NY: Hunter shot while turkey hunting in Steuben County

JUNE 5, 2019

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding hunters about the four rules of firearm safety following an investigation into an incident in Steuben County in which a hunter suffered minor injuries after being shot by his hunting partner.

The investigation began the morning of May 15 when Environmental Conservation Officer Matthew Baker received a call from Steuben County 911 reporting that an adult male had been admitted to Noyes Memorial Hospital, Dansville, with a gunshot wound suffered while turkey hunting in the town of Cohocton.

The officer drove to the hospital and interviewed the subject, who had a pellet lodged in his middle finger.

The man said he and his hunting partner had set up two turkey decoys in a field that morning and returned to separate parts of the field where they could not see each other. The subject attempted to set up a third decoy without notifying his hunting partner, according to a DEC news release issued June 5 that noted recent activity by conservation officers..

Dressed in camouflage and carrying the decoy in front of him, the man began to move through a hedgerow and out into the field. His hunting partner saw what he thought was a real turkey and fired one shot, striking the subject, the DEC said.

State Police, ECO Shawn Dussault, K-9 Ski, BECI Investigators Lt. Chris Didion and Inv. Mark Wojtkowiak, and ECO Keith Levanway helped investigate the incident, which involved recreating the scene.

DEC, in noting the investigation, said it would like to remind all hunters to follow the four basic rules of hunter safety when afield.

Those rules are:

 Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Keep your finger off the trigger, and outside the trigger guard, until you are ready to shoot.

Always be sure of your target and what is in front of it and behind it. Once you pull the trigger, you cannot take back the bullet!

For more hunter safety advice, check the DEC website here.

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