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OH: man shot while hunting in Tuscarawas County

December 3, 2009

Coshocton man shot while hunting in Tuscarawas County

COSHOCTON -- Not many details are being released about a Coshocton County man who was injured in a hunting accident Tuesday afternoon.

Scott McKee, 49, of County Road 38, was shot in the leg while hunting on a friend's property in Tuscarawas County, said his wife, Peggy McKee.

Scott underwent surgery Tuesday night and was moved into a regular room Wednesday afternoon. Doctors said everything went well and he should get to go home in three or four days, Peggy said.

The injury was to the upper part of his right thigh, and the bullet missed the main artery, but damaged a secondary artery that doctors were able to repair with surgery, she said.

Although the McKees were advised not to talk about the incident itself while it is under investigation, "it was an accident," Peggy said.

Jamey Graham, spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division, said the investigating wildlife officer is not releasing much information right now.

She did say McKee was with a hunting party when he was shot, but whether it was a member of that party or another hunter that is responsible for the shooting is not being released, she said.

The Tuscarawas County incident was the second shooting in Ohio since gun hunting season for deer got under way this week, Graham said.

An 11-year-old boy who was in a tree stand shot his father on Tuesday. The incident occurred in north central Ohio, and the man's name and condition wasn't disclosed, although she was told it wasn't a potentially fatal injury.

In the past several years Ohio has averaged about 10 hunting-related shootings each year, with one fatality each in 2007 and 2006, and two fatalities in 2008.

Hunting remains one of the safest outdoor sports, with less than eight hospital visits per 100,000 participants, compared to 104 per 100,000 golfers, or 93 hospital visits per 100,000 swimmers, according to the National Safety Council.

Many hunting injuries aren't caused by a gun or bow, Graham said.

The Division of Wildlife doesn't keep statistics, but hunters are injured each year by non-hunting implements, such as a tree stand, she said.

Climbing and descending trees often can result in a fall resulting in serious injury or occasionally death.

Hunters should inspect their stands and make sure bolts are tightened and any frayed ropes or straps are replaced, according to ODNR. A step should be as safe as the stand itself, and should not be left until next season.

A climbing belt and full-body safety harness should always be used when climbing a tree or hunting from a tree stand, according to ODNR.

Hunters are reminded to wear the safety orange, unload guns when not in use, and never climb a fence or tree with a loaded gun, according to ODNR.

Additional Facts

GUN-HUNTING SAFETY TIPS

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • Never point a gun at anything you don't want to shoot.
  • Unload guns when not in use.
  • Store guns and ammunition separately.
  • Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
  • Never climb a fence or tree, cross a log or a stream, or jump a ditch with a loaded gun.
  • Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
  • Never use alcoholic beverages or drugs when handling firearms.

Source: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

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