Using Technology to Find Fewer Lost Hunters

By KBJR News 1

November 14, 2012 Updated Nov 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Because of a little luck and technology. A hunter is safe Wednesday after getting lost in the woods on the Iron Range.

Gadgets have played a role in keeping rescue squads out of the woods.

What can be a technological distraction, helped police find a lost hunter who went off to find his deer just south of Hibbing.

"They were talking to him on the telephone, "said Sgt. Jeff Ronchetti, Hibbing Police Dept.

When they got in the vicinity, the police took to the woods.

"Using their GPS on their phones so they wouldn't get lost because it's easy to get turned around out there," said Ronchetti.

The officers found the hunter within an hour of the call.

"That's pretty quick," said Ronchetti.

Though prepared, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad vehicles got to stay in the garage.

One sergeant with the rescue squad says rescues to find lost hunters are still fairly common.

"With the advent of smart phones and GPS's things like that we don't see it as often as we used to," said Sgt. Nate Peterson, St. Louis County Rescue Squad.

But only 20 years ago search and rescue didn't involve those devices.

"You'd have to be yelling searching honking horns," said Ronchetti.

"Make sure someone knows where you're going. Obviously, you'd want to know the area you're hunting in. It's a good idea to carry some basic gear with you, a snack or something like that, some water," said Peterson.

Make sure any technological device is charged.

"You can have a cell phone, but if you can't get any body, it's just a useless piece of electronics," Ronchetti.

Because as one man learned, a GPS or phone can be a life saving device.

If your devices fail, other options for navigation include the North star, the sun, and the moon.

If you're lost and you know someone's looking for you what's the best plan?

Sergeant Peterson says it's important to stay put, so that snack or water you hopefully packed will come in handy.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com