An 8-year-old child was shot in Beaufort County on Friday in what authorities believe was a hunting accident.

The child was playing in a yard on Ramsey Loop in the Burton area about 5:45 p.m. when a group of hunters with dogs fired on a running deer nearby, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources said in a statement. The child was struck in the arm by a single buckshot pellet, and the injury wasn’t life-threatening, the agency said.

Empty shotgun shell casings were found by a DNR K-9 team about 275 yards from the home, investigators said.

DNR is investigating the incident as an apparent hunting accident and the investigation was ongoing Monday, agency spokesman David Lucas said.

The hunt was on private property adjacent to the road, and the hunters had permission to be on the land, Lucas said. Deer hunting season on private land with guns and bows runs from Aug. 15-Jan. 1.

When Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, they found a boy standing in the road, a Sheriff’s Office report said.

Deputies found four hunting dogs nearby and put them in a patrol car. The animals were later turned over to Beaufort County Animal Control, the report said.

The boy, while with his mother, told a deputy he was walking in the road when he saw a deer run across the road. He saw someone shoot at the animal and felt something strike his arm, the report said.

His arm was bandaged, but he was not taken to the hospital, the sheriff’s report said. The child told deputies he had seen the hunting dogs in the area before.


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