Missing octogenarian hunter found safe and sound

Lisa Demer

An 80-year-old deer hunter missing since Friday was found Sunday afternoon in good condition, telling Alaska State Troopers that he survived by not sitting still.

Frank Sharp of Angoon was hunting with his two sons and two granddaughters on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. The hunters split up on Friday and arranged to meet at a designated time. But by dark, Sharp hadn't shown up. The family reported him missing early Saturday.

"He had decent clothing, wilderness know-how and a never-quit attitude," troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an e-mail. "He said he kept moving."

He had hunted in the area before and was reasonably well-equipped. He had ammo and candy bars. But early in the family hunting trip, he gave his compass to one of his granddaughters so she wouldn't get lost, Peters said.

Close to 30 people searched all day Saturday for him and resumed on Sunday. But the effort was hampered by fresh snow, Peters said. Volunteers with Angoon Search and Rescue and the SEADOGS K-9 Search and Rescue Team were among those who helped look, as did Sharp's sons, Peters said.

"In the weather he got disoriented and turned around," she said.

Around 12:20 p.m. Sunday, he heard searchers. He fired off three gunshots. They found him a half-mile from his starting point.

He was in great shape, troopers said.

"He didn't really even need to he warmed up," Peters said. "Sharp just had a cup of coffee and chatted up the troopers. He even talked about going out hunting again soon."

A medic met troopers and Sharp at the dock and determined that the hunter was fine. He decided to go home and eat rather than be checked out at the local clinic, Peters said.

Reach Lisa Demer at ldemer@adn.com or 257-4390.

Contact Lisa Demer at LDemer@adn.com or on