Lost Hunters: It Can Happen to You

Renee Passal
September 28, 2017 10:09 PM

Getting turned around in the woods isn't as unthinkable as some might think.

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"It can happen to anyone. It's happened to me, where I got into a section of woods that all looked the same, and I lost track of where I came in," explained Aaron Albertson, 1st Lt. of South Operations for the St. Louis County Rescue Squad. And he's a land surveyor for his full time job.

When he's volunteering with the squad, looking for lost hunters, the reasons he's heard about getting lost are varied. "Things we hear from those who are lost are they are unfamiliar with the area, they took too many Y's and lost orientation, weather changes, it got dark sooner than they thought, or the sun went away," he said.

There have been four hunters or fishermen who've gotten lost in the Northland in the past couple of weeks. One was rescued by State Patrol helicopter out of Pine County. Another was found by search teams in Cass County. A third was found in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, and a fourth in Gogebic County, Michigan.

Albertson said they get called out a few times a year for lost hunters. "But the numbers are actually going down because of GPS and cell phones," he said.

Make sure you have a battery back-up for your phone, he added. He has a phone case that is solar charging, and also has a flashlight and a compass on it.

Other items that are helpful include signal devices. "Flares or a flashlight are good to have in the dark," he said.

First-aid items also come in handy. You can get small first aid kits at places like Fisherman's Corner. Albertson suggested getting a small space blanket, which can be bought for less than a $1. "It can provide shelter in the rain, and help keep you warm." Rope, a knife, lighter or waterproof matches, and water are also recommended.

If you do get lost, stay put. "We don't want to be chasing you around the woods," Albertson said.

Finally, when you're going out there, make sure you tell someone where you're going, what direction you're heading, and when you'll be back. 



Renee Passal

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