Coast Guard Aircrew Locates Missing Deer Hunter

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. – An aircrew from Air Station Traverse City assisted the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department in locating a missing hunter at 1:55 a.m. Sunday near Cheboygan, Mich.

The 54-year-old hunter was missing since 5:00 p.m. Saturday, the time he told his family he would return home. His concerned family contacted authorities. The aircrew, using Night Vision Goggles, spotted the hunter and his small fire at 1:55 a.m. Sunday in a wooded area northwest of the intersection of Mackinaw Avenue and Stoney Pointe Road in Cheboygan. Within 10 minutes of arriving on-scene, the aircrew directed the Cheboygan County Sheriffs, searching on the ground, to his location.

This hunter’s successful rescue emphasizes the importance of a leaving a hunting plan with family or friends and carrying matches, a lighter, or signaling device. First, this hunter told his family, very specifically, where he was hunting and what time he expected to return home. Both of these pieces of information expedited his rescuers’ response. Second, he lit a small fire that staved off the cold and signaled the aircrew to his location.

Despite the lack of leaves on trees this time of year, detecting a hunter on the ground can be quite difficult from overhead. To better the chance of detection by rescuers, the following survival equipment is strongly recommended:

  • 2 Way VHF-FM radios and/or cell phone
  • Cold weather survival gear
  • Handheld GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • Bright Orange Reflective Clothing
  • Flashlight, strobe light, or other form of Illumination for Night Vision Goggle Detection

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