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WA - Fatal accident of non-hunter caused by youth hunter

Woman Fatally Shot By Bear Hunter

August 2, 2008

SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. -- A woman was fatally shot by a bear hunter on Sauk Mountain, said Chief Deputy Will Reichardt of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office.

A 54-year-old woman from Oso was hiking with a friend around 10:30 a.m. Saturday when a group of hunters were also in the mountain.

One of the hunters, a juvenile male from Concrete, spotted what he thought was a bear and fired a round, fatally wounding the woman.

Deputies said a preliminary investigation indicates that the woman was stopped on the trail putting something into her backpack when the hunter mistook her for a bear and fired one shot.

The incident happened along Highway 20 west of Rockport. Reichardt said it’s legal to hunt bear in that area and it’s also a popular hiking area.

The hunter was accompanied by at least one other person, police said.

Police said no one is currently in custody and they continue to interview the hunter and the woman who was hiking with the victim.

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