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Hunter lost in woods near Cook uses compass to find way back home

A 58-year-old St. Paul man who became lost while hunting Thursday used a compass to find his way back to a hunting cabin after several hours as a search effort was underway, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Craig Ainsworth was declared overdue at 9:30 p.m., having gone out with a couple of other hunters in his party in an unorganized township north of Cook — a rural area off the Holm Logging Road several miles east of U.S. Highway 53, the Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release.

The others in his hunting party had attempted to find him for about four hours before calling the Sheriff's Office for help.

The Sheriff's Office, along with members of the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the Minnesota State Patrol and a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, responded to the area.  

When he stopped hunting for the evening, Ainsworth got lost, the Sheriff’s Office said, and ended up walking in circles. Ainsworth eventually found his way back to the cabin using a compass. He returned around midnight as the Rescue Squad was searching for him. He was not injured.

The Sheriff's Office said it “strongly encourages those who go out into the woods to bring and be familiar with the use of an ordinary, non-battery-powered compass.”

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