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Missing hunting duo found safe and sound by friends

Search and rescue teams had been preparing to look for them
Houston Search and Rescue team members were getting ready to help look for a pair of missing hunters until word was received they had been found. (File photo)

Preparations for what would have been a full-scale search for a missing pair of hunters Nov. 4 were called off when the duo was found by friends.

Cliff Sampare Jr. and son Austin Sampare left Gitsegukla early in the morning of Nov. 3 intending to go hunting in the Houston area only to fall out of touch with family.

Facebook postings said family members contacted the RCMP and that the duo’s phones were last pinged along the Old Babine Road north of Smithers.

A release by Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue the afternoon of Nov. 4 said mobilization of its ground teams along with the BV Amateur Radio Society and local members of the Provincial Emergency Program’s (PEP) air search and rescue organization was underway when word came through that the father and son had been located.

“A flat tire had caused the delay in the hunters returning home last night. The hunters did the right thing by staying with their vehicle overnight,” the release indicated.

“Over 10 folks from Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue supported this search and more than five folks between the Bulkley Valley Amateur Radio Society and PEP Air were involved too. Houston Search amd Rescue were mobilizing as well when it became known the hunters were found.”

“Collectively we worked together with the family and friends of the overdue hunters to help find them.”

Prior to the hunters being found, Cliff Sampare Sr., Sampare Jr.’s father and grandfather to Austin Sampare, said they knew their way around the bush and because they were on a hunting trip, were equipped with warm clothing and food.

“I took him hunting when he was just a baby,” Sampare Sr. said of his son.

“They are on the fall hunting trip for moose. 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 while out in the wilderness and to leave a trip plan with family and friends.