"My legs were numb." Rescuers led to lost hunter by gunshots - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

"My legs were numb." Rescuers led to lost hunter by gunshots

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William Pitchers walks out of Roper Hospital Friday in Berkeley County William Pitchers walks out of Roper Hospital Friday in Berkeley County

After a very long and cold night inside the Francis Marion National Forest, the 67-year old hunter is brought together with his rescuers by the sound of gunfire.

Long time hunter William Pitchers left Roper Hospital in Monks Corner Friday afternoon with a story and a lesson. Pitcher says his ordeal began when he fell while on his way back to his truck.

"I got back up, I guess I was disoriented and I went in the wrong direction is what I did."

It's estimated that Pitchers walked, in the wrong direction, for over a mile.  

"When did you realize you were in a little trouble? When the wind got up blowing real hard and I started getting really, really cold."

When he started the hunt on Thursday afternoon temperatures were mild at 68-degrees. But as the night continued on, 20mph wind gusts brought the wind chilled temp to 40-degees by 3am.

Rescue crews began early Friday morning and at first light there was still no sign of Pitchers.  His legs now useless and numb, his voice lacking volume from exhaustion Pitchers gave a call for help with a bang.

"I fired off three rounds as fast as I could with a single shot.  Then she fired three rounds and I fired off three more and then a little bit later she fired off three rounds and I fired three more.

Carrying only 9 bullets that final exchange was the last chance for crews to pinpoint Pitchers' whereabouts and they did around 9am Friday morning.

"When they finally got close enough to me, I could yell that's when they found me." said Pitchers.

Pitchers was taken to the ER suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. He says he will continue hunting but only with a buddy.

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