MDC pushes hunter safety in light of shooting incident
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is urging hunters to stay safe after an incident Saturday night.
One hunter mistook another hunter for a deer and shot the victim in the hip. The incident is currently under investigation by the Department of Conservation.
The Missouri Department of Conservation's protection regional supervisor, Tom Strother, said the department uses these investigations to improve its hunter safety education program.
"We had an investigator go to the scene to see where the shooter was at, where the victim was at, and try to determine what happened," Strother said. "We can let folks know we've had accidents like this happen at dusk, low daylight, hard to see."
Strother said anyone in Missouri born on or after Jan. 1, 1967 has to go through a hunter education course before they can acquire any type of hunting permit. Strother said the education course covers many topics, including animal biology, how and where animals live and how to be a safe hunter.
"Know your target, know what you're shooting at, make sure there's a safe backstop beyond the target in case you happen to miss," Strother said. "Make sure of the target, make sure what you're shooting at is a legal animal, and keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot and keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction."
Strother says he doesn't know who the shooter or victim are at this point, but their names will be available when the investigation wraps up sometime in the next few days.
For more information on hunter education, visit the MDC website.