Squirrel hunter rescued

Published 4:50 am Friday, October 13, 2017

A Bogalusa squirrel hunter was rescued from the Pearl River canal swamp late Monday night, after becoming lost in the woods, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

After launching his boat at Poole’s Bluff, the elderly hunter traveled south down the canal and went into the woods to hunt. As dark settled on the woods, he became disoriented and was unable to find his way back to the canal and his boat. He had failed to take his cell phone with him, so had no means of contacting anyone.

When the hunter failed to arrive back home after dark, his wife drove to Poole’s Bluff and saw that her husband’s truck and trailer were still in the parking lot. The WPSO was notified and immediately responded to the scene along with a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent.

As the Pearl River was being searched by WPSO deputies from the sill north to Richardson’s Landing, the Wildlife and Fisheries agent launched his boat. At that time, the sound of a gunshot was heard, soon followed by a second gunshot. The shots seemed to come from down the canal, so the agent and an accompanying WPSO deputy went in that direction. After several anxious minutes, they announced that the hunter had been located and was safe. Back in his boat, the hunter followed the Wildlife and Fisheries boat back to the landing.

Sheriff Randy Seal had words of advice for hunters who venture into area woods and swamps and praise for the officers involved in the successful rescue.

“It is never good when our officers have to go on the water after dark. I am not comfortable until I know they are safe,” Seal said. “This time, all turned out well for both the hunter and the officers who were searching for him.

“I strongly advise anyone who is hunting in our woods and swamps to be extra cautious and to always hunt with a companion, to always have a fully charged cell phone on their person and to always let someone know exactly where they will be hunting. Many thanks to our deputies, our detectives and our partner Wildlife and Fisheries agent for a job well done.”