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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

14-year-old dies in hunting accident

By LAUREN DONOVAN

Bismarck Tribune

HAZEN - What appears to be the first-ever fatality during the black powder muzzle loader season claimed the life of a Hazen teen early Sunday. Daniel Haga, 14, an eighth-grader at Hazen Middle School, died from an accidental discharge of the gun while hunting with his father, Todd, about three miles northeast of Velva on a relative's land.

The two were participating in the specialty deer gun season that opened Friday.

McHenry County Sheriff Marv Sola said it appeared the father and son had just left their vehicle and gotten started hunting, when the father handed the gun to his son to open a gate. Salo said the dad took a minute to deal with the gate and then turned around for the gun when it discharged, striking the teen in the head. He said he didn't know if both had their hands on the gun in that moment.

The incident occurred at around 6:45 a.m. The two were unaccompanied.

Sola said Todd Haga put his son in the vehicle and rushed for emergency care in Minot, where the teen was pronounced dead.

A spokesman for the State Game and Fish Department, Randy Kreil, said the incident, like all hunting-related injuries or deaths, will be investigated by the district warden.

Kreil said the death is the first fatality of the 2005 deer hunting season and likely the first ever during muzzle loading season.

Sola said the muzzle loader had a .50 caliber projectile, larger than is loaded into a typical deer rifle.

In Hazen, middle school Principal Jerry Obenauer said the school would provide accurate information and counseling for the Haga boy's many friends and classmates today.

Daniel Haga, the son of Todd and Deb, was an identical twin to Darren Haga. The two have always been impossible to tell apart with their dark hair, big grins and same voices.

Obenauer said Daniel Haga was one of those kids who got along with everybody, whether they were bookworms, jocks, or skateboarders. "He was friends with every group," Obenauer said.

Chris Sorenson, gym teacher, coach and friend, said Daniel Haga was busy, cracking jokes all the time and liked to have fun.

"That whole (eighth) grade is pretty tight. Whoever he was with, he had fun with. It didn't matter to him," Sorenson said.

Sorenson said Daniel Haga loved to hunt and fish. "He did a lot of stuff with his dad," he said.

(Reach reporter Lauren Donovan at 888-303-5511 or lauren@westriv.com   .)

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