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Safe Hunting?

Hunting Companion Killed by Friend's Arrow

9.06 p.m. ET (217 GMT) November 25, 1999

SPRING HILL, Fla. (AP) A bow hunter shot and killed his childhood friend with an arrow through the neck after he mistook the other man for a deer, police said.

Simm Spratling, 32, was shot Wednesday by Bobby Merrill, 33, as Merrill sat in a tree about 15 feet above a trail in a forest near Florida's Gulf Coast, authorities said.

"It was just a terrible mistake,'' said Dolan Norfleet, a fellow hunter.

Sgt. Craig Baxley of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said no foul play is suspected, but deputies are investigating the shooting.

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