BEAVER COVE TOWNSHIP, Maine — A New Gloucester man died Saturday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound while hunting alone on Prong Pond Mountain about 10 miles northeast of Greenville, according to officials.
Ernest L. Russell III, 55, was found dead on the mountain on the last day of Maine’s firearms deer hunting season, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife indicated Sunday afternoon in a press release.
Russell had departed for his trip shortly after noon Saturday. When he did not return, his wife called officials in Piscataquis County around 7 p.m., who in turn alerted the Maine Warden Service, DIF&W spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte said Sunday.
Six game wardens and a state trooper started searching for Russell at 7:15 p.m., Turcotte said. They found Russell’s truck by activating its Onstar global positioning satellite system and, around 8:40 p.m., found Russell’s body by following the hunter’s tracks through the snow. Russell was about 600 yards away from his truck, Turcotte said.
Turcotte said that though investigators believe Russell shot himself, they have not determined how the incident happened.
“We’re trying to confirm that it was an accident,” she said.
Officials took Russell’s body to a funeral home in Gray, where the state medical examiner’s office is assisting in the case, Turcotte said. The shooting is still under investigation.