April 06, 2020

Hunter found safe after night in woods

COBURN GORE – A 61-year-old muzzleloader hunter was found safe Saturday morning after spending a snowy night lost in the remote woods of western Maine.

Temperatures dropped below 10 degrees Friday night, according to Warden Sgt. William Allen, after Richard Arsenault of Gorham was reported missing by a hunting partner.

According to Allen, the two men were hunting with muzzleloaders in Coburn Gore, a remote township on the Canadian border in Franklin County, when they became separated. When Arsenault failed to show up at the pair’s vehicle by dark, wardens were notified.

“We searched until late Friday night and it was snowing quite heavy,” said Allen. “Two wardens slept in their vehicles and patrolled the roadways to see if he made his way out. They waited until daylight and then were joined by our aircraft. Warden pilot Charlie Later did a fantastic job, flying through the snow. He was able to spot a set of tracks and followed them as best he could through the weather until he spotted Mr. Arsenault. He then led the ground units to him.”

Allen said Arsenault was an experienced woodsman and had started a fire in the night to keep himself warm. “Unfortunately, he had lost his compass and was headed in the wrong direction,” said Allen. The compass, he explained, was the type that is pinned to the outside of a coat. “I wore one like that myself for years,” said Allen.

Allen said five wardens participated in the rescue. Arsenault did not need medical treatment. “He just needed to be warmed up,” said Allen. “He was pretty cold.”

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