Two Penobscot County hunters missing since Friday found alive

Posted Dec. 01, 2013, at 12:21 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 02, 2013, at 12:35 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — T wo Penobscot County hunters believed missing in the Chamberlain Lake or Clayton Lake areas since Friday evening were located alive on Sunday, just shortly before 6 p.m., according to the Maine Warden Service.

Cpl. John MacDonald of the warden service said Travis Hafford, 33, of East Millinocket and Ryan Stevens, 33, of Millinocket were found by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer near Eagle Lake Township. He said that details of why the hunters were overdue was still being investigated, but preliminary information indicated that their vehicle may have become stuck.

MacDonald said Sunday that Hafford and Stevens left between 6 and 7 a.m. Friday to go hunting and did not return that evening for dinner as planned. They were reported missing at 2:20 a.m. Saturday.

MacDonald said that the hunters were traveling in Hafford’s silver 2006 Chevy extended cab pickup truck

Game wardens and two warden service aircraft conducted a search for the men throughout the weekend.

Richard Bowie, director of the Downeast Emergency Medical Institute in Orono, said that DEEMI also was heavily involved in the search for the two men. He said that he was overwhelmed by the response that DEEMI saw from the Millinocket community and from businesses and searchers in Penobscot County.

“It was truly amazing,” he said Sunday evening. “It was an arduous search because of the terrain with a lot of walking and driving along logging roads, and people and businesses just really responded and came out in support of us and these families.”

He said that Maine Military Supply in Holden donated massive cans of fuel for DEEMI’s Humvees, as well as blankets and other supplies for searchers. Pizza places in the Millinocket area provided pizza and sandwiches, as did Subway and other restaurants.

There was scant cellphone reception, so searchers mainly communicated via radio.

The Millinocket Fire Department opened its doors to searchers, he said.

“I’m telling you, there is a party going on there now,” he said. “Its so fantastic to have a great outcome.”

Searchers had not yet located a third individual, a 67-year-old Canadian man with no ties to the two missing hunters.

The discovery of a green 2002 Kia Sedona belonging to Renald Poulin, 67, of Quebec in the Chamberlain Lake region on Saturday led several Maine game wardens and K-9 teams searching for Hafford and Stevens to search for Poulin as well, according to MacDonald.

MacDonald said that Poulin crossed into the U.S. on Tuesday and was to return Wednesday.

Anyone with information about Poulin’s whereabouts is asked to call the Public Safety Dispatch Center in Houlton at 800-924-2261.

CORRECTION:

Due to information provided to the BDN, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the two hunters were found by a Canadian Border Patrol agent. They were found by an officer from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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