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Authorities find body of missing hunter - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Authorities find body of missing hunter

Calais, Vermont - December 5, 2010

Authorities say they've found the body of a missing hunter Sunday.

A large group of searchers gathered to comb a square mile of the Calais woods Sunday morning -- this was after an all night search for Scott Mackey came up empty.

"Had gone into the woods 7:45 in the morning and was supposed to meet up with his hunting party around noon yesterday. The other two arrived at the pre-determined spot but Mr. Mackey did not," said Vermont State Police Lt. Paul White. "There were 40 to 50 volunteers in addition to two fire departments, game wardens from Fish and Wildlife -- state police search and rescue team -- this is a huge turnout."

But the morning search was not needed after officials found Mackey's body only 750- 800 feet into the woods. The 61-year-old was a well known member of the community-- and an avid hunter.

"Mr. Mackey is a local resident, well known well liked these are all his friends and neighbors that are turning out here today," Lt. White said.

State police were helped by the New England Canine Unit who were searching all night in the 20 degree weather.

"He hunted this area regularly. He knew the area very well. It didn't appear he was lost," Lt. White said.

"At night they're not visually searching, they're searching by scent. So we can search in the pitch black while ground searchers usually go out in the day," said Mark Austin, with the Canine Unit. 

Officials wouldn't speculate about the cause of death but did say they believe Mackey was dragging a deer out of the woods through difficult terrain. "It's very steep terrain, a lot of swampy areas, several brooks that pass through it, so not an easy area to search," Lt. White said.

"It's unfortunate. We were called out to locate the subject, hopefully alive, and when you come across a person who's deceased it is saddening," Austin said.

A somber day for many in the Calais community.

Gina Bullard - WCAX News

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