the bottom of the hill and were not caught by the slide, Hawkes said. By the time the man who was buried in the snow had been located, he had died.

On Friday an avalanche hit two people on snowmobiles out of a group of seven in the Monashee Mountains near Valemount in the south-central interior of the province, police spokesman Craig Douglass said. Both were dug out, but one was not breathing and could not be revived, Douglass said.

Eight snowmobilers died late last month when they were caught in a series of avalanches near Fernie in the southeast corner of the province.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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