In a mysterious overnight tragedy, a 55-year-old hunter has drowned just yards away from his own duck hunting boat in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Belle Plaine resident Jeffrey Ernest Brooks took off for another duck hunting trip this past weekend. Tragically, it would be his last. The 55-year-old hunter was found floating in the lake only a few yards away from his capsized boat.
The Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office discovered Brooks’ body after their deputies were called to Clear Lake around 9:45 a.m. Saturday. The lake, a popular duck hunting location, was the last place Brooks was seen within Lexington Township.
According to a news release from Sherriff’s Office, Brooks was found floating by himself within sight of his boat. The hunter, however, did not drown. Rescuers were able to retrieve him from Clear Lake. Though he was unresponsive, Brooks showed signs of life.
Unfortunately, Brooks “died during the night-time hours at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester,” according to the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office.
Duck Hunting Death Confuses Authorities
The same authorities, however, say that another individual was found sitting on top of Brooks’ capsized duck boat alone.
The 29-year-old companion of Jeffrey’s was alive and coherent when rescuers arrived on the scene. Within sight of his location, Brooks was found incapacitated within the water.
While no foul play has been named, the surviving hunter’s name has not been revealed. He was taken to New Prague hospital in which he is recovering.
The Le Sueur County Sherriff’s Office, so far, is providing no details on what caused the boat to capsize, or the two men to become separated – with only one surviving.
While all forms of hunting come with great risk, duck hunting fatalities are unusually rare. As hunting license sales continue to rise within the COVID-19 pandemic, however, more and more inexperienced hunters are heading outdoors. As such, tragedies – like the loss of 55-year-old Brooks – have become more common.