October 5, 2016

Maine game wardens respond to two lost bird hunters in Shirley

On October 5, 2016, at around 5:00 AM, Maine game wardens were notified of two overdue hunters in the Shirley area, south of Moosehead Lake. The two hunters were Carl Ponkala, 70, from Monson and Nicholas Erickson, 25, from Shirley. The two hunters had left Shirley in a grey Honda CRV yesterday afternoon at about 4:00 (October 4) and had not returned home.

The information indicated the hunters may have taken the Clouse Allen Road in Shirley towards Bald Mountain. Several game wardens responded to the area early on Wednesday morning after receiving the call. Just after 7:00 AM this morning, the missing vehicle was located off the Clouse Allen Road with no one around it. While game wardens were at this location, a Carrier Timberlands tractor trailer driver named John Morrell stopped and dropped off the two hunters. He had located them along the road.

The hunters reported that they had gone in a section of woods to hunt for grouse and had gotten turned around. They had located another road through the woods and were able to build a fire to help them through the night. The hunters were cold, but uninjured.

Remember basic safety tips when you go hunting.

Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Stick to that plan or notify the responsible person if you change plans. Have a map of the area you are hunting and use in conjunction with a good compass or GPS. Carry a survival kit with you to include matches or a lighter, survival blanket, some high energy snacks, and any other packable items you feel are important. DO NOT RELY ON CELL PHONE COVERAGE AS YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN. There are many areas of Maine that have poor to no cell phone coverage. Purchase a satellite communicator that can do email and track your position at the same time.

Unrelated file photo courtesy of the Maine Warden Service.