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Thread: Missing Hunter in Eureka Area

  1. #1
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Missing Hunter in Eureka Area

    Third day?...With thousands of people in the area, one would think that this would not happen. Also shows a primary issue about being prepared. When wheeling you need more than just a winch, you need an anchor to go with it. Or the knowledge (and tools) of how to make an anchor out of native materials.

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    GLENNALLEN, Alaska (KTUU) - Search teams are continuing efforts on Friday to locate and rescue an Anchorage hunter who became lost in the mountains near Eureka Lodge on Wednesday.

    Alaska State Troopers say 35-year-old Kevin Knoll was on a solo caribou hunting trip in the Eureka area when his Polaris four-wheeler became stuck in the mud on Wednesday morning. Knoll abandoned the vehicle and walked several miles south before contacting a friend for help.

    “Knoll said he was out of water and in need of rescue,” troopers wrote in a dispatch posted online.

    Knoll’s friend contacted troopers just after 1 p.m., and said the missing hunter was likely in the area of Horse Pasture Pass, about 20-30 miles northwest of Eureka Lodge. Aircraft from the Rescue Coordination Center were dispatched to the area and began an aerial search for Knoll at around 7:20 p.m.

    State and wildlife troopers based in Glennallen were sent to the Eureka area along with an AST helicopter to assist with continued aerial and ground searches on Thursday morning. Members of Knoll’s family and friend also arrived in the area to assist with the search.

    Just before 5 p.m. search teams located Knoll’s abandoned four-wheeler near the Little Nelchina River, about 13 miles north of the Eureka Lodge. Crews continued looking until 7:30 p.m. yesterday evening, but were unable to find the missing hunter.

    The search effort is ongoing and will continue Friday, troopers say.

  2. #2
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    Wow hope they find the gentleman. I hunt the area quite often. Seems to be a bit weird since a guy can just follow the trail all the way back to the parking lot. And as it says, 1000s of people out there.

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    Hope all goes well and he is found safe. Of course you can't always believe the news, but I don't under stand, how you could be out of water out there! also they found his machine at the Little Nelchina 13 miles back, yet they believe he is lost near Horse Pasture which is 25-30 miles back and the wrong direction form the Eureka lodge ???
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    I used to read reports about people getting lost. When your alone, cold, hungry and lost people would do things that did not make sense. One of the common thinks were to cross a ck or river even though they did not cross one going in or clime over a hill or mountain thinking it was a short cut.

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    A compass always points North, if you have one.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    adding to the confusion about where this guy was. (and yes I am fully aware that this breaks a forum rule, but this is not about a crime, so there)

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    AK16066576

    Location: Glennallen
    Type: Search and Rescue
    Dispatch Text:

    On 9/9/2016, Search efforts for Knoll are continuing. On 9/8/16, at approximately 1650 hours, searchers located Knoll’s abandoned 4 wheeler. It was found in an area north of the Little Nelchina River, approximately 13 miles north of the area of the Eureka Lodge. Ground personnel and aerial assets continued to search for Knoll. As of 1930 hours, on 9/8/16, AST and AWT suspended their search for Knoll for the evening.

    On 9/7/16, at about 1308 hours, Glennallen AST was notified of a lost hunter in the Eureka area. It was reported to AST that Kevin Knoll, 35 of Anchorage, was lost somewhere in the mountains behind the Eureka Lodge. Knoll was caribou hunting alone when his Polaris side by side became stuck in the mud. Knoll left his side by side and reported the complainant that he had walked, what he believed to be approximately 15-20 miles, to the south. Knoll said he was out of water and in need of rescue. AST was provided a possible location from a friend of Knoll. According to Knoll’s friend, Knoll should be somewhere in the area of Horse Pasture Pass, approximately 20-30 miles northwesterly of the Eureka Lodge. At approximately 1920 hours, air assets sent by the RCC arrived in the Eureka area to begin their search. At 2200 hours, RCC stopped searching for the night. On 9/8/16, at approximately 1058 hours, Helo-4, Glennallen AST Troopers, and two AWT Troopers arrived on scene to continue searching, both by air and ground. Additionally a group of Knoll’s family and friends have arrived in the Eureka area to participate in efforts. Search efforts are ongoing.

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    He has been found! Alive and safe.

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    excellent. can't wait to hear his story. there a lot of gaps in the dispatch story( surprise)

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    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    That's good news
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

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    Good News........I wonder how much weight he lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by FullFreezer View Post
    He has been found! Alive and safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptarmigan View Post
    A compass always points North, if you have one.
    Nope! In Alaska you'd be 26 degrees off and in parts pf NY near iron deposits you can go in circles.

    Best lesson I ever had from an Eskimo was: Always stop and look behind you every once in a while. You need to know what the view is going to look like when you return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Nope! In Alaska you'd be 26 degrees off and in parts pf NY near iron deposits you can go in circles.

    Best lesson I ever had from an Eskimo was: Always stop and look behind you every once in a while. You need to know what the view is going to look like when you return.
    I said the same thing to one of my hunters about survey tape when he didn't want to pack any meat and, "would have dinner waiting for me" back at camp. He still got lost........

    Oh and btw.......don't hold your compass next to your belt buckle when you're looking at it.......lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Our hunting party picked up this gentleman and his dog on our way out of hunting camp yesterday . We picked him up about 16 miles from the trailhead and i listened to the entire story as he rode shotgun in my Ranger.

    Without getting too specific I'll say this: he's a nice guy who has spent his life in the backcountry. Unfortunately, his experience led to overconfidence instead of a healthy respect for the risks involved with heading deep into the woods. He did everything wrong one could do in this situation and death was a legitimate possibility.

    A couple personal thoughts after digesting his harrowing tale:

    1. You have to be seriously prepared before entering a trail system like the one in Eureka. He had no idea the terrain would be that challenging and didn't have a gps/map.

    2. If you're going to drive a sxs in Alaska, you better have some sort of anchor you can use in the event there's no trees to winch to.

    3. The most obvious: food and water. He had little of each.

    4. Just because the troopers send choppers looking for you, doesn't mean they'll actually see you. The gentleman was waving flashlights as the chopper flew overhead and was never seen.

    5. Two different groups of hunters ran into this guy on the trail. Neither group offered to take him to the trailhead for the sake of preserving their hunt. One group gave him a candy bar, pointed him in the right direction, and kept on trucking to camp. I'm not sure this sit well with me.

    There are a lot more head scratching details to the story, but i don't want to rip into a genuinely nice guy on a public forum. He made a lot of bad, bad, bad mistakes. I'm sure glad he's ok and can live the rest of his life, being endlessly razzed by his hunting buddies for this little adventure.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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    Two other groups came across him and did not offer to help him. That is concerning. A candy bar? Really? If the man was legitimately lost and in danger like it seems he was then there is no excuse to not offer him assistance in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfish716 View Post
    Two other groups came across him and did not offer to help him. That is concerning. A candy bar? Really? If the man was legitimately lost and in danger like it seems he was then there is no excuse to not offer him assistance in my opinion.
    That is concerning. We don't know the whole story, but if the lost gentlemen expressed his situation and need for help to the 2 different groups and both declined help besides a candy bar, I'm simply appalled. I'm glad you were able and willing to assist him mawelge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfish716 View Post
    Two other groups came across him and did not offer to help him. That is concerning. A candy bar? Really? If the man was legitimately lost and in danger like it seems he was then there is no excuse to not offer him assistance in my opinion.
    They were in a hurry to crap in the middle of the trail somewhere...
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfish716 View Post
    Two other groups came across him and did not offer to help him. That is concerning. A candy bar? Really? If the man was legitimately lost and in danger like it seems he was then there is no excuse to not offer him assistance in my opinion.
    All too common place anymore these days. I wouldn't this twice about giving up a day of hunting to save a guy. Sure I might piss and moan about it later, But I'd never think about leaving someone. Glad to see some folks still do the right thing. Thanks for coming on here and sharing this. And without humiliating the guy as well. We all have some stories that we are ashamed of. Called learning things the hard way. One of mine is at Eureka as well. I am very lucky to have survived that night. Young and dumb. Ill-prepared and new to Alaska. I have learned a lot since those days. I have shared that story with many, and I'd like to think help to save someone else's life by retelling of my stupidity.

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    Wooaa man that trail isn't going to litter its self!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    They were in a hurry to crap in the middle of the trail somewhere...

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    While I've got no desire to see this guy ridiculed in public- after all, we've all done something stupid (maybe it didn't result in a SAR event, but...)

    I've been very curious why he didn't simply walk out on the trail he came in on? I'm not passing judgement, but I think that would be a good data point for a lesson learned that we all could benefit from.

    Also- two groups that bypassed this guy and left him stranded? That's simply deplorable....I'm sure somewhere the scales of cosmic justice are going to tip on that one... and it'll be ugly.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Glad to hear that the missing hunter in the Eureka area has been found and is safe. I would be willing to bet that he will be rethinking his travel plans in the future.
    I have no idea what the though process was for the two groups that did not help out. As I see it, they had three options, 1,take the course they did which is not good conduct 2, take the hunter back to his machine and help him get it in stuck 3, make contact with the searchers and stay with the hunter until help arrived. Loosing some hunting time is of that big of a deal.
    We carry a sat phone with us all of the time, so it would have been easy for us to stay there and make contact with the searchers. In another life, I flew with the 71st ARRS and will make every attempt to see that a lost person is taken care of.

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