Preparations for what would have been a full-scale search for a pair of missing hunters on November 4 were called off when the pair were found by friends.
Cliff Sampare Jr. and his son Austin Sampare left Gitsegukla early in the morning of November 3 with the intention of going hunting in the Houston area only to lose contact with their family.
Facebook posts said family members contacted the RCMP and the duo’s phones were last rung along Old Babine Road north of Smithers.
A statement from Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue on the afternoon of Nov. 4 said the mobilization of its ground crews with the BV Amateur Radio Society and local members of the Provincial Air Search and Rescue Program emergency (PEP) was in progress when the news arrived. both father and son had been located.
“A flat tire delayed the hunters’ return last night. The hunters did the right thing by staying with their vehicle overnight,” the statement read.
“Over ten people from Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue supported this search and over five people between the Bulkley Valley Amateur Radio Society and PEP Air were also involved. Houston Search and Rescue were also mobilizing when it was learned that the hunters had been found.
“Collectively, we worked with family and friends of overdue hunters to help find them.”
Before the hunters were found, Cliff Sampare Sr., Sampare Jr.’s father and Austin Sampare’s grandfather, said they knew their way around the bush and because they were on a hunting trip. , were equipped with warm clothes and food.
“I took him hunting when he was just a baby,” Sampare Sr. said of his son.
“They are on a moose hunting trip in the fall. What we do is they come back and share with the village.
Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue encourages people to have an emergency kit with them when out in the wild and to leave a travel plan with family and friends.