14-Year-Old Shot In Elizabeth Township During Day 1 Of Deer
ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A teenager was shot while hunting with
his father in Elizabeth Township on the first day of firearms deer
season in Pennsylvania.
Police told Channel 4 Action News that the 14-year-old was shot
in the leg as he was climbing into a tree stand on Scenery Drive.
His father had to carry him out of the woods.
"They were hoisting shotguns up into a tree stand, but one of the
shotguns accidentally discharged and struck the juvenile in his
right thigh," said Police Chief Robert McNeilly.
The boy was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for
"Luckily, the shot went into the muscle. He had full movement of
his foot, and he'll have use of his leg," said Beth Fife, a wildlife
conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. "The
slug is embedded in the back of his knee, so they're going to
operate and take that out, but he'll walk again."
Fife said the accident was almost fatal, because the shot hit
close to the boy's femoral artery.
"If it had been an inch higher, he would have bled out," she
Wildlife officials said the incident was preventable.
"You do not pull a loaded firearm into a tree stand," said Regis
Denne, of the Game Commission.
"They shouldn't have been hoisting shotguns that were loaded with
one in the chamber or with the safety in the off position," McNeilly
"You can tell the father talks about safety, and wants to teach
his kid right and everything, and he said, 'I don't know why I
loaded the guns,' "
Denne stressed that safety is key when planning to hunt.
"This is very, very unusual. Hunting is really a safe sport if
the rules are followed," Denne said.
"If you're in a tree stand, they stay unloaded until you get them
up in the tree stand, you get yourself belted in, you get yourself
attached to the tree stand. Then, when you're all settled and ready
to go, then you load your guns," Fife said.
Wildlife officials expect about 1 million hunters will try to
bring home a trophy, and that more than 700,000 buck tags have been
sold, as well as more than 800,000 doe tags.
"The best thing is to have an area scouted out. You're going to
look for buck signs, with the buck rubs on the tree where they mark
their territory and stuff," Fife said.
According to wildlife officials, hunters should be sure to wear
250 square inches of fluorescent orange, which amounts to about the
amount of fabric a hat and a full orange vest.
Officials also remind hunters to be aware of safety zones, which
are 150 yards for a shotgun and 50 yards for archery or a crossbow.
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