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Hunter freed from sinkhole near Mentor

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MENTOR, Minn. - A duck hunter had a fright worthy of Halloween after he was pulled from a sinkhole Saturday morning near here.

Peter John Fehlen, 37, Burnsville, Minn., and two friends were duck hunting in Tilden Township near Mentor when Fehlen stepped into the sinkhole in wetlands, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

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Fehlen could not move, let alone escape the sinkhole, which was several hundred yards south of Polk County Road 45. One of his friends, Joseph Woodruff, 25, of Roseville, called 911 at about 11 a.m., and personnel from the sheriff's office, Mentor Fire Rescue, Fertile EMS and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources responded.

By the time rescuers arrived, Fehlen was chest-deep in the mud and still sinking, authorities said. A flotation device was thrown to him, and members of Mentor Fire Rescue reached him using a tracked vehicle and an inflatable watercraft.

Once he was freed from the sinkhole, Fehlen received first aid and was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released later Saturday.

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