EDMONTON – Two University of Alberta students say they were in the right place at the right time when they stumbled upon a lost hunter in southeastern B.C. this weekend.
Tyana Rudolfsen, a masters student focusing on fisheries and aquatic conservation, and colleague Jonathan Ruppert were switching out temperature loggers on the Flathead River Saturday morning when they came across a man waving an emergency blanket in the air.
“He was pretty happy to see us,” said Rudolfsen.
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“When he noticed the truck pulling up behind him and saw that there were people in it he got really wide-eyed, surprised and started to come as quickly as he could towards the truck,” said Ruppert.
“He also kept mentioning it was his birthday so it was a great present for him.”
The hunter was prediabetic and visibly distressed, the pair said. Out for a hunting trip with his son and friend, the man got lost a day-and-a-half before Rudolfsen and Ruppert found him.
“Given his health condition and the fact he was prediabetic and showing symptoms of severe low blood glucose levels, things could have turned bad in a matter of hours,” said Rudolfsen.
The pair gave the man Gatorade and something to eat and his condition quickly improved. They say the area where they found him in the Flathead River Valley was fairly remote and while it is hunting season, it’s not likely anyone would have been in the area anytime soon.
“This was about a 40, 45-minute drive off those service roads where we didn’t see a single soul and then we happened upon him. So he was deep in the bush,” said Ruppert.
The pair drove the hunter back home to Fernie, where he took his medication and alerted search and rescue, who had air crews out searching for him.