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Conservation Police rescue stranded hunters

December 20, 2011 at 05:41 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

BOURBONNAIS - Conservation Police Officers rescued two missing hunters stuck on an island by rising water levels Monday at Kankakee River State Park.

Conservation Police were called when two hunters failed to return home after leaving for a waterfowl hunt early that morning.

Police received a call at approximately 6:35 p.m. Monday from family members unsure where Peter Konow, 23, of Tinley Park and Steven Smoczynski, 22, of Crestwood were hunting.

Internet searches of one of the subject’s home computers by CPOs led them to Kankakee River State Park. 

Both men were located just after 9 p.m. on an island just north of Hunting Area 7 within the park. 

Konow and Smoczynski had arrived at the park around 5:45 a.m. and crossed a shallow area of the Kankakee River on foot to the island, where they spent the morning hunting. 

By then, water levels had risen, and the men were unable to cross the river.

They returned to the island and discovered their cell phone was wet and not working.

The men built a fire, shared dry clothing and waited for help to arrive. 

CPOs found their vehicle in a nearby parking lot and searched the area. 

Officer launched a boat and brought Konow and Smoczynski across the river to the park.

Sergeant Mark Simon said the men could have been located more quickly if they had let someone know where they were going.

The Kankakee Sheriff’s office along with the Bourbonnais and Limestone Fire departments assisted in locating the hunters.

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