A duck hunter was rescued Saturday, Oct. 3, from Rice Lake after spending several hours in the water in the Hesitation Wildlife Management Area in Bay Lake Township south of Highway 18.

A resident reported hearing someone yelling for help at about 5:15 p.m. near the Hesitation Wildlife Management Area, which encompasses much of Rice Lake, a very shallow swampy lake with limited access to the water, according to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were able to hear a man yelling for help when they responded but initially were unable to see him due to the terrain and bulrushes, so an aerial drone was used to locate the man who had apparently been duck hunting but was now in the water holding onto the back of his boat.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers also responded to the area and were able to use a flat-bottom mud boat to navigate the water to reach the hunter. The man was pulled from the water and transported back to land to waiting Crosby Ambulance paramedics.

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The hunter was very cold but was conscious and talking, according to Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sgt. Craig Katzenberger, who stated in a news release it is believed the 60-year-old resident was in the water for several hours before he was rescued.

Sheriff Scott Goddard stated he would like to thank the resident who initially heard the man calling for help and called 911, and the resident who allowed law enforcement to access his property and assisted in launching the rescue boat with his skid steer.

The Minnesota State Patrol and the Garrison Fire Department also assisted with the rescue.