Lost Hunter, Survives on Worms and Muddy Water

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A lost Tennessee hunter survived his 5 day ordeal by eating worms and drinking muddy water. Bill Lawrence of Tennessee was squirrel hunting in Meeman Shelby Forest State Park with a couple of his friends. When he went to shoot a squirrel, he realized he hadn't heard his friends shooting recently. He tried to backtrack to his friend's trucks, but managed to get even more lost. He had gone out for a day trip, with bug spray, dip, water, some shotgun shells; not enough to withstand a five day adventure in the state park.

He would cover his face with bug spray and his hunting vest at night. He went through most of his shells trying to signal someone. He would follow deer tracks to water sources, where he would drink and look under logs or rocks for worms.

On Sunday he heard the sound of motorcycles and followed it to a road. He was rescued by a couple of Harley riders. He was taken to a hospital in Memphis for treatment for dehydration, severe bug bites, and to monitor him for any complications from his muddy water and worm diet. From Reuters.com.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Okay a great example of why


Okay a great example of why you need to take a real hunting pack with you on ALL hunts - even a squirrel hunt.  It is obvious this hunter was not familiar with the area and relied on his hunting partners to know the area.  Definitely the right ingredients for a wrong outcome.  Your pack needs to contain the basic survival needs to ensure you can make it back out of the woods.  A lighter and matches would have made a very nice fire that would have kept the insects away and would have cooked up that squirrel real nicely.  An emergency blanket is extremely light weight and would have also kept him far warmer during the nights.  A compass would have provided this hunter definite direction along with a map of the area.  Bottom line - a very harsh learning experience and hopefully he has learned from it... as well as others.


hunter25's picture

It's good to see that this

It's good to see that this guy made it out okay but I think I could have done a little better in the same situation. I usually have enough water anymore to get by for a t least a couple of days and possibly longer if rationed a little. I would have probably saved my shells for food rather than firing them to get attention, I know the three shot signal but if I'm not sure someone will be ablr to hear it then I will probably decide to wait. If he had no means to start a fire then I can see the problem but that is one of the first things that should be on everyones list when they head out into the forest or mountains. I would not be eating worms until things got far more serious for me.

Preperation is the key no matter how you expect the day to end up.

groovy mike's picture

Glad to hear that he survived

Glad to hear that he survived, but there MUST have been better things to eat.  I mean come on - black berries are in season - cat tail stems are out - cambris from any number of trees, how about wild asparagus, Queen Annes Lace, clover, plantain, dandelions, leeks, how about birds?  Really? Worms? Ew! I don't think that I would choose that route!

You are right - this is a good reminder to be prepared. Why not follow the sun?

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I wonder if he got any

Well, I wonder if he got any squirrels?  I at least would have tried cooking up some of those to eat, assuming he had a lighter. 

If you are going to wander off, you must be aware of your location.  Maps, gps, something.  Take a navigation course, or something similar.  And, be prepared for long time survival in the woods, even if it's only supposed to be a couple of hours.

Glad to see he got out of it okay.  It must have been a scary situation to be lost in the woods for that long, let alone having to eat worms.  Geez......

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Gald to hear that he was able

Gald to hear that he was able to survive, but I do have to wonder about hios packing for a day trip.  I go out for the day of hunting and I have a sandwich and some snacks, not enough for 5 days worth but atleast maybe a day or two.  Lessons learned I guess.  Yeah getting losty squirrel is not sopmething I think I would want alot of buddies to know about.

Jdizzle's picture

At least he had some dip, but

At least he had some dip, but thats why you always at least have a compass and map if you go in the woods and go off trail. I'm sure his buddies will never let him live it down. I can here it now "You got lost squirrel hunting?!?"