Staying Safe This Season in the Woods

Minnesota DNR Offers Tips to Stay Safe When Hunting, Hiking or Spending Time in the Forest

DULUTH, Minn. – Within the past month, search and rescue teams have been dispatched to numerous calls involving lost individuals in the woods.

The calls, coming weeks before thousands more people will enter into the forest for the firearm deer season.

As the season pushes closer, local law enforcement and the Minnesota DNR want to remind anyone heading into the woods to plan ahead.

Conservation Officer Kip Duncan says to plan for the worst when heading into the woods.

Once his department receives a call of someone missing or in potential danger it’s time to make a plan of action, determining what tools are needed to rescue the person before it’s too late.

“Everybody prepares to go hunting or go hiking and no one’s prepared to get lost,” said Duncan.

Duncan says hunters, hikers and others heading into the woods need to mentally prepare for their plans to go wrong.

Make sure someone knows where you are and roughly what time you’ll be home.

“If no one knows you’re lost, you’re lost,” said Duncan. “If someone stays put and they know people are looking for them, the best thing to do is build a fire, and build a fairly big fire, we have resources that can sense that.”

Through the use of dogs, people, technology and aircraft, a simple smoke signal could become your saving grace.

When heading into the woods, bring supplies to make a fire along with extra clothing.

Call 911 if you ever suspect a loved one is missing.

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