IL: One hunter accidentally shoots second outside Alton
April 07, 2011
ALTON — An East Alton man suffered shotgun pellet injuries Thursday
morning when he was shot accidentally by a second hunter while they were
looking for turkey near the Illinois Boots and Saddle Club just outside
The wounded man, identified as Robert Pitchford, 64 of East Alton,
suffered shotgun pellet injuries to his upper torso and face after being
shot about 8 a.m. in a secluded area south of the club. His injuries were
not considered to be life-threatening.
The injured man was talking to rescuers, complaining of not being able to
see out of one eye.
Rescuers from the Fosterburg Fire Department, the Madison County
Sheriff’s Department and the Alton Police Department responded. The
jurisdiction was decided to be that of the Sheriff’s Department.
A deputy said the hunters had arrived at the scene together and then
separated to look for game.
Capt. Brad Wells of the Sheriff’s Department said the two friends were
about 25 yards apart when the accident occurred.
Wells said that because Pitchford was hunting turkey, he was not required
to wear a bright orange vest, as is required in some types of deer hunting.
The different requirement is because of the type of ammunition normally
used and the difference in the eyesight of the two species of animals.
Turkeys, unlike deer, have color vision.
Rescuers had to go down a private lane, across a field and into woods to
reach the victim, perhaps one-eighth of a mile from Harris Lane.
Pitchford had to be carried by stretcher several hundred yards to an
ambulance, Wells said.
Pitchford was taken to the hospital by Alton Memorial Ambulance and then
flown by a helicopter from ARCH Air Medical Services Inc. to a St. Louis
hospital, where he was listed in stable condition Thursday afternoon.
Wells said the Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call at 8:03 a.m.
The call came from an area in the 3000 block of Harris Lane in Foster
The two men were hunting on private property they had leased. The second
hunter has not been identified.
An officer from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources also was
requested to respond.
"Detectives with the sheriff’s office and an Illinois DNR Conservation
Police officer continue to investigate, but it appears to be strictly an
accident," Wells said.
According to the IDNR website, the first week of the spring turkey
hunting season in Southern Illinois is April 4 through 8.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
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