CA: ‘A very tragic accident’: Hunting trip in Yolo County turns tragic when boy accidentally shot

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A father-son hunting trip in rural Yolo County ended in tragedy. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office said a 13-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father Wednesday.

It happened just after 7 a.m. near Dunnigan on County Line Road, east of Interstate 5 near the Colusa County border.

Detectives said the hunting trip ended with the boy calling 911 to say they needed help after he accidentally shot his dad.

Hunting buddies Matt Jones and John Zendejas emerged from their duck blinds Wednesday to learn a fellow hunter didn’t make it out. A duck blind is a camouflaged structure that hunters use to harvest waterfowl.

“Even if you don’t know the family, us hunters are a tight-knit family it’s sad,” said Zendejas.

The hunters don’t know the family involved but say in this area, everyone looks out for each other.

“There’s no way to say what happened, we weren’t there and are just wondering how, why,” said Matt Jones. “It’s rough.”

Yolo County Sheriff’s detectives investigated the shooting.

“The way that the call was placed and the totality of the circumstances, it appears to be a very tragic accident,” said Det. Matt Wirick.

Wirick said the boy told dispatchers his gun accidentally went off while in the duck blind, hitting his father. He started performing CPR on his dad.

“When responders arrived, they had picked up where the son had left off and continued life-saving efforts continued that for some time,” Jones said.

Jones and Zendejas said safety is always number one when they gear up for their duck hunting trips, especially when they hunt with their young nephews.

“We’re on them at all times, keep that barrel out, point them away from everyone, constantly they need to be reminded,” said Jones.

The men can’t help but think about the young hunter who detectives said made a deadly mistake.

“The kid has to live with that the rest of his life,” said Zendejas.

“Most boys grow up dreaming of coming out on their own, learning from dad or grandpa or whoever, but now he will want nothing to do with it probably; it’s sad,” said Jones.

Wirick said both the father and son had hunting licenses. The state requires hunters to take a safety course to obtain a license, which covers firearm handling and general knowledge of being in the outdoors.


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