Suffering severe blood loss and other injuries after a bear attack on Wednesday, one hunter managed to survive 36 hours in the barren wilderness of northern Alaska.
According to CNN, the hunter, whose name has not yet been released, was traveling as part of a guided hunting party when he was accosted by a bear 35 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass. Due to heavy fog, the hunter became separated from his hunting party and was left to fend for himself nearly 300 miles from the nearest adequate medical facility. The Daily Mail reports that local rescue teams and state police attempted to reach the man’s location several times, but were turned back by rough weather.
In a stroke of good luck, the hunter was found by another hunting group that was in the area. Among the hunting party was a trained medical professional, who helped to stem the victim’s blood loss and treated other injuries.
“He was able to decrease the blood loss […] until help could arrive,” said Master Sergeant Armando Soria, a search-and-rescue coordinator with the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. “He provided expert care with limited resource for several hours, ultimately stabilizing, warming and rehydrating the victim.”
The group was able to keep the man alive until a concerted rescue mission by the Alaska Air National guard was able to retrieve the victim on Friday. The man was then transported to the Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska and later to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. His condition is currently listed as stable.
Rescue workers credit the hunting party and the trained medic who found the man for saving his life. It just goes to show that hunting is not always about the target, but the resourcefulness, dedication, and camaraderie among hunters.