SIOUX FALLS, SD -
The South Dakota Civil Air Patrol is being asked to help in a possible rescue mission related to this weekend's snow storms. Hunters may be stranded in the Black Hills, so the Civil Air Patrol is taking to the air to find them.
Wing Commander John Seten received the call Monday morning about his new mission and we met with him minutes before he took to the air.
"If there's missing aircraft, we look for them. Missing people, if we're called upon, we go look for missing people," Seten said.
It is elk hunting season in the Black Hills and this weekend's strong winter storms may have put hunters in danger.
"We've got three airplanes involved today flying over the Black Hills looking for hunters that may be in distress after this weekend's snow," Seten said.
Seten is now part of a major effort by the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol to find any stranded hunters. A call for help came from the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
"They didn't have any reports at that time of any that were definitely missing, but the possibility is certainly there that there are some that could need some help after the weekend," Seten said.
The aerial search will cover areas hit hardest by the storm in coordination with ground crews ready to be deployed. As for tracking down hunters from the sky, they will rely on their years of training.
"For the hunters, we have employees of Game, Fish and Parks with us in the airplanes with radios. As they see things, they're calling their people on the ground and telling them where they're at," Seten said.
Seten hopes his involvement, and the involvement of the entire South Dakota Civil Air Patrol, can lead to a positive outcome for anyone that may still be stuck in the wild.
Seten will also take part in another mission on Tuesday. He will do a fly-over to get a more accurate count of the number of cattle and other livestock lost during this weekend's storms.
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