Overdue Pittsburg bird hunter returns home safely
PITTSBURG - An overdue bird hunter walked four hours in the dark on logging trails Thursday night to arrive home safely, about the time U.S. Border Patrol agents, state Fish and Game conservation officers and New Hampshire State Police had started searching for him.
Leonard Schrock, 63, of Pittsburg left a note for his wife Gail on Thursday afternoon saying he had gone hunting in the Hall Stream area. An avid outdoors man, he usually returns home about 6:30 p.m., which prompted his wife to contact authorities for help.
Schrock's 1993 Ford Bronco had broken down in the upper reaches of Hall Stream, he later told conservation officers, and he walked for more than four hours along logging roads to get home.
The only vehicles he saw during his dark walk were a border patrol agent and a conservation officer heading onto Moose Pond Road to look for him. That was in the initial stages of the search of logging roads, and about the same time Schrock arrived safely home at 10:10 p.m.
Schrock had taken a small trail behind his property as a final shortcut home, when he saw the headlights and heard the vehicles through the trees.
"Mr. Schrock is in great physical shape, and is an avid outdoors man. These attributes certainly helped him through the situation he was facing," said conservation officer Chris Egan.
Fish and Game officials remind hunters, fishermen, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to wear appropriate clothing, carry at least a source of light and fire, and most importantly, to tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return.
"Leaving the note gave us a place to begin looking. Without such a valuable hint, it would have been more like looking for a needle in a haystack," Egan said.