Man killed in hunting accident by a boy, 12, after being mistaken
for a deer
By Jessica Guenzel
Friday, December 30, 2005
A Thomasville man was killed while hunting Wednesday when he was
mistaken for a deer and a shot with a rifle by a 12-year-old boy,
Douglas Wayne Murdock, 28, of 2 Landon Lane was pronounced dead at
According to Capt. Chris Huebner, the hunting and boating safety
coordinator with the N.C. Wilderness Commission, Murdock was hunting
just before 10 a.m. in a shooting lane off Garren Town Road in
Randolph County when the shooting happened.
Apparently, the boy and his grandfather, also on a hunting trip,
were riding a four-wheeler through the area when the grandfather
spotted Murdock and, mistaking him for a deer, told his grandson to
shoot at it.
Murdock, who was wearing a blaze-orange vest and abiding by all
hunting regulations, was shot once in the upper chest with a scope
rifle, Huebner said.
"He basically was just sitting there in a shooting lane, minding
his own business when he got shot," Huebner said. "The worst part is
that with a scope rifle (the boy) should have been able to tell that
it's not an animal. Definitely, with a blaze-orange vest, he should
have been able to tell.
"When we teach hunter safety, we teach them that you don't shoot
anything unless you can positively identify it. If you can't
positively identify it, you are to treat it as if it is a human."
Huebner said that Murdock had attended a hunting- safety course. But
he said that neither the boy nor his grandfather had received such
training. The shot was fired from 100 to 200 feet away.
The boy's name is not being released, pending a decision by the
Randolph County district attorney on whether to press charges.
Under state law, any children under 16 can hunt under the
supervision of a properly licensed adult, but they must have a
certificate showing that they have completed a hunting-safety course.
• Jessica Guenzel can be reached in Lexington at (336) 248-2074 or