KENAI — On Thanksgiving Day, Alaska Wildlife Troopers released a dispatch about working with Central Emergency Services to rescue a missing hunter, Michael Glover of Sterling, who was lost in the snow for about 12 hours.
Glover reached out to the Kenai Peninsula Clarion to tell his story, crediting CES staff for finally pulling him out of the woods and into Central Peninsula Hospital, highlighting the efforts of community members in the rescue.
It was Bo and Tobias Abbott who finally found him in the woods and administered life-saving care in the field after 12 hours of searching. He said the Abbotts found him, warmed him up, and escorted him to the waiting CES snow machines.
The two brothers have been friends with Glover since he moved to Alaska in 1990, though he said he had grown a bit more distant over time: “Over the years, they go their separate ways.”
On November 23, Glover said he didn’t even leave his house to go hunting, initially just walking his dog Queenie.
“Absolutely I brought nothing. I’m just going to park and let her run down the rabbit trails for a bit and take off.”
He was wearing wool pants, a smart wool shirt, and a windproof jacket.
When Glover and Queenie found bobcat tracks, he said he was thrilled. He has wanted to train Queenie to hunt small game.
Glover said he doesn’t know how long he chased the animal, but he began to tire and overcame all of his body’s warning signs. When he lost the trail and got back to his car, Glover was tired, cold and lost.
“I actually start shaking as I walk, like ‘Oh, I’m in big trouble.'”
The cold and fatigue caused his body to pass out and his vision to become almost completely blurry, he said.
According to wildlife police dispatch, Glover was first reported missing around 6 p.m., when he did not return home after dark. CES staff did not extract it until after 5 am
“Basically I had to somehow find the will to live beyond that point. I literally stayed there, basically 12 hours without laying down or sitting down,” Glover said. “It was just miserable and pretty tough mentally.”
“If I had tried to live for myself, I would have died,” Glover said. “I found that I could endure incredible suffering in order to live and see my wife again.”
He said the search helicopter passed over his site twice without seeing him. He continued to scream for help, even as he was hallucinating, until around 5 am, when Bo Abbott grabbed him with “a fierce hug.”
The Abbotts, Glover later learned, had heard he was missing and had gone looking for him.
Glover said that he only survived the ordeal because Bo and Tobias managed to find him when they did and warm him up. They ripped off Glover’s frozen jacket and gloves, gave him one of their own and shared the rest between them, building a fire and giving Glover food and water.
“In my mind, it was just a few minutes,” Glover said. “But Bo said it was 45 minutes by that fire before he started getting me hot enough to shiver.”
He said Bo and Tobias slowly walked him to where CES staff were waiting for him and were able to get him out.
Despite the ordeal, Glover said he was encouraged by the prayers and support he received from the community, and that his relationship with the Abbotts was rekindled “as if nothing had changed.”
• Contact reporter Jake Dye at [email protected]