Hunter found
Edmonton native spent more than 30 hours in bush

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 09/98) - A man who went missing from the Aurora-Caribou hunting camp on Desteffany Lake early Sunday morning will always have a special reason to celebrate Labour Day after he was located by an aerial-search helicopter late Monday afternoon.

Yellowknife RCMP Sgt. Marlin Degrand said Wayne Gyorfi, 39, of Edmonton was cold, hungry, disoriented and possibly in the early stages of suffering from exposure or hypothermia when located by search efforts about 5 p.m. on Monday.

Although an avid outdoorsman with about 25 years of hunting experience, it was the first time Gyorfi had been to the Desteffany Lake area.

Degrand said a large number of hunters at the Aurora-Caribou camp quickly engaged in an impromptu foot search of the immediate area when it was discovered Gyorfi was missing about 8 a.m. Sunday.

After the search party failed to locate Gyorfi, the Yellowknife RCMP detachment was contacted Sunday evening.

Sgt. Degrand then arranged for a helicopter carrying an environmentalist who knew the area to be dispatched from the BHP mine site at first light the next morning.

"An aerial search was conducted around the immediate area of the camp, using the helicopter, and they were again unable to locate him," said Degrand.

When that search failed, Degrand was among five people from Yellowknife who flew on a chartered plane to join the search, including three firefighters and an off-duty guide from the camp.

"All five of us had search-and-rescue training. We started another search of the area utilizing both the BHP helicopter and one from the nearby Diavik mine site.

"About 20 minutes into that search we located the missing gentleman about six miles Northwest of the camp."

After being located, Degrand said Gyorfi was quickly stabilized, returned to the camp and found to be in good shape.

He said the situation illustrates that no matter how experienced a person may be in the wilds, due care and caution should be exercised at all times, especially when visiting an area for the first time.

"Luckily this situation had a happy ending.

"After ascertaining that Mr. Gyorfi was OK, we wrapped up the search and called it a day."