Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), Dekalb County Rescue Squad, Dekalb County Fire, Dekalb County Emergency Medical Services, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Special Operations Team (RCFR), Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), Cannon County Rescue Squad, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have coordinated a multi-agency response to reports of a missing hunter in the area of Wildlife Lane in Dekalb County.

DCSO learned of the 49-year-old male’s disappearance around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when his sister contacted authorities. The man had been missing for quite some time.

He and a friend had been coon hunting the night before. Reports indicated that the man had a medical condition that caused him to go back to the vehicle. When the dogs picked up on the scent of an animal, the man’s hunting partner went in pursuit. The man tried to reunite with his hunting buddy when he became lost. The friend tried to contact him but was unsuccessful. The friend eventually notified the man’s sister, who then reported him missing to local authorities.

The man was located on a steep hillside and rescuers retrieved him from the area via a stokes basket (a wire basket conforming in shape to the human body into which an injured, sick, or disabled person can be safely strapped) and loaded him on an ATV. It is anticipated that he will now be LifeFlighted to an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

RCFR’s drones in collaboration with volunteers from Stormpoint Emergency Response were instrumental in the discovery of the missing man, as were K9s from both RCFR and RCSO. The Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter was also deployed and contributed to the search efforts.

“We are incredibly thankful that the gentleman was found and his injuries seem to be relatively minor given the circumstances,” said RCFR Captain John Ingle.

Sheriff Patrick Ray attributed the success of the mission to teamwork from local and mutual aid partners. “We are elated to have found the patient safe and in good shape and are grateful to all of the agencies who took part in this rescue.”

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