Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


Survival Skills

Sometimes hunters get lost despite their most careful precautions. But if they are adequately prepared, the misadventure will not last very long.

The first action the hunter must take is to stop and sit down.

The word STOP is an acronym used in survival. It means:



Stop and sit down. Keep a positive mental attitude, but accept that you are lost.


Think about your surroundings. Could you find your way out, or are you going to spend the night?


Observe what is around you. Can you hear cars? Can you hear farm animals or farm machinery? Can you see radio towers or old logging roads? Can you smell smoke from a wood stove? Use your senses to find out where you are.


Plan what you do. The time of day and the weather will influence how the plan will be set in motion and what you will do first.


IMPORTANT! Most hunters who get lost in Minnesota and are found alive, are found within 24 hours. Be prepared to possibly spend a night in the woods.



In a survival situation, fire is your friend. You can use it to boil and purify water, to keep warm and calm, or to signal. To build a warming fire, collect some tinder, small wood and larger pieces of dry wood. Once you think you have collected enough wood, go back and collect some more. Place the tinder and small wood in a small pile and surround it with larger pieces in the shape of a teepee. Clear a three-foot-wide area around your fire for safety. Carry waterproof matches, a lighter, or a magnesium fire starter in your pack to always have a way of starting a fire. For signaling with fire, add green plant material to your flame - this will produce a lot of smoke.