Father shot in northern Manitoba 'lucky to be alive' after staggering for 50 hours to find help
Daniel Anowak says he pressed on through the pain and the bitter cold for his 3 daughters
A man who was shot in the shoulder deep in the northern Manitoba wilderness is alive to tell the tale after walking for more than two days in sub-zero conditions.
Daniel Anowak, who lives in northern Quebec, was visiting and trapping near Button Bay, just west of Churchill, Man., last week.
Anowak says on Wednesday, he had just emerged from the bush where he had set his last trap when he was shot.
"The next thing I know I heard a gunshot," he said. "I didn't know I was hit because I fell down and blacked out for 10 or 15 seconds. When I woke up, I got up and then I started feeling blood coming out of my wound."
He told RCMP that he was shot by a person on a snowmobile who he believes may have thought he was an animal.
Anowak wasn't near anyone who could help and didn't have a vehicle or snowmobile, so he walked toward Churchill with only a compass to lead the way.
WATCH | Daniel Anowak talk about the moment he was shot:
Although the distance was only a few kilometres, the terrain is rough and Anowak was delirious from the injury and the cold, with temperatures between –30 C and –35 C at the time, so he was not walking in a straight line.
"While I was walking, the only thing I was thinking of was my kids," the father of three daughters said through tears from the Winnipeg hospital where he is now recovering.
"To see them graduate, to see them get married and all … I didn't stop. Day and night, I just kept going."
WATCH | Anowak explains his motivation for walking so far:
Anowak's own father died by suicide when he was a child.
"Growing up without a father, it was pretty hard. I didn't want that for my kids," he said. "My kids were my motivation to walk all the way non-stop."
After walking for about 50 hours, Anowak made it to Churchill.
As he approached a business, he called out and a number of people came to help, wrapping him in their coats to keep him warm until he was taken to hospital.
In addition to the gunshot wound, he has frostbite on his limbs. He calls the incident a "tragedy," but says he still feels fortunate.
"I'm lucky to be alive. I'm lucky that I'll be able to see my kids again," he said.
Police said the person who shot him was alone, wearing a black and blue snowsuit, a neck warmer and a black tuque, and driving a black and blue snowmobile that was pulling a sled. The snowmobile was last seen going north from Button Bay.
RCMP are asking anyone with information to call 204-675-2551.
Anowak hopes the shooter will turn themselves in.
With files from Sam Samson and Meaghan Ketcheson