CRYSTAL FALLS – A 78-year-old hunter from downstate was rescued Tuesday in Baraga County after being lost in the woods for more than a day.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Department says they received a call from Leroy Carlston of Muskegon at 5:44 p.m. Monday. Carlston believed he was lost in northern Iron County. He had left Amasa earlier Monday to hunt grouse.
A search by deputies from the Iron and Baraga County Sheriff’s Departments and Michigan State Police in L’Anse was conducted until about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Carlston spent the night in his vehicle. He told authorities he had food and water and was comfortable staying in his vehicle.
The search continued at 7 a.m. Tuesday in northern Iron County and southern Baraga County.
Involved in the search Tuesday were Iron County Search and Rescue, DNR conservation officers and Covington Fire Department. Based on GPS locations from Carlston’s cell phone, the search concentrated near Ned’s Lake.
A helicopter that was conducting an unrelated operation in the U.P. for the Department of Homeland Security joined the search at 4 p.m. Carlston was located at 4:32 p.m. in a remote area of southern Baraga County between Ned Lake and South Nestoria Road. The helicopter crew directed rescuers to the lost man.
Carlston apparently became confused with the crisscrossing of logging roads in the area and was unable to find his way out of the woods.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Department says Carlston was found unharmed and in good spirits. After showing Carlston the way to M-28, a deputy reported Carlston was heading to Rudyard in the eastern U.P.
“Because there are no birds here,” Carlston reportedly said.