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Lost hunter found at Tamarac Refuge

Becker County and state authorities spent several hours trying to find a lost hunter on Tuesday evening.

The incident begin at 6:34 p.m. Tuesday when the Becker County Dispatch Center received a 911 call via cell phone from a lost hunter who was in the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge .

Authorities were able to obtain GPS coordinates via the cell phone and the hunter, Joby Johnson, 36, of rural Fergus Falls, was advised to stay in his location and rescue personnel would find him and extract him from the location.

However, prior to the emergency personnel arriving, good Samaritans had entered the woods and confused the lost hunter via cell phone conversations and they themselves evidently became confused in the remote area.

When authorities reached the location of the original coordinates, it was determined that the initial victim had started walking and ended up going in the wrong direction.

Because the shouting of the good Samaritans was confusing the rescue personnel, they were then extracted.

Through the efforts of Deputy Jasken, the Becker County Sheriff's Office was able to track the initial victim, but it took an additional two hours to catch up to him.

By then Johnson was "extremely panicked and confused and had come to the point of actually trying to out-distance the rescuers by walking away from

them," Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said in a news release.

At 9:09 p.m. rescuers were finally able to converge on Johnson and a successful extraction occurred.

It was through the coordinating efforts of the U.S. Wildlife Service, Tamarac National Refuge personnel, White Earth Tribal Police, DNR, State Patrol and Becker County that the rescue was successful, Gordon said.

Johnson was found in good condition and no hospitalization was needed.