Troopers find overdue caribou hunters in good condition

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2003

GLENNALLEN (AP) Two overdue hunters from Chugiak were found in good condition Tuesday after they set off a flare to attract the attention of searchers.

A couple of wrong turns and problems with their all-terrain vehicles got Harvey Haynes, 68, and Mary Drew, 45, in trouble on their caribou hunting trip near Eureka, Alaska State Troopers said.

The pair left Chugiak on Aug. 19 and were expected to return home a couple of days later, trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said. They had parked Haynes' motorhome at Mile 130.5 of the Glenn Highway and were using four-wheelers to get to their hunting area.

Troopers were contacted Sunday when Haynes and Drew failed to return from the hunt.

Rescue workers searched for them with helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and all-terrain vehicles. Troopers in a Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement airplane spotted the smoke from a flare, and a helicopter landed and picked up the pair.

Haynes and Drew were about 45 miles from their hunting area, Wilkinson said.

They told troopers they had taken a couple of wrong turns and, at one point, one of their four-wheelers overturned in a creek. They retrieved it, but later one of the four-wheelers broke down and the other got high-centered.

They decided to stay put and camped under a camouflage tarp, which was no help in the search, Wilkinson said. They ate pork-and-beans and mandarin oranges and drank water from a river.

They were cold and hungry when troopers found them, but otherwise in good condition, Wilkinson said.

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