A central Minnesota hunter is being called a life-saver for trying to pull another hunter stuck up to his chest in a frigid slough.

Peter Schmidt of Orrock Township was hunting in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near his home Saturday, the opening of firearms deer hunting season, and heard 26-year-old Matthew Capko of Big Lake calling for help, the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office said.

According to the Sheriff's Office:

Schmidt discovered Capko in the muddy water and unable to move.

Schmidt alerted his family and authorities of the man's plight and also tried to save the hunter.

Rescue personnel arrived and pulled Capko out with a life line. He was taken to Princeton Fairview Hospital for treatment of hypothermia. Schmidt also was treated for hypothermia.

The sheriff's office estimated that Capko had been in the slough for at least an hour and noted that exposure to water slightly above freezing can lead to death within 30 minutes.

"Had Schmidt not found him when he did, the results could have been far different," the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge consists of 30,700 acres, is one of 10 national wildlife refuges in Minnesota and is about 50 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482