October 8, 2012

Missing bird hunter found safe in Houlton area

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A 77-year-old bird hunter reported missing by his son on Saturday night was found safe in the woods in Aroostook County's Hammond Township early Sunday evening by a family who went looking for him.

Ralph Bubar "was in relatively good shape" when Marty Fitzpatrick of Littleton helped him out of the woods around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a press release from the Maine Warden Service.

Spokeswoman Caroline Hailey did not know whether Bubar was injured or why he had been out in the woods for more than 24 hours. She said he needed assistance walking and was taken by ambulance to Houlton Regional Hospital for evaluation. She did not know if he needed medical treatment.

Hailey did not believe that Bubar knew Fitzpatrick or his family, who went looking for the hunter from Linneus after reading a news story that he was missing.

When Bubar did not return home Saturday, his son went looking for him in areas he hunts and found his Ford Ranger with the key in the cupholder in Hammond Township, near Houlton.

Four wardens and two dogs searched for him through the night Saturday and were joined by seven more wardens and two search planes on Sunday. A Maine Forest service helicopter, members of the Linneus Fire department, Maine Search and Rescue Dogs and about 50 volunteers also helped with the search.

Bubar was found when the Fitzpatrick family yelled for him from the end of a dirt road and he responded. He was more than 1.5 miles from where his pickup truck was parked. 


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