HUNTING ACCIDENTS
from C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

FL: Pensacola man shot twice by hunting buddy (and theyíre planning another trip soon)

From Pensacola News Journal / PNJ.com

March 29, 2018

On the opening day of turkey season earlier this month, longtime hunting buddies Hilton Hutto and Fred Wilson were staked out in blinds on Wilson's property in Ponce de Leon.

The 80-acre lot is surrounded by a timber mill, with planted pines lining the property line. The area is isolated, making it a prime spot for hunting.

The two men were about 75 yards apart, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report that would follow, when Hutto saw a turkey walk in front of his friend.

Wilson recalls seeing Hutto line up the shot with his barrel facing directly at the turkey óand in turn, at him. He thought his friend was just getting his target ready so he could get the bird when it took a few steps away from Wilson.

He was wrong. Hutto shot twice.

"I guess he got all excited and didn't realize he was shooting at me, too," said Wilson, 65.

More than 20 pellets from the two shotgun shells drove into Wilsonís face, torso, arms and hands.

"The turkey got in the way, I didn't think it was between us and I guess it was, and I shot, then he came out of his blind and said, 'Hey, you shot me,'" said Hutto, 86.

Wilson said he and Hutto immediately packed up and drove the roughly 80 minutes from Ponce de Leon to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where both men live. Wilson said he could have gone to a hospital in Crestview but wanted to be treated at home.

There was blood running down Wilson's face and pellets lodged in his hands, but Wilson said he gripped the wheel and sped down Interstate 10.

"The adrenaline was there, I knew I was shot and there was blood all down my face but the adrenaline was just going," Wilson said, adding that he didnít yet feel the pain of the shooting.

Hutto said he felt terrible about the accident, and sat in the passenger seat with Wilson as the two sped toward the hospital.

"I felt real bad about it, Iíd just shot a good friend of mine, someone Iíd been hunting with for years. Itís a no good feeling," he said.

The incident happened March 17, and as of Thursday, Wilson was still meeting with doctors and scheduling surgeries to remove the pellets. Some can never be removed, he said.

"A couple of them they found had gone in and right out, and Iíve got two in my face that are going to be removed, the one in my right hand and index finger," Wilson said. He said the pellets that need to stay are around his lungs.

FWC is still actively investigating the shooting, according to spokeswoman Rebekah Nelson. She said no further information about the incident could be released, but, she said, there were no turkey hunting accidents reported last season.


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