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Hunter hunkers down as search is on

An 80-year-old hunter from Duluth spent a snowy Saturday night in the woods near Toimi but was OK after a search by Lake and St. Louis County officials began at 10 p.m. and ended Sunday morning.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office received a call about 10 p.m. from a friend of the hunter who said he was expecting him back from the woods about 4:30 p.m. and his pickup was still parked where they had started their hunt.

Search and rescue teams went out to the Sullivan Lake area off Forest Highway 11 in Toimi. An air search wasn't possible with heavy snow falling and the search was called off at 3:40 a.m. Sunday morning.

The hunter came out of the woods unharmed about 11 a.m. as crews with search dogs regrouped for a daylight search.

The man said he found it hard to continue through deep snow and decided to make a fire and stay put until morning. He was following accepted protocol for those stuck in the woods.

Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson said the man was surprised to see people out looking for him. "Other than being wet, cold and hungry, he was in good physical condition and did not need medical care," Johnson said.