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Former GF&P officer drowns in apparent duck hunting accident

PUKWANA -- A former state Game, Fish and Parks Department conservation officer from Spearfish apparently drowned while duck hunting on Red Lake southwest of Pukwana Thursday.

Michael Muck had been hunting in a separate boat with a group of three local men on the south side of Red Lake Thursday, Brule County Sheriff Darrell Miller said Sunday.

When the men tried to find Muck, they found his flat bottom boat overturned and Muck floating face down about 100 yards away from it near the shore, Miller said. The 911 call was made at 8:27 a.m.

"One guy pulled him to shore and started doing CPR," he said.

Pukwana's first responders came to the scene, along Missouri Valley Ambulance, the sheriff's office and Game, Fish and Parks Department. The latter is investigating the incident.

Muck was taken to Sanford Medical Center Chamberlain, where he was pronounced dead, Miller said.

Miller said his office was treating the incident as a drowning accident and he does not suspect foul play. He did not think that Muck had a medical problem that led to the accident.

Miller did not know how long Muck had been in the water, but his hunting friends had not seen him for 35 to 40 minutes when they began looking for him.

Muck, 68, who was known as Mick, had served as a GF&P conservation officer in Chamberlain, Woonsocket and Philip for 19 years, according to his obituary at His family moved to Spearfish in 1989 and he retired in 1997 after 33 years of service. He also started a habitat consulting business and commercial spraying business.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. MST today at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid City. Burial, with military honors, will be in Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.