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Moorhead man dies while hunting in Clay County -- rescue delayed by mired vehicles

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MOORHEAD - A 47-year-old Moorhead man died Sunday afternoon while hunting deer with family members in muddy terrain in rural Clay County.

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Dan Stetz, 47, who resided in Moorhead and was a long-time Fargo firefighter, was identified by the Clay County Sheriff's Department on Monday morning.

Stetz was hunting with his son and other family members when he collapsed about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said.

An autopsy will be conducted. The man experienced breathing difficulties and then collapsed, said Lt. Steve Todd of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Bergquist said it is believed Stetz's death was due to a medical condition.

He said the remains have been sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Several agencies responded to the medical assist, and multiple vehicles got mired in muddy fields trying to reach Stetz.

"We had multiple vehicles stuck in the mud," Todd said.

Ultimately a LifeFlight helicopter reached the scene.

Stetz was pronounced dead after efforts to revive him failed. His body was taken by helicopter ambulance to drier, firmer ground and transported by vehicle to MeritCare Hospital.

Stetz had worked for the Fargo Fire Department since about 1991.

"He was the king of the one-liners. Everybody liked Dan. But when it came to a call or run, he was all business," Capt. Bruce Anderson said.

Capt. LeRoy Skarloken, who spent a good share of his career working alongside Stetz, said firefighters have been with Stetz's family to do what they can to ease their grief and be of help.

"It will be there forever," he said of the support.

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