Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Missing hunter turns up dead in Fulton County

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Ohio
Herkimer County
Wilderness Search:
 On Dec. 2 at 7:21 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an overdue hunter in the area of North Lake/Ice Cave Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Murphy responded, along with Forest Rangers McCartney, Hanno, Candee, and Evans. Once on scene, Rangers spread out on key terrain and fired signal shots to see if the hunter would respond. The Rangers heard a shot in return, proceeded east into West Canada Lake Wilderness in the direction of the shot fired, and made voice contact with the 59-year-old hunter from Beaver Falls. At 2:14 a.m., Lt. Murphy advised that Rangers had located the subject cold, but otherwise in good condition, and were assisting him out of the woods. Earlier in the afternoon, the hunter’s GPS died and with the heavy snowfall, he was unable to follow his own tracks and became lost about three miles from camp. The hunter was returned to his camp at North Lake at 3:47 a.m.

Town of Bleecker
Fulton County
Wilderness Search:
 On Dec. 4 at 9 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a member of a hunting camp in the Sander Road area advising that a 45-year-old hunter from Scotia was overdue from an afternoon hunt. Forest Rangers Kerr and Miller responded to investigate and search the area. The Rangers searched throughout the night and located tracks and personal items left by the hunter but could not locate the subject. On Dec. 5 at first light, four additional Rangers arrived on the scene and conducted searches of the thick, swampy forest. At 3:03 p.m., Forest Rangers located and recovered the hunter’s body from the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the cause of death with support from DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation and the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Dec. 5 at 11:15 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 31-year-old hiker from Nutley, New Jersey, who became disoriented while hiking Dix Mountain. Coordinates provided by Essex County 911 placed the hiker considerably off the trail and he was advised to stay where he was. The hiker indicated he was prepared with a small tent and warm clothing. Forest Rangers Evans, LaPierre, and Curcio entered the woods through the Round Pond trailhead and began making their way to the coordinates provided. Ray Brook and Essex County 911 Dispatch worked together to ping the hiker’s phone to more accurately pinpoint his location. Since the hiker’s cellphone battery was low, the subject was advised to shut off the phone and keep it warm, and only to check it periodically for messages from rescuers. Rangers located the hiker at 5:05 p.m. Once warmed after his extended exposure to subfreezing temperatures, the hiker was safely escorted back to his vehicle at 9:21 p.m.

Ranger Curcio responding to Essex County rescue, her first in Region 5 since transferring to the Adirondacks.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

Related Stories

Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

8 Responses

  1. Westernedge says:

    Thank God, again and again, for our Rangers!

    • gabe susice says:

      the forest rangers did there job, the people who we should “thank god” for are the
      volunteers in the fire and rescue departments.the lack of some kind of retirement
      for these people is a crime. nys can take careof people who are illegals, but we cant help the people who save lives and property is morally wrong imho.

      • Good Camp Owner says:

        So true Gabe. You would never see local, 1st responder’s especially volunteers crying about anything and certainly not hiding behind the vail of a being a PBA rep. They are the core the unsung, and I am personally thankful everyday. Imho

  2. Mike Buznick says:

    It appears that the headline indicates the hunter was deceased but if you read the article he was returned safely to his camp?? WHO proofreads these things??

  3. Worth Gretter says:

    DEC should share more pictures of Forest Rangers, especially when the outdoor conditions are tough, so we can see what they are up against.
    Forest Rangers must be the most popular law enforcement group in the state — there are endless stories of rescues, and none of abuses!
    Truly, “protect and serve” means something with this group!

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox