A passing driver spotted a hunter reported missing in the Cheat Mountain area of Randolph County and brought him home Wednesday after the hunter walked through the woods all night, police said.
The 57-year-old man was returned to his residence late Wednesday morning after local authorities searched for him throughout the night. The Sheriff's Office declined to release the hunter's name.
The hunter was reported missing to the Randolph County E-911 Center at approximately 2:22 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Sheriff's Office press release issued Wednesday. He was hunting with friends on Cheat Mountain above Huttonsville at approximately 10 a.m. when he became separated from the group, according to the release.
At approximately 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday the individual was brought to his residence, police said. According to the release, the man "walked all night when he could in order to stay warm, and rested when needed," then emerged out of the woods near Shaffer's Run and "was picked up by a local citizen" and taken to the hunter's residence nearby.
It was when the man returned home, only a few minutes after being picked up, that a family member contacted county officials to announce that the man had made it home. No injuries were reported, police said.
The rescue operation, involving a coordinated search in the last known area where the hunter was seen, included state Division of Natural Resources representatives, area fire department personnel, the West Virginia State Police, Pocahontas County Search & Rescue, the American Red Cross, Randolph County EMS and the Sheriff's Office. The search extended into the morning hours Wednesday, officials said.
The Sheriff's Office would like to thank all agencies and personnel for their assistance with the search.
Contact Chad Clem by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.