News release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources
(Brookville, Ind.) - A Franklin County man was forced to spend Tuesday night in the woods after becoming lost on the Brookville Reservoir property.
According to Indiana Conservation Officer Corey Norrod, Cecil Henson, 68, and his grandson Andrew Wilson, 23, of Cedar Grove, Indiana, entered a wooded area near the Fairfield area of Brookville Reservoir at about 6pm Tuesday evening under the pretext of scouting for deer.
The pair split up while in the woods and only Wilson was able to make it back to their vehicle. Wilson called his father to help him look for Henson.
After a fruitless search, Wilson and his father notified the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department that Henson was missing.
Wednesday morning at dawn Franklin County Sheriff’s Department personnel, Brookville Reservoir DNR staff and Indiana Conservation Officers began searching by land and water.
Henson, having regained his bearings was located shortly after 8:30am. Henson denied medical assistance. Upon Henson’s return to his vehicle, a relieved
Conservation Officer noticed Henson had freshly harvested ginseng roots in his possession.
An interview of Henson yielded that he and Wilson had entered the woods not to scout for deer but instead to harvest ginseng root.
By Indiana law, ginseng may be harvested September 1 through December 31 each year. Landowner permission is required is harvesting ginseng on the property of another. Ginseng may not be harvested on state property.
During the subsequent investigation, Henson and Wilson were found to be in possession of hundreds of ginseng roots that have allegedly been illegally harvested.
Henson and Wilson have misdemeanor charges pending for the harvest of ginseng out of season and its harvest on state property. Other related charges may also be filed. Indiana Conservation Officers are continuing the investigation.
The purpose of Indiana’s ginseng program is to insure a healthy population for the future.
Ginseng is touted by some as having healing properties.
There are specific requirements pertaining to the harvest of ginseng and the replanting of mature ginseng seeds. To learn about laws pertaining to the harvest of ginseng visit: www.in.gov/dnr/naturepreserve.