Hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

KENAI — On Thanksgiving, Alaska Wildlife Troopers released a dispatch about a collaboration with Central Emergency Services to rescue a missing hunter, Michael Glover of Sterling, who was lost in the snow for around 12 hours.

Glover reached out to the Kenai Peninsula Clarion to tell his story, crediting CES staff with ultimately extracting him from the woods and delivering him to Central Peninsula Hospital, highlighting the efforts of community members in the rescue.

It was Bo and Tobias Abbott who finally found him in the woods and administered livesaving care in the field after 12 hours of searching. He said the Abbotts found him, warmed him up and walked him to waiting CES snowmachines.

The two brothers have been friends with Glover since he moved to Alaska in 1990, though he said over time he had grown somewhat more distant — “Over the years, you go separate ways.”

On Nov. 23, Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting, he was initially just out walking his dog Queenie.

“I absolutely did not bring anything. I’m just gonna park and let her run through the rabbit trails a little bit and take off.”

He was wearing fleece pants, a smartwool shirt and a windproof jacket.

When Glover and Queenie came across lynx tracks, he said he became excited. He has wanted to train Queenie to hunt small animals.

Glover said he doesn’t know how long he pursued the animal, but he began to grow tired, and he pushed past all the warning signs from his body. By the time he lost the tracks and set off back to his car, Glover was tired, chilled and lost.

“I actually start shaking as I’m walking, like ‘Oh, I’m in bad trouble.’”

The cold and the fatigue led to his body giving out, and his vision going almost entirely blurry, he said.

According to the dispatch from wildlife troopers, Glover was first reported missing around 6 p.m., when he failed to return home after nightfall. He was not extracted by CES staff until after 5 a.m.

“I basically had to somehow find the will to live past that point. I just literally stayed in place there — basically 12 hours without laying down or sitting down,” Glover said. “It was just miserable and pretty hardcore mentally.”

“If I had tried to live for me, I would have died,” Glover said. “I found I could endure incredible suffering in order to live to see my wife again.”

He said the searching helicopter passed over his spot twice without seeing him. He continued shouting for help — even as he was lost in hallucinations — until at nearly 5 a.m., Bo Abbott grabbed him in “a fierce hug.”

The Abbotts, Glover said he later learned, had heard he was missing and had set out to find him.

Glover said he only survived the ordeal because Bo and Tobias managed to find him when they did and warm him up. They ripped Glover’s frozen jacket and gloves off, giving one of theirs to him and sharing the remaining between themselves, built a fire and gave Glover food and water.

“In my mind, it was only a few minutes,” Glover said. “But Bo said it was 45 minutes by that fire before I started to warm up enough to shiver.”

He said Bo and Tobias walked him slowly to where CES staff were waiting, and they were able to extract him from there.

Despite the ordeal, Glover said he’s been heartened by the prayers and support he’s received from the community, and that his relationship with the Abbotts has been rekindled “like nothing has ever changed.”

• Contact reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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