Michigan conservation officer rescues man injured in woods

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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

CUSTER, Mich. (AP) — An elderly man has been rescued nearly 11 hours after falling about 30 feet (9.1 meters) from a tree and injuring his back in a remote, wooded area of western Michigan.

A conservation officer located the 75-year-old man who was able Tuesday to call 911 before his cellphone lost reception, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources said.

Authorities were told that the man had gone to the Whiskey Creek area near Custer, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Grand Rapids, to prepare tree stands for the upcoming deer hunting season.

Conservation officer Josiah Killingbeck was on patrol and found the man’s truck. Killingbeck located a faint walking path and found a set of footprints on a dirt bike trail, the DNR said.

Killingbeck called out for the man through the woods until he heard a weak reply. He found the man at the base of a large oak tree.

The man was carried from the woods on a backboard by emergency support personnel and then airlifted to a trauma center.

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