Lost hunters recovered in Thomson TownshipA couple of local deer hunters are mighty happy just to be alive this week. At 6:45 p.m. last Saturday, the Carlton County Sheriff's Office reported a call from a hunter in the Thomson Township area stating that his hunting partner, a 26-year-old man from the Cloquet area, had not come out of the woods as planned.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
A couple of local deer hunters are mighty happy just to be alive this week. At 6:45 p.m. last Saturday, the Carlton County Sheriff's Office reported a call from a hunter in the Thomson Township area stating that his hunting partner, a 26-year-old man from the Cloquet area, had not come out of the woods as planned. Adding to the dilemma was the fact that when the caller, a 50-year-old man also from the Cloquet area, headed back into the woods to look for his hunting buddy, he became lost himself. Fortunately, he had his cell phone with him and was within cell phone range.
Three deputies from the Carlton County Sheriff’s office responded to the call, and the Esko Fire Department was also called in to assist with the ground search, along with two conservation officers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
In addition, the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter provided air support and scanned the area with its Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) scope, which can detect heat differences in the search area.
One of the men was located by ground searchers around 9:45 p.m., about half a mile north of Highway 61 near the St. Louis River. He was found to be suffering from hypothermia due to the fact he was severely underdressed for the conditions.
Shortly thereafter, the state patrol helicopter located the second man in the woods through the use of their FLIR scope. They radioed in to ground searchers and guided them to the second victim, who was found to be semiconscious, hypothermic and dehydrated.
Cloquet Fire Department paramedics tended to the immediate emergency medical needs of both men, who were transported to safety at approximately 11:30 p.m.
One of the men was subsequently transported to Community Memorial Hospital of Cloquet for evaluation and treatment, and the second left the scene in a private vehicle.
The weather was only in the 20s during the day on Saturday, dipping down into the teens as the result of gusty winds and on and off snow and freezing drizzle.
Law enforcement officials warn hunters to be sure to pay attention to the weather forecast ahead of time, dress appropriately for the weather and anticipate what they might need to survive in the eventuality they may become lost or disoriented while in the woods.