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NC: Watha man mistaken for deer, shot in back

Watha man mistaken for deer, shot in back

By David Reynolds Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 5:33 p.m.

A 48-year-old man is recovering at New Hanover Regional Medical Center after he was shot in the back during a hunting accident in Pender County last week.

The man was shot with a rifle by another hunter who mistook him for a deer, said Officer Fred Gorchess of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The victim was walking out of the woods near Watha about 5:30 p.m. Friday when he was shot, Gorchess said.

A 23-year-old man was charged with negligent hunting resulting in bodily injury, a misdemeanor, in connection with the shooting, Gorchess said.

The two men, who authorities wouldn’t identify, knew each other but weren’t hunting together, Gorchess said. Both are from the Watha area, six miles north of Burgaw.

The shooting occurred in a rural area, but not far from homes, Gorchess said.

The incident is the most serious hunting-related accident this season in Duplin, Pender and New Hanover counties, Gorchess said.

It occurred around sunset and shows hunters need to remember basic precautions, he said.

State law requires all hunters to wear blaze orange – either a hat or outer garment – that’s visible from all sides, Gorchess said. Shooters should be sure of their target before they fire.

“People for the most part do what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

Deer hunting season runs from Oct. 18 to Jan. 1. Hunting is permitted from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, Gorchess said.  

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