November 14, 2005
A New York Mills, Minn., hunter was fatally shot Saturday by a
13-year-old member of his hunting party, the third shooting death this
month during Minnesota's deer hunting season.
John Edward Nelson, 36, was shot about an hour before dawn as he
walked toward his hunting stand about 10 miles north of New York
Mills, said Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter.
"He wasn't even supposed to be there. Everybody thought he was
working," Schlueter said. He declined to identify the young hunter who
fired the shot because the incident is being investigated.
Two other Minnesota hunters have died from gunshot wounds. Shelley
Denece Burgess, 48, of Evansville, Minn., was fatally wounded Nov. 5
while hunting in Grant County. Jeffrey Dean Ford, 40, of Pequot Lakes,
died Tuesday after he was shot while hunting in Crow Wing County.
In each case, the hunter who died apparently was shot by another
member of the hunting party.
The number of deer hunters who die in accidental shootings has
dropped sharply over the years. There were no shooting deaths during
last year's deer season, one in 2003 and two each in 2002 and 2001.
After the first two deaths last week, state wildlife authorities
reminded hunters to follow basic safety procedures -- properly
identify targets, take extra care when aiming at game on the move and
be cautious while loading and unloading guns.
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