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Eugene (Junior) Smoker is carried to a waiting RCMP vehicle moments after being found safe but hungry. ((CBC))

A three-year-old boy found after a daylong search is safe, although he was cold, hungry and tired, says the man who found him.

Eugene Smoker was located by Clayton Cyr, a searcher on horseback, about 7:20 p.m. CST about 200 metres behind his home on the Standing Buffalo First Nation near Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask.

Smoker, who goes by the name Junior, had been missing since Thursday morning at about 8:30 a.m.

The reserve is about eight kilometres northwest of the town.

Cyr was with several other people on horseback who had joined the search about 6 p.m. About 50 volunteers and 20 police officers were engaged in the search.

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Clayton Cyr, from the Pasqua First Nation, joined the search about 6 p.m. and found the boy about an hour later. ((CBC))

"He wasn't scared," Cyr said after bringing the boy to waiting RCMP officers. "I picked him up, put him on the horse and we rode back."

CBC News was told the toddler likely wandered away from his home and lost his way. 

The youngster was talkative but difficult to understand, Cyr said.

"I couldn't make out what the hell he was saying," Cyr said with a chuckle. "He was looking for his dad."

The weather in that part of Saskatchewan was cool for September and it had rained all day.

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Family members say the young boy wandered away from his home about 8:30 a.m. ((CBC))

"He was damn cold," Cyr said. "So I opened my jacket and I covered him up while we were riding back."

Safely in the arms of an RCMP officer, the youngster could be seen munching on some food and swaddled in a blanket.

"Once he gets something in his belly, he should be alright," Cyr said.

The youngster's grandfather was relieved the tot had been found

"[It's] been a long day," Eugene Goodwill said. "A very long day.

"He's not one to wander, this boy. It's surprising that he did."

CBC News was told the youngster had been taken to the hospital in Fort Qu'Appelle for a medical assessment.

Family members were expected to meet him at the hospital.