I think many of us enjoy the beautiful autumn weather, the feel of crunchy leaves under our feet and the fresh crisp smell of autumn breezes. I would kind of guess that a few of us may enjoy going out in the woods to enjoy our sports. I know hunters, trail riders, people that enjoy biking or hiking trails with or without frolicking dogs. I also think Second Amendment people are by nature caring of others.
That’s why I beg your indulgence. There is a new program asking people that are out in the woods in force, especially this time of year to help with a heart wrenching chore. Finding missing people.
We are out in the woods by the multitudes this time of year, often in parts of the country that doesn’t see that much foot traffic, so I’m going to share a post that explains something you might consider if you’re going to be in the woods, or perhaps you have friends that are going to be out in the woods.
When you see unusual items that are in odd places: Don’t Touch! Document Location! Report to Local Law Enforcement! (Use discretion – things like a thirty year old beer can in the woods should not raise your curiosity the same as a pair of prescription eyeglasses, a child’s backpack of schoolbooks, or a lady’s blouse and jewelry.)
Every year deer hunters discover the “’remains’ of various human bodies”. However these are not mere “remains” – they are missing loved ones with countless grieving souls desperately searching for answers! And while many note that deer hunters in this country compose the largest potential army of any other nation on earth, or even in all of human history, they have never been taught what to do to help the hurting loved ones of the 110,000+ long term Missing Persons.
Every day 2,300 Americans are reported missing! This does NOT include those who vanish outside the U.S., nor those who are never reported. Many will NEVER be found! Every day of every week, of every month, of every year, many loved ones disappear and are never found again! Loved ones left without answers spend years in unbearable deep pain and anguish!
I am amazed at how many people have looked me in the face and said, “People don’t just vanish”, or “No one simply disappears”. Well… Apparently they do. Certainly there are a myriad of reasons and causes. And obviously the vast majority are found (dead or alive) – eventually. But with 110,000 unsolved missing person cases in this country, there are many, many hurting loved ones suffering the anguish of “not knowing”!
Through our efforts to educate the outdoors loving community of hunters and hikers, farmers and fishermen, and others, our goal is to turn these groups of folks into the world’s largest search party! To do that we must educate them on the simple three-step approach to their sightings of unusual articles that very well may lead to a missing loved one. Or at least redirect or jumpstart a search that is focused in the wrong direction or that has fizzled out from a lack of direction.
Here in Missouri, over 500,000 deer hunters will be in the woods and wild places that rarely or never have a pair of eyes on it at any other time of the year. As a deer hunter you will walk through areas and pass by places that no other person may see for many years to come! Last year Missouri deer hunters discovered the bodies of at least two people where the search parties had been focused in the wrong directions. Your eyes and your report of that unusual item could very well be the answer to a great many prayers and tears!
If you see something – anything – that seems out of place, which doesn’t belong there, or that strikes you as unusual, please do not ignore it! Outdoors adventurers tell me all the time how they saw something at one time or another but never gave it a second thought. We are begging you to commit yourself to that second thought!
Don’t Touch! If the item is connected to a Missing Person, it very well may need to have DNA testing or other forensic examinations and your touch could complicate the search. Additionally, the placement of the item could be very important to authorities. If you do touch it before realizing it, please continue to follow the next two steps and be aware how important it may be to report that you touched it without thinking!
Document Location! These days most outdoors adventurers carry cell phones with cameras, GPS tracking apps that can be pinged, or at least have various texting capabilities for typing in details regarding your location. Be specific – as the sun moves from the east to the west, things can look very different. Time can also play tricks with your memory in unfamiliar terrain. If you carry marking ribbon, be sure to physically mark the location!
Report to Local Law Enforcement! Unless you see something highly remarkable, we are not asking that you run out of the woods or alter your plans for the day. No one expects you to ruin your outdoor experience. However, when you do leave the woods or other area from your planned activities, please, please, please follow through by reporting your discovery to the local law enforcement agency in the area of your discovery! (They will determine if it is of importance.)
As a farmer and hunter myself, I am a steward of the outdoors environment. I have learned the hard way to expand my stewardship to include a commitment to to Support the Hurting. Already thousands of citizens have joined in this commitment – please join with us by accepting the challenge to be alert and compassionate towards those suffering the indescribable anguishes of “not knowing”. Educate yourself on the three-step process when you see an unusual item in an odd location:
Report to Local Law Enforcement!
I’ve watched a friend go through this agony for some time now. It costs us nothing to keep our eyes open, something as Second Amendment people we tend to do by our nature anyway.
For more information you can go to http://supportthehurting.org/
While this is a Missouri based article and group, there are missing in every state. You could help bring much needed peace and closure to a hurting family. It would be a kindness.