Vermont Game Wardens & Vermont State Police Rescue Lost Forager
A Vermont Game Warden K9 played a crucial role in the successful rescue of a lost mushroom forager Monday on Stratton Mountain.
The effort was a joint operation by the Vermont Warden Service, Vermont State Police and the Winhall Police Department. Claudine Michaud, 74, went foraging for mushrooms at 12:10 p.m., at the end of Shepardson Road, while her husband, who uses a wheelchair, waited in their vehicle. After about 30 minutes, Michaud lost her bearings, felt lost and contacted 911.
The Vermont Warden Service, Vermont State Police and the Winhall Police Department were dispatched to begin the search. Realizing that the conditions at the site were favorable for scent tracking, the search party deployed a game warden tracking dog, K9 officer Ramsey, to assist in locating the missing woman. Ramsey and his handler identified several circling tracks believed to be Michaud’s irregular path while picking mushrooms. The search team split up following the various tracks and Michaud was soon found in good health, good spirits and very appreciative of being located and reunited with her husband.
Vermont Warden Sergeant Keith Gallant reflected on the significance of utilizing Ramsey in this operation: “A properly trained tracking dog can play a vital role in promptly locating missing persons, provided their scent trail has not been disturbed. Sending a dog into the search early often results in the search finishing early. We’re grateful to have found Ms. Michaud so quickly with the support of Ramsey, using the resources of state and local authorities as efficiently as possible.”
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Warden Service want to remind Vermonters to recreate safely, always leave a trip itinerary with someone at home, know your personal limitations and be mindful of changing trail conditions and weather forecasts.