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ME: Hunter recovering from accident

May 13, 2010

LaGrange shooting victim recovering from hunting accident

A LaGrange man was in fair condition Wednesday after undergoing surgery to remove pellets and other damage inflicted on his face, neck and upper left torso when he was shot accidentally while turkey hunting in Chester.

Adam Jewell, 30, was out of surgery at Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor and expected to stay in the hospital for at least another day. He had been in serious condition on Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Jewell was hit by pellets from a 12-gauge shotgun blast from about 40 yards away by 29-year-old Joel Susen of Chester. Jewell was sitting on the ground between a large hayfield and thick woods near 440 North Chester Road shortly after 7 a.m., a Maine Warden Service official said.

The warden service took Susen's weapon as evidence, as is procedure, and will refer the case to the Penobscot County District Attorney's Office for review when the investigation is finished, Ward said.

The incident began at about 7 a.m. Tuesday when Jewell's hunting party, the members of whom were wearing camouflage garb, spotted and called a turkey they saw in a field before it ran into thick woods on the north side of the field. The hunting party separated and moved to the edge of the woods, officials said.

Jewell was sitting in an area between the woods and field, apparently quite concealed, when Susen thought he saw a turkey and opened fire from about 40 yards away, officials said.

When they realized that Jewell had been shot, the hunters immediately called 911. Calls to the investigators, who called the shooting a case of a mistaken identity of a target, were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The shooting as Maine's first turkey hunting accident since 2008, officials said. In 2007, 19,079 people registered as turkey hunters and claimed to have harvested 5,984 turkeys, according to the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website, maine.gov/ifw. In 2008, 19,445 hunters, according to preliminary figures, reported harvesting 6,348 turkeys.

More recent statistics are not available.

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