Hunter who went missing recounts five days in Shelby Forest - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hunter who went missing recounts five days in Shelby Forest

(WMC-TV) - A once missing hunter shared his survivor story for the first time Wednesday after he was lost in Shelby Forest for five days.

Deputy Bill Lawrence gave details on what he went through each day and night in the forest trying to stay alive.  He said at one point, he thought searchers had given up.

With his family, Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley, and several members of the Tennessee Wildlife Agency by his side, Lawrence relived his journey in the wilderness.

The hunting gear and survival kit that Lawrence said kept him going were on display.  Lawrence said he circled the dense woods for hours and grew weaker each day.

"I just tried to remain calm, get as much rest as I could, and try to find a water source and something to eat," said Lawrence.  "The water source was nasty.  I was drinking muddy water."

A Tennessee wildlife manager demonstrated on a map the route that Lawrence traveled daily.

Lawrence was found Sunday by a passing motorcyclist and hospitalized for dehydration.  He is currently being treated for severe insect bites.

Lawrence and other law enforcement once again thanked the search and rescue team who put in countless hours helping with the search.

Lawrence said without God guiding him out of the forest, he would have given up.

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