A hunter who was reported missing Tuesday night in the Pillsbury State Forest turned up in Pequot Lakes after finding his way out of the woods and catching a ride with a passerby, the Cass County Sheriff's Department reported.
Cass County Sheriff's deputies spent more than two hours searching Pillsbury State Forest for the hunter, who was reported missing by other members of his hunting party shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday.
An employee at the Cedar Street Market, on Cedar Avenue in Pillager, said three men came into the store about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday and reported someone was missing in the forest.
The hunter was found about 8:30 p.m. after he was given a ride to a gas station in Pequot Lakes. Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Burch said the hunter got lost after being separated from his hunting party. Burch said the hunter's name was not available late Tuesday but he did know the hunter was not a local resident.
"He wandered his own way out to (Cass) County Road 1, where he got a ride to Pequot Lakes," Burch said. "He's safe and sound so far."
Cass County Road 1 bisects the Pillsbury State Forest.
According to the DNR's Web site, the 25,612-acre Pillsbury State Forest has numerous trails that meander through a heavy forested area consisting of a variety of deciduous and coniferous trees, dotted by small lakes and ponds.
The DNR said landownership in the forest varies from state, county, municipal, and private holdings and the forest is a popular deer and grouse hunting destination.
Burch said it was unclear late Tuesday what the men were hunting. The rifle deer hunting season has been closed since Nov. 15. The muzzleloader deer season is open until Dec. 13.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.