A western Newfoundland couple used the hide of a freshly killed moose overnight Tuesday to keep warm after getting lost in the woods during a hunting trip near Gros Morne National Park.

Stephen and Sheila Joyce said they lost their way after wounding a young moose and began following the trail of its blood.

Shivering and soaking wet, they eventually caught up with the wounded animal.

"My wife thought it would be a good idea to skin the calf and we could use the skin as a blanket. Then we found a place under the root of a tree," said Joyce.

'Quite horrific'

By morning, they were weak and scared.

"It was quite horrific. We really were expecting the worst for a period of time there and we really didn’t know what would happen. The direction we were going was the wrong one," he said.

He said hope that they would find their way home safely was fading when they heard gunshots in the distance.

Joyce said he fired back in reply.

The shots were from searchers who lit a fire in hopes the lost couple would spot the smoke.

They eventually met up with Joyce, but said that by then, he was so weak that he had to be carried out of the woods.

Back at home, the couple said they want to thank everyone who helped them survive the ordeal.

"We really, really appreciate the effort that was put into ... well, preserving us from perishing in the woods."