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Rescue: Close to home hunting

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I read this rescue story from the Illinois Conservation Police and thought, ``Hey, that's where I duck hunted.''

I think I drew a blind last year where these guys were headed.

While I am tempted to beat them up for being stupid, I did the same wading approach and can understand how in high water (though I thought it was receding not coming up on Monday) they could get trapped and be in trouble.

It's quite the tale about a couple south suburban guys who ought to be glad they are alive.

And there's a whole lot of points about hunting safety or outdoor safety in general in this:

Illinois Conservation Police Rescue Two Hunters Near Kankakee River State Park

Subjects stranded on island during hunt

Bourbonnais, IL - Two hunters are safe after being rescued by Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police officers (CPOs) at Kankakee River State Park.

Conservation Police received a call at approximately 6:35 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19 that two hunters were overdue to return home after leaving to hunt waterfowl early that morning. Family members were unsure of the area where Peter Konow (age 23, of Tinley Park, IL) and Steven Smoczynski (age 22 of Crestwood, IL) were hunting. Internet searches of one of the subject's home computers by CPOs led them to Kankakee River State Park. Both men were located just after 9 p.m. on Dec. 19 on an island just north of Hunting Area 7 within the park.

Konow and Smoczynski had arrived at the park around 5:45 a.m. on Dec. 19 and crossed a shallow area of the Kankakee River on foot to the island, where they hunted until approximately 11:30 a.m. By the time the two men tried to cross the river at the conclusion of their hunt, they found higher water levels on the river. After an unsuccessful attempt to cross the river, the men made it back to the island where they discovered the cell phone they had was wet and inoperable.

The men built a fire, shared dry clothing and waited for help to arrive. CPOs responding to the park located the subjects' vehicle in a nearby parking lot and searched the area. When CPOs spotted the two men, officers launched a boat and transported Konow and Smoczynski back to the park.

"This situation turned out positively because these men were able to build a fire and stay warm until help arrived. Had they told friends or family where they were going to hunt, they could have been located much more quickly. It's always a good idea to tell someone outside your hunting party where you are going in case of an emergency," said Illinois Conservation Police Sergeant Mark Simon.

The Kankakee Sheriff's office along with the Bourbonnais and Limestone Fire departments assisted in the rescue.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 21, 2011 4:56 AM.

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