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82 year old hunter missing

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  • #31
    Originally posted by wiiawiwb View Post
    I can't imagine the utter disbelief you guys on the ground must have had after all the searching you did. And kudos to all of you. It's literally as though he and his rifle vanished in thin air.

    Given the leaf debris, the rifle is probably there underneath or in the muck and mire of the swamp. Are sweeps ever made with metal detectors in cases where someone is known to have had a firearm?
    How would one operate a metal detector over densely forested uneven rolling ground with constant rocks, downed sticks, deadfall and tall swamp grass, over a radius of any reasonable distance from the LKP? It is as if he and all evidence vanished into thin air. There was no indication of foul play or anything unusual, other than his complete disappearance.
    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Wldrns View Post
      How would one operate a metal detector over densely forested uneven rolling ground with constant rocks, downed sticks, deadfall and tall swamp grass, over a radius of any reasonable distance from the LKP? It is as if he and all evidence vanished into thin air. There was no indication of foul play or anything unusual, other than his complete disappearance.
      It would be hellishly expensive, and I'm not sure if it could "see" something as small as a rifle, but they could maybe use something like this.

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      • #33
        The other thing that disturbed me about this case was that he never signaled any one else. He could have fired three rounds but didn't. He also had a walkie-talkie and never contacted anyone.

        It would lead you to believe that something must have happened very quickly as he did not have time to access his rifle or his two-way radio. A heart attack, a fall, or something else.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by wiiawiwb View Post
          It would lead you to believe that something must have happened very quickly as he did not have time to access his rifle or his two-way radio. A heart attack, a fall, or something else.
          The suggestion being that he did not travel far from the LKP (last known place), where he continued on from his hunting partner, supposedly agreeing to only a few minute walk a short distance further to the east. The search obviously focused there, even making many separate tight grid search patterns from different directions on multiple days over the same area again and again.

          It is difficult to understand how, if he was there, he could have escaped detection anywhere within a mile radius, and even farther if he had picked up any of the woods trails and along their borders that were also extensively searched miles further. This particular search with literally hundreds of trained SAR over two weeks is one of the most difficult to figure out that we have seen in many years.

          I had untrained personnel on my team more than once, and at the end of a hard and difficult terrain day it is difficult for even experienced searchers to maintain focus and proper spacing, but multiple crossed grids should still have found some kind of clue if not the subject himself. But nothing at all was discovered.
          "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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          • #35
            Has it been considered that he could be "up"? Perhaps he noticed a tree stand and climbed up to it; suffered a heart attack or other natural fatal event and is still in that tree stand?
            “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold

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            • #36
              I would imagine that even an untrained searcher would notice a ladder that led to a tree stand and look up, although I am sure anything is possible. I have heard of climbing a tree and pulling it up after oneself but I didn't have the impression it was a thing that happens very often.
              Zach

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              • #37
                Originally posted by fvrwld View Post
                Has it been considered that he could be "up"? Perhaps he noticed a tree stand and climbed up to it; suffered a heart attack or other natural fatal event and is still in that tree stand?
                Anything is possible, and certainly that and other possibilities are considered during highly organized search campaigns such as this one was.

                As part of their training, a good crew boss before hitting the woods with a crew will always brief their crew members on as many relevant physical and other details of the subject as are known, along with reminders of proper search procedures which include crawling if necessary to look under the densest most wicked blow down (everybody sooner later has a turn at those in their search lane), through briar patches, behind and on all sides of trees and logs as they are passed, and also to look upward in trees, among other places of hiding. Could he be missed by being up there somewhere? Sure it is possible, but not terribly likely, not in the prime search zone.
                "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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                • #38
                  Unless Mr. Messick was a fitness guru, it seems hard to fathom an 82-year old man climbing into a tree stand and then planning to climb back down. That would be a very dangerous endeavor for anyone his age.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by wiiawiwb View Post
                    Unless Mr. Messick was a fitness guru, it seems hard to fathom an 82-year old man climbing into a tree stand and then planning to climb back down. That would be a very dangerous endeavor for anyone his age.
                    I was thinking he would have climbed up screw in steps or other implements that make climbing a tree much easier.
                    “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by fvrwld View Post
                      Has it been considered that he could be "up"? Perhaps he noticed a tree stand and climbed up to it; suffered a heart attack or other natural fatal event and is still in that tree stand?
                      When I did my SAR training years ago, we were taught to often look up, and also back behind us. Sometimes looking for potential suicides; they can be hanging in trees... (Grim, I know, but a fact...)

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                      • #41
                        DEC recently issued a statement asking the public to continue to look for this man: http://www.suncommunitynews.com/arti...issing-hunter/
                        Life's short, hunt hard!

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                        • #42
                          please excuse me if the following has already been discussed here or the deleted thread.

                          it concerns me greatly that mr. messick wasn't wearing any blaze orange clothing - even though I've crossed paths with many hunters over the years who won't use blaze orange.
                          he could've been accidently shot by another hunter who thought he shot at a deer. some hunters don't follow-up on the shot to look for blood - they assume they missed.
                          and remember that some hunters use their rifle scope instead of binoculars.
                          that means the cross hairs might've been on you at one point in time while you were hunting.
                          between maggots and decomposition a deer carcass will quickly disappear under the leaves even in subfreezing temperatures after sundown.
                          much more can be said.
                          Give a man/woman or child a fish or meat and feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish or hunt and feed them for a lifetime - and they'll never forget you.

                          My photos cannot be used without my written permission.

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                          • #43
                            http://kdvr.com/2015/10/29/colorado-...he-wilderness/
                            Give a man/woman or child a fish or meat and feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish or hunt and feed them for a lifetime - and they'll never forget you.

                            My photos cannot be used without my written permission.

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                            • #44
                              Video "articles" are terrible.
                              #9404
                              http://edthesmokebeard.com/

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Blackhawk View Post
                                please excuse me if the following has already been discussed here or the deleted thread.

                                it concerns me greatly that mr. messick wasn't wearing any blaze orange clothing - even though I've crossed paths with many hunters over the years who won't use blaze orange.
                                he could've been accidently shot by another hunter who thought he shot at a deer. some hunters don't follow-up on the shot to look for blood - they assume they missed.
                                and remember that some hunters use their rifle scope instead of binoculars.
                                that means the cross hairs might've been on you at one point in time while you were hunting.
                                between maggots and decomposition a deer carcass will quickly disappear under the leaves even in subfreezing temperatures after sundown.
                                much more can be said.
                                NY does not require hunters to wear blaze orange, and IMO rightly so, especially in the Northern Zone. Last hunting season in NY was the safest on record with NO fatalities. I've hunted many states where there are blaze orange requirements, and those states have much higher hunting accidents rates, with many less hunters a field. Plus most hunting accidents are self induced, or a member of the same party. Blaze orange or not, the best rule is to positively identify your target before pulling the trigger. You are correct, using your rifle scope as a monocular, is a careless practice.

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