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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pizzed's Avatar
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    Coyotes and close calls: Hunting guide shares story of 3 nights lost in woods

    Randy Hilliard walked out of woods in southwestern Newfoundland on his own two feet Friday morning



    During three wet, cold nights in the middle of nowhere, Randy Hilliard said he never thought he would be back at his kitchen table again.

    But that's where the 49-year-old hunting guide was on Friday, sharing the story of his survival in the woods, deep inland from the village of Jeffrey's on the southwestern coast of Newfoundland.

    "(I thought of) the kids mostly," he said, sitting at home with a hospital bracelet still on his wrist. "When you're in a place you're not familiar with and the fog shuts in, it don't take long for things to go wrong."

    Hilliard became lost on Tuesday when he intended to head for a camp operated by Mountain Top Outfitters. In the fog, he began walking away from the cabin instead. By the time he realized his mistake, darkness had fallen and he took shelter for the night.

    Second night brings first meal a few berries

    The next morning, Hilliard tried to head back in the right direction, but couldn't pick up the road for the camp. Lost and cold, he settled in for a second night.

    He had no food or water, and his nylon pants were wet from falling in a brook. He took off his soaked socks and used a pocketknife to cut the sleeves from his shirt, fashioning a new pair.



    On Thursday morning, Hilliard ate for the first time a handful of partridgeberries.

    Meanwhile, the search for Hilliard had intensified.

    Members of Barachois Search and Rescue were joined by RCMP and a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre helicopter in the search.

    Stalked by coyotes, out of earshot from searchers

    Hilliard said he often thought he could hear people calling out to him, but couldn't get an answer from anything other than the coyotes who followed close by.

    "Every time I called back, the coyotes answered me," he said. "I didn't know if I was hearing people calling or if I was actually hearing coyotes calling to one another."

    On Thursday, Hilliard struggled to see the helicopter in the sky through poor weather. It passed him three times, but failed to spot his green camouflage clothing.

    At one point in the afternoon, Hilliard was on high ground, looking down at the helicopter. He ran to the bottom of the hill, but the searchers moved away from him. As they moved toward the end of a pond, Hilliard dug in and waited for them to come back. When the helicopter didn't circle back, he decided to stay there for the night.

    Fourth day brings first break

    Waking to clear skies on Friday, he looked across the pond and saw the lights to the camp. He had followed the helicopter to safety.

    Hilliard quickly picked up the road and walked back to camp, where searchers were gearing up for another day.

    One of the first people he encountered was Art Ryan, his boss at Mountain Top Outfitters.

    "He got out, shook my hand and asked me how I felt," Hilliard said, his voice breaking as he began crying. "I felt bad, I had to put him through that the last few days.



    "I should have had better sense. I should have had stuff with me. I shouldn't have had to be in this state, in this predicament. I've been in the woods long enough now to know the difference."

    After finally getting out of the woods, he was reunited with his daughters at Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville, N.L.

    A career woodsman, Hilliard knows he'll be back to work again someday soon. But he'll no longer take anything for granted when he heads into the forest.

    "The boss said I'm going as cook next time I goes in," Hilliard laughed. "If I'm going to go back hunting, which I'm sure I will, then I'll be having enough supplies that I'll be getting back out the same night. First thing on the list is a GPS."

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...ound-1.3838356

  2. #2
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    "...Stalked by coyotes..." Nonsense. Wiley might have been curious, but a full grown bull human smells like nothing but trouble to him and his pals.
    Apparently Hilliard for got the first rule of being misplaced after wandering around the bush without one's compass. You sit right where you are, build a fire and wait.

  3. #3
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    "...Stalked by coyotes..." Nonsense. Wiley might have been curious, but a full grown bull human smells like nothing but trouble to him and his pals.
    Many stories to the contrary.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    Aptet aut mori

  4. #4
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    I've never seen coyotes hunt in a pack, and they just aren't that big. Even if he didn't have a rifle......which he implied that he was hunting at the end of the story.....if you've got heavy clothing on, and a good pair of gloves and a knife, a coyote that ventures close enough can be dinner if you're fast enough.
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  5. #5
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksmithden View Post
    I've never seen coyotes hunt in a pack
    They hunt deer in packs in NS, not unusual to see them chasing deer while out hunting.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    Aptet aut mori

  6. #6
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    They'll pack up a bit around here through the winter. I've seen groups as big as seven or eight on occasion. Years the snow gets too deep for the deer we'll find plenty of sign that small groups of yotes are taking them down.

    That said, I was hunting this weekend on land I'm incredibly familiar with, and never got more than about a half hours hike from the truck, and my pack had matches, a compass, a first aid kit, survival blanket, water and a few light snacks in it. Doesn't take much to go sideways in the woods....
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  7. #7
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    It's a regulation in NS that you have to have a compass, matches, and a blade on yourself when you enter the woods.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    Aptet aut mori

  8. #8
    Senior Member wolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone-wolf View Post
    It's a regulation in NS that you have to have a compass, matches, and a blade on yourself when you enter the woods.
    But not allowed a gun, unless somethings in season.

  9. #9
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    http://s910.photobucket.com/user/Buc...65sea.mp4.html

    This video was posted to novascotiahunting.com last year. Can't count how many were at his apple pile. There are quite a few stories of people being stalked by a group of coyotes. One Toronto song writer was killed and eaten by two coyotes in Cape Breton about a decade back.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    "...Stalked by coyotes..." Nonsense. Wiley might have been curious, but a full grown bull human smells like nothing but trouble to him and his pals...
    Obviously you've never been in the midst of calls.
    Disconcerting, to say the least.
    Heck, had one screaming at me in the bush from about 50 yards away a couple weeks ago, and was a bit un-nerved.
    It was alone, thankfully, but that's the only time I've heard just one.
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that clown. Oct 20, '15

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