Missing hunters found by Forest Service employee near Deerfield - KOTA Territory News

Missing hunters found by Forest Service employee near Deerfield Lake

After what started out as a turkey hunt, turned into a search and rescue effort for two brothers.

"We had several different pieces of machinery. We had snowcats and snow mobiles that hit different trails in the Deerfield area," said Lieutenant Kraig Wood of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Gary Wipf and his brother Clifford went missing after the pair ventured out on a hunting trip on Sunday.

But crews found the pair about four miles north of Deerfield Lake Tuesday afternoon. The two brothers were found by a forest service employee in the Flag Mountain area.

"We tried hitting an area where we thought Gary and Clifford could possibly have hunted in the past,” Wood said.

Many of the roads in the area have snow drifts, which made them inaccessible with a normal vehicle. As much as 10 inches of snow fell on Monday, hampering search efforts.

"That made it really tough. We had to switch back to using only our snowcat vehicles yesterday because the snow was so deep. Regular vehicles weren't getting around. Four–wheel drives were getting stuck,” said Tammy Statle, who was overseeing the search and rescue operation.

The elderly brothers have experience hunting in the area, which may have saved their lives.

"They have a lot of experience hunting up in the area. They know the area well," Wood said.

 Initial reports said they appear to be in good condition.

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