ANDOVER – A Norway hunter said Friday night that he and his brother didn’t consider themselves lost when they failed to return home Thursday night, prompting a search by wardens and others.

Roger Day, 69, of Rumford, and David Day, 68, of Norway, went hunting Thursday in the Andover area.

According to Game Warden Josh Smith, the pair parked their truck in an old apple orchard. One of the men shot a deer that fled, prompting them to track its blood trail, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte said.

However, when it became dark and fog settled in, they were unable to return to their truck.

The Maine Warden Service was notified at 8 p.m. of the overdue hunters and, accompanied by police, searched until 2:30 a.m. Friday, Turcotte said.

David Day said early Friday evening that he and his brother, who have been hunting all their lives, didn’t consider themselves lost while tracking a wounded deer through swamps into Thursday evening.

They also didn’t realize anyone was searching for them until after leaving the woods of Andover at dawn Friday and, after David had dropped Roger off at Roger’s house a little after 4 a.m.

David arrived home an hour and a half later, he said.

“As soon as he heard the news, he called a game warden,” David said of his brother.

The two men started hunting Thursday morning, then had lunch and re-entered the woods, David Day said.

“Then I saw a buck and shot and wounded it, and it took off. We followed it through two or three swamps and over a couple of knolls, and got kind of turned around in there. That deer went into a place that was pretty well muddy. We had an idea of where we were,” David Day said.

Throughout the day, freezing rain fell, icing trees, brush and trails, he said.

But they weren’t about to give up the search. It was a keeper of a buck, he said.

“I would have loved to have got him. He was real big. . . . When he went in the muddy stuff, we figured he did that to let his wounds heal up and he was going to stay in there,” he said.

Dressed for the weather, David Day said they were concerned about dropping temperatures, especially after he fell into a brook.

“I made my brother keep walking back and forth on an old logging road to keep warm. We kept walking all night long. We got out of the woods just as it was getting daylight,” David Day said.

Thursday night was the second time this week that David Day was reported missing while hunting, but he wasn’t lost, he said.

A week ago Saturday, Day was hunting in Roxbury in the same place, but on the opposite side of Thursday’s hunt.

David Day said he walked over a mountain and around and through “a lot of swamps,” then realized it was getting late, but didn’t have time to get out before nightfall.

However, he said he found a road and walked out on it. Then, right before reaching his vehicle, someone stopped and gave him a ride to it, he added.

Turcotte said the Maine Warden Service reminds hunters to be consider weather and other conditions, such as time, when out hunting.

“Hunters should carry a compass and tell a contact person of their plans – where they will be hunting and when they expect to return – and to alert the contact person if plans change,” she said.

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