Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, October 16, 2013: Hunt for lost hunter

DUTY CALLS: Talk about being torn. I signed up for the Classic today – literally my first chance to do so, insane schedule-wise.  I wanted to air down so bad I could taste it but I had another very pressing duty calling, having been contacted to help search for the lost hunter, by covering a (large) section of Warren Grove I know very well, toward Munyon Field Road, Five Points and Sandy Road.

I feel deeply for the frantic family of the missing hunter. Those good folks are literally calling out for outdoor folks to pick up the search where the state was forced to pull out -- after a very dedicated search.

I want to note here that the area I drove (in part) is home stomping grounds to me. I truly know it inside out. That back-of-hand familiarity allowed me to see, via tire tracks, the astounding presence of recent vehicles on nearly every road I was tracing. Again, there has been some serious searching going on. But the vastness, even in a small state like Jersey, is downright discouraging.

I did a non-eventful video of a miniscule segment of my search today. In it, you’ll see there are still some triple side roads – a dirt road off a dirt road off a dirt road -- that still need checking. However, the unsearched (barely) roads I didn’t have time to check today require a dirt bike or quad, meaning there is little chance the lost hunter’s truck could have gone down them. Still …


My 25-mile-ish search was as much for the man’s dog as the man himself. The important part about that is you can be on a road that has been checked and rechecked but the pup can appear suddenly. I would love to be able to switch to backtracking the dog’s paw prints – back to the hunter – as opposed to randomly roaming potentially hundreds of miles of sugar sand roads.

I hope that someone has retraced the hunter’s paved highway course, just in case he had a medical episode and went off the road and into the woods before even reaching his destination.  Ask any trooper how easy it is for even a truck to veer off the road and barely leave a sign of where it went into the underbrush.

Tomorrow, I’m going to check west of Five Points (Munyon Field Road intersection, five roads), toward the Bombing Range property. There are some dead ends, blocked with sand by the military, which are popular parking spots for walk-in hunters. 

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