October 15, 2013

"72-year-old man survives 19 days, eating lizards, squirrels."

"He still had his hunting rifle, but... he didn't have the strength to hunt a deer... Instead, [Gene] Penaflor focused on small game, foraged for algae in a stream and drank water from a creek. To stay dry, he crouched under a fallen tree, and to keep warm, he made a fire and packed dry leaves and grass around his body."

He was in Mendocino National Forest, where temperatures dropped into the 20s and it snowed several times.

24 comments:

John Lynch said...

Buy a smartphone for grandpa. And a GPS.

rhhardin said...

I've survived years eating soyburgers.

Original Mike said...

He was smart going for small game. A lot higher odds and less work. And what the hell are you going to do with a whole deer? (Not that I wouldn't take it if it fell from the sky.)

Broomhandle said...

Lately we've had an epidemic of elderly, Asian, mushroom-hunters from up north getting lost (and in a couple of cases, dying) in the foothills of Mt. Rainier at the east end of our county.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Lizards and squirrels? Dang, that sounds like a typical backwoods Arkansas breakfast during the five years I lived there in the hills.

Squirrel ... it isn't just for breakfast anymore.

Lizard ... the other yellow meat.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...
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Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...
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Oso Negro said...

Good practice for him for when Social Security and Medicare collapse.

madAsHell said...

The man knew field craft, and it saved his life.

I'm not sure of his decision to go out hunting alone at 72 years of age. How big are the deer in New Mexico?

traditionalguy said...

Way up North, north to California.

This continuous Global Cooling is a serious danger.

ken in sc said...

I had a Boston Terrier who would sometimes catch and eat lizards. If it did not hurt her, it probably would not hurt me.

Carl Pham said...

Sounds kind of fukuppy. You know, like how the hell did you get lost for 19 days in the first place, but on the other hand way to go man, awesome survival skills.

poppa india said...

If he'd been on the White House grounds, he would have had plenty of squirrels to eat, but the happy ending wouldn't have been the same. There wouldn't have been any search crews looking for him (Shutdown!), and his rescuers (hunters (with guns!) would never have been allowed in the area.

Fritz said...

"The man knew field craft, and it saved his life.

I'm not sure of his decision to go out hunting alone at 72 years of age. How big are the deer in New Mexico?"

Northern California, and the local Black Tailed deer are on the small side. But your confusion is warranted, since CNN identified the nearby town as "Ukriah".

As to his decision to deer hunt alone at 72? Some 72s are better than others.

The Godfather said...

Damn right Fritz, "Some 72s are better than others." Doesn't everybody know that 70 is the new 50?

madAsHell said...

Wow....a total reading comprehension failure on my part. I'm reviewing, and I don't see any mention of New Mexico.

Thanks for correcting me!

William said...

My awesome survival skills lead me to stay within walking distance of the supermarket.

Ben Calvin said...

This guy lives on my street, just a few blocks down from me.

Aloha Johnny said...

This past Sunday the local search and rescue team was running an exercise in a park I manage and I talked to the two leaders; A 71 year old man and 70 year old women. They both had been involved in the search for this guy in the first few days and they had just received word he had been found alive. Their first comment was that everybody had been saying he must be dead because the was so old. That mad them mad. These two very fit folks were organizing, managing and participating in a large search operation. Their other comment was that this guys partner did not have a clear idea of where he was. So, 72 is not that old, but be sure your buddy knows where he dropped you off.

SteveR said...
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SteveR said...

How big are the deer in New Mexico?

As big as deer anyplace else, there's even grass and stuff here for them to eat.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Read "Mountain High, Mountain Rescue" by Peggy Parr. She started with Search and Rescue in the Rockies at age 59. Great book. The long photo of her snowshoeing down to a crashed chopper - very memorable.

SGT Ted said...

The GPS is a good idea.

The smartphone might not get signal out where he was.

Paul S said...

Smartphones and GPS are not the best devices for getting help in the backcountry. The smartphone may not be able to get a signal, and if one is incapacitated, knowing one's GPS coordinates won't be of any use.

The most serious device for rescue is a personal locator beacon, or PLB, such as a McMurdo Fastfind 220. It is an SOS only device that sends a powerful signal to government-run search and rescue satellites. If you are in a life and death situation, this is your best bet for getting help.

A second, and more popular device is a SPOT beacon. With the SPOT, relatives can follow your backcountry travels on a Google map in near real-time. The SPOT also allows one to 'check in' and let folks know you're OK. It also can summon emergency help, but does so with a less powerful signal then a PLB.

Either device, at relatively low cost, would have ended this gentleman's 'adventure' much earlier.