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Hunters Located Alive and Awaiting Rescue

Monday, November 17, 2014 | 10:11 AM

UPDATE: The last confirmed contact from the hunters was at 12:09 a.m. The state helicopter has been requested, but it can not fly because of the weather. Search teams are currently in the forest searching on foot and horseback. 

WREN - Two hunters remain lost in Bankhead National Forest Monday morning, but Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said authorities know where they are and hope to rescue them when the weather clears up.

"It's not a matter of knowing where they are, it's how do we get them out of where they are," Mitchell said. "They're in some really bad terrain as far as walking. It's straight up and straight down."

Mitchell said the two men, Greg Sherrill and Buddy Brown, from the Phil Campbell area, were hog hunting in the Gum Pond area when they became lost Sunday evening.

Search parties went out Sunday night and discovered the two men's general location due to the men firing gun shots into the air in response to the searcher's sirens, but they couldn't get to the men. According to Mitchell, the hunters had no known heath issues and were outfitted with heavy clothing and rain gear.

Mitchell said a helicopter has been made ready to use this morning to rescue the men, but it can't get out to that high an elevation until the cloud cover lifts.

"We're working on getting a chopper in there to find them and get them to a clear cut area that is up there," Mitchell said. "If there is enough clear cut area, we can extract them from the forest that way."

However, Mitchell said there is still a good possibility the two men could find their way out of the forest on their own.

"What normally happens is in the morning when the sun comes up, they'll see which direction they should be going in and head back out," Mitchell said. "They haven't known what direction they were heading in since yesterday at noon because of the cloud cover. This morning it will be cleared out, and they should be able to head back toward their vehicle."

Developments will be added as they are received on this story. Thanks to the Times Daily for continued coverage and assistance.

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