Multiple Agencies Participate in Rescue of Missing Hunter in DeKalb County

November 24, 2021

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb County Fire Department, DeKalb County Emergency Medical Services, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Special Operations Team (RCFR), Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), Cannon County Rescue Squad, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Tuesday coordinated a multi-agency response to reports of a missing hunter in the area of Wildlife Way in Dekalb County in the Pea Ridge area.

Drone footage and pics courtesy of Stormpoint Emergency Response (Click link below)

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office learned of the 49-year-old male’s disappearance around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when his sister contacted authorities. The man, reported to be Rodney Weathers, had been missing for quite some time.

He and a friend had been coon hunting the night before. Reports indicated that the man had a medical condition that caused him to go back to the vehicle. When the dogs picked up on the scent of an animal, the man’s hunting partner went in pursuit. The man tried to reunite with his hunting buddy when he became lost. The friend tried to contact him but was unsuccessful. The friend eventually notified the man’s sister, who then reported him missing to local authorities.

The man was located on a steep hillside and rescuers retrieved him from the area via a stokes basket (a wire basket conforming in shape to the human body into which an injured, sick, or disabled person can be safely strapped) and loaded him on an ATV. He was to be Life Flighted to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

RCFR’s drones in collaboration with volunteers from Storm point Emergency Response were instrumental in the discovery of the missing man, as were K9s from both RCFR and RCSO. A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter was also deployed and contributed to the search efforts.

“We are incredibly thankful that the gentleman was found and his injuries seem to be relatively minor given the circumstances,” said RCFR Captain John Ingle.

Sheriff Patrick Ray attributed the success of the mission to teamwork from local and mutual aid partners. “We are elated to have found the patient safe and in good shape and are grateful to all of the agencies who took part in this rescue.”

Drone footage and pics courtesy of Stormpoint Emergency Response