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Lost hunter located in Green Swamp

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:57 AM EST
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BOLTON, N.C. (WECT) - A hunter who got lost in the Juniper Creek Game Land tract in the Green Swamp was reunited with his family Tuesday.

According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Michael Edward Abernethy, of Morganton, was located shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials say that Abernethy was vacationing with his family in Myrtle Beach when he decided to go hunting in the Juniper Creek Game Land tract, which is located in both Columbus and Brunswick counties.

“When he did not return to his family at the scheduled time, they tried calling his cellphone but did not get an answer,” a CCSO news release states. “His family traveled to the area, locating his vehicle. Inside they found his cellphone, his heavy coat, gloves, and lunch box. They called 911 at approximately 10:30 pm on Nov. 22.”

Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and Columbus County Emergency Management then began a search for Abernethy.

A helicopter and K-9 units were deployed, including a bloodhound who located a positive track.

“Both agencies searched through the early morning hours for Mr. Abernethy,” the news release said. “Mr. Abernethy heard the search parties and moved towards them. At approximately 10 a.m., this morning, Mr. Abernethy was located. He was cold, hungry, and dehydrated, but OK. Buckhead Rescue responded to the scene and evaluated Mr. Abernethy. They determined he did not need additional medical care.

“Mr. Abernethy was greeted by his family with lots of hugs and kisses.”

According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Michael Edward Abernethy, of...
According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Michael Edward Abernethy, of Morganton, was located shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday.(CCSO)

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