Three hunters dead, one missing in North Dakota

By Dave Kolpack The Associated Press
Wednesday October 16, 2002

BISMARCK, N.D. — Duck hunters in two boats died in separate accidents after their vessels capsized or sank in choppy North Dakota lakes. Three bodies were recovered by Tuesday as divers continued searching for a fourth man. 

“This is not real common. It’s sad,” said Jim Carter, the hunter education coordinator for the state Game and Fish Department. 

A boat carrying Philip Fleming, 37, and Joseph J. Tonyan, 35, both of McHenry, Ill., sank in Wentz Lake in south central North Dakota, Napoleon Fire Chief Marvin Lang said. Tonyan’s body was found on the shore Monday, and divers recovered Fleming’s body on Tuesday, Lang said. 

The men were reported missing after they failed to return from a hunting trip Monday afternoon, but it was not clear when they were last seen, Lang said. 

In north central North Dakota, searchers on Monday recovered the body of George Freidinger, 70, of Mount Vernon, Ill., in Devils Lake, after his boat capsized earlier that day. Authorities were still searching Tuesday for an Iowa man who had been hunting with Freidinger, Benson County Sheriff Ned Mitzel said.