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The Age

Beers and cheers end hunt for missing deer hunter

Sat August 4, 2012 9:19am

A deer hunter who went missing in a forest at the foot of the Victorian Alps has been reunited with his friends and family in a pub.

Matthew Handcock, 34, battled near freezing temperatures in the Shelly forest, near Corryong, after he failed to return to camp last night.

The experienced bushman, from Jindera, in NSW’s Riverina region, was last seen on a forest track by one of his fellow hunters at 4pm yesterday.

Emergency services searched the area until 2am before resuming their search this morning.

But Mr Handcock managed to find his own way out of the forrest around 11.25am and met friends and family at a pub in Koetong.

Police said he was safe and well. Paramedics treated Mr Handcock for mild dehydration.

Rural Ambulance Service spokesman John Mullen said the deer hunter tried to stay warm at night by stuffing dry grass and bracken between his T-shirt and jumper.

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