Northern Minnesota man, dog rescued after getting lost in the woods near Bemidji

Northern Minnesota man, dog rescued after getting lost in the woods near Bemidji Photo: KSTP.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: October 19, 2020 05:47 PM
Created: October 19, 2020 05:26 PM

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office reports a man and his dog were found safe after they were reported lost in the woods in northern Minnesota. 

Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said in a release, on Sunday at about 7:54 p.m., authorities received a call reporting a man lost in the woods in the Lasalle Lake area in Fern Township.


Philip Thorson, 67, from Becida, Minnesota, was walking in the woods with his dog and a friend when Thorson reportedly became ill. The group was still two miles from their vehicle and Thorson was not able to keep up through the dense woods. The sheriff's office says they built a fire in the woods and Thorson's friend then continued to the truck without him. When the friend returned to the same area to look for Thorson, he wasn't there. 

After it became dark outside, Hubbard County deputies responded to the scene and began a search. Officers from Beltrami County and the Minnesota State Patrol, as well as helicopters from the state patrol and Sanford Hospital also assisted in the search.

At 3 a.m. on Monday, the search was called off with plans to resume in the daylight. The search was later resumed on the ground and in the air the following morning. 

At 12:46 p.m., the sheriff's office states that deputies located fresh shoe tracks as well as dog tracks in the woods and continued their ground search. Then, about 15 minutes later, deputies heard a dog bar. They quickly located Thorson and his dog laying under a log attempting to stay warm. Thorson was wet from falling in the Mississippi River but told authorities he huddled with his dog all night in an effort to stay alive. 

Thorson was escorted out of the woods by authorities where he was met by Bemidji Ambulance and checked for injuries. Despite some minor frostbite, Thorson was otherwise fine. 

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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