November 8, 2001

Searchers Unable To Locate Hunter Who Made Distress Call

Nearly 100 area emergency service personnel spent more than 10 hours Saturday, November 3 searching northern Scotland County for a possible injured hunter.

At 10:30 a.m. a group of hunters contacted the Scotland County Sheriff's Department and reported that they had overheard radio traffic on a family service radio from a hunter that stated he had fallen and was injured. The injured man was unable to give any details on his location except that he was next to a creek.

A massive search was begun involving the Scotland County Sheriff's Department, Conservation Agent, Ambulance Service and Fire Department as well as the NEMO Search and Rescue K-9 unit, the Memphis Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Clark County Rescue Squad, the Downing, Lancaster and Queen City fire departments, and numerous other community volunteers.

The searchers centered around the area where the radio traffic was first received as the transmitters believed to have been used in the radio message typically have a radius of less than three miles.

Eventually the search area was expanded through the use of two local airplanes and two ultra-lite parachute aircraft as well as with helicopters from the Adair County Sheriff's Department, the Highway Patrol and Air Evac Life Team.

The Highway Patrol helicopter flew over the region after dark using night vision equipment as well as infrared devices to search for body heat.

Throughout the search volunteers combed the country side looking for signs of hunting parties, including vehicles parked in fields. All hunters were accounted for.

The search was called off at 9:30 p.m. No hunter was located in the 11-hour search. Officials are asking anyone with information in this case to contact the sheriff's department at 465-2106. Motorists and landowners are asked to report any vehicles they notice that have been left unattended for any extended period of time, or any campsites that appear to be abandoned.

Officials also reminded all hunters to let a friend or family member know where they will be hunting and when they expect to return from the hunt.

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