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PA: Turkey hunter wounded on opening day

May 5, 2010

Turkey hunter wounded on opening day

TUNNELTON - A Saltsburg hunter was wounded by pellets from another hunter's shotgun Saturday while hunting turkeys near the Conemaugh Dam in Conemaugh Township.

It was one of five accidental shootings on the opening day of Pennsylvania's spring gobbler hunting season, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

One of the accidents, in Bradford County, killed a hunter.

Tom Fazi, information and education supervisor for the game commission's 10-county Southwest Regional Office, identified the victim in the Indiana County accident as David Bruzda, 19, of Saltsburg.

Fazi said Bruzda was shot by another hunter, Roy Schmidt, 34, of Clarksburg.

According to Fazi, Schmidt was making turkey calls, saw movement below him and fired. The pellets from his shotgun hit Bruzda in the side of his face and upper torso.

Bruzda was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. A hospital spokeswoman said Monday that the hospital, as a policy, does not release information on patients' conditions.

Fazi said Bruzda was wearing an orange cap when he was shot.

Only bearded birds are legal game during the state's spring gobbler season, and hunters are required to confirm that a beard - from a couple of inches to several inches long - is protruding from the gobbler's breast.

Fazi said Monday that an investigation into the Conemaugh Township shooting is continuing. A wildlife conservation officer could not interview Bruzda during the weekend because of Bruzda's medical condition.

Jerry Feaser, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said turkey hunters on Saturday were also wounded when mistaken for game in Clearfield, Greene and Union counties.

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