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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

North Liberty man killed in deer hunting accident

Monday, December 5, 2005

An investigation is ongoing

By Gregg Hennigan
Iowa City Press-Citizen

A North Liberty man was shot and killed Sunday morning while hunting deer west of Oxford near the Johnson-Iowa county line.

Scott Knebel, 31, died after he was struck by a shotgun slug in the torso by one of the hunters in his group while driving deer out of dense cover at about 9 a.m., according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Knebel's wife, Tanya, said Sunday evening her husband was hunting with his father, Jim Knebel, his father's girlfriend and a family friend named Randy Nugent.

She said she was told her husband was in a ravine dense with brush pushing deer out and was hit when Jim Knebel did not see him and shot at a deer.

An investigation is ongoing, and at this point the incident is considered an accident, DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins said.

Knebel's death comes after there were zero hunting fatalities in Iowa last year, the first time that had occurred since the DNR began keeping records in 1964, Baskins said.

Saturday was the first day of shotgun season. Three hunters were injured in separate incidents over the weekend, according to the DNR.

Seventeen people were injured last year while hunting, Baskins said. Iowa hosts more than 250,000 hunters annually, according to the DNR Web site.

Tanya Knebel, 30, said she thought her husband's death was an accident and she does not fault her father-in-law, who she said was not handling the situation well.

She said that all four members of the group were experienced hunters and that her husband was wearing protective orange hunting clothing. She said the group was hunting about two miles from Jim Knebel's home between Oxford and Homestead, but they had never before hunted in the area the shooting took place.

Tanya Knebel said her husband had not been hunting for at least three years because his construction job left him little free time. But with a new job as a cable technician for Mediacom, he was able to go hunting Saturday and Sunday. She said he killed a seven-point buck Saturday morning.

"He was so happy and excited when he got home," she said.

Tanya Knebel said they had been married for one and a half years. She said he had two children from a previous relationship, Devon, 10, and Marisa, 8. She has a 6-year-old daughter, Autumn.

She called her husband a great man who will be missed by his family and friends.

"He was carefree, loving, generous, helped anybody," she said. "(He'd) do anything in the world for you."

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