ST. PAUL, Minn. — A missing Twin Cities hunter who spent three nights lost in the woods of Pine County is recovering after being rescued by helicopter.

Authorities say 61-year-old Robert Kniefel of Lakeville was hungry and tired but otherwise OK when rescuers from the State Patrol and the St. Paul Fire Department found him early Thursday in Nemadji State Forest.

Kniefel went grouse hunting alone on Monday and got lost. During that time he drank bog water to stay hydrated.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports a search-and-rescue operation began Tuesday when Kniefel called his wife on a dying cellphone.

A new $1.4 million State Patrol airplane located Kniefel, but the boggy ground was too soft for ground teams to reach him. A helicopter team finally rescued him with a long tether.

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