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Ouachita Parish Hunting Death Apparently Accidental

The Associated Press

11/27/2003, 1:25 p.m. CT

MONROE, La. (AP) The shooting death of a 13-year-old boy by his grandfather was apparently an accident and no autopsy will be performed, Ouachita Parish authorities said.

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Dalton Hunt of Swartz was shot Tuesday evening by his grandfather, Billy Bell, 60, who fired the shot from 40 yards away, Maj. Royce Toney of the sheriff's department said. Bell told investigators he mistook the boy for a doe, Toney said.

When he realized it was his grandson, Bell called the child's father, who was hunting nearby, and knelt down by the teen to apologize.

"They were best friends. They had been hunting together for several years and did just about everything together," Toney said.

Sheriff's investigators will send their reports to the district attorney's office.

Investigators said the victim was wearing an orange vest and had bent over near a deer feeder to look for deer tracks when his grandfather fired.

The family had a system of whistling when one left the stand. It was not known how that system failed, but Toney recommended that groups of hunters use radios.

Walkie-talkies are the best way to safely keep in contact with members of a hunting party, he said.

Information from: The News-Star

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2003 New OrleansNet LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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