By LAUREN DONOVAN
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
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
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