Missing Lebanon hunter found after spending night in woods

Members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team found a missing hunter in the Sweet Home area.

On Monday, Oct. 17, at approximately 9:30 p.m. a member of a hunting party called 911 to report that Mark Wagner, 27, from Lebanon, was missing. Wagner was dropped off about 6 p.m. at milepost 9 on Moose Creek Road, said Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley. This area is east of Sweet Home approximately 20 miles.

The plan was for Wagner to hunt a ridge for about a half mile and then rejoin his hunting party. Wagner had no food or water with him and was not prepared to spend the night in the woods.

Members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Hasty Team responded to the area at approximately 11:30 p.m. and began searching.

The team stayed in the field throughout the night and called in additional resources the next morning. Members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse and Benton County Search and Rescue K-9 Team also assisted.

At approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wagner was found safe and uninjured. Wagner told SAR members he got turned around in the dark and hiked down a different ridge than he expected. He was able to start a fire to keep warm throughout the night.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone who recreates in the wilderness to be prepared to stay the night under any type of weather conditions. This would include having food, water, flashlight, matches, knife, compass / GPS, map, first aid kit and cell phone with you.

Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. If you are hunting, wear safety orange and if possible, avoid hunting alone.