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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

The following report is reprinted, unedited, from the cited source.*

US MAN MISTAKEN FOR SQUIRREL SHOT DEAD

A US man was shot dead by his father who mistook him for a squirrel while out hunting.

Mr. L* Junior was lying on his back holding up a dead animal and 'barking' like a squirrel either to attract other animals or as a prank.

He died instantly from a single gunshot wound after his father mistook him for one of the creatures.

The family from Galien, Indiana, are said to be devastated by the accident.

The victim's uncle, Mr. V*, said his nephew had pulled pranks before while hunting and one time "darn near got himself shot".

"It wasn't the first time he did it. He had been warned about it 100 times before," he added.

Mr. L* Senior heard squirrel sounds coming from behind a log, reports The Outdoor Pressroom.

Thinking it was safe to fire, he squeezed the trigger on his 22-caliber rifle, killing his son instantly.

Gene Davis, from Indiana Department of Natural Resources law enforcement division, said the 23-year-old may have been using a dead squirrel he shot earlier, to lure another creature out of a tree hole or to pull a prank.

*Names have been removed at the family's request

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