Lewis & Clark County

Nov 19, 2013 3:06 PM by MTN News - Helena

Teen accidentally shot during hunting trip with father

HELENA - A 14-year old boy was accidentally shot on Monday while on a hunting trip with his father, according to Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton.

Dutton says that at about 4 p.m. on Monday, the 911 center received a call from the boy's father, who said that he and his son had been hunting in the Nelson area.

The man told dispatchers that they were in the vehicle traveling when the gunshot occurred.

The teen was taken to St. Peter's Hospital via amublance for treatment of the gunshot wound, which reportedly hit him in the upper-left shoulder area.

The severity of the wound is not yet known.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

The names of the father and son have not been released.

UPDATE: The father and son, from Moses Lake, Washington, were hunting in the Refrigerator Canyon area west of York.

They were going to go check out the hunting conditions behind Hogback Mountain, and got as far as Indian Flats when they encountered a substantial amount of snow. They did some hunting and then got back into the vehicle.

According to Sheriff Dutton, the teen had not been hunting before. He used a magazine drop to unload the weapon. It became apparent later, however, there was still one shell in the chamber.

On the drive back to camp, the son had placed the butt of the gun on the vehicle floor and the muzzle toward the roof. They hit a bump causing the rifle to discharge.

The bullet struck the son in the right bicep, exiting the right shoulder. The bullet exited the roof of the pickup truck.

The father called 911 when they were able to reach cell service.

Initially both air and ground ambulances were dispatched.

St. Peter's Ambulance met them at Cottonwood Gulch and began treating his wound.

As of 9 p.m. on Monday, he was still at St. Peter's Hospital being treated for his wound.

Sheriff Dutton said that if the bullet had been two inches closer to the body, this would have been "a real tragedy."

Sheriff Dutton says that all of evidence appears to be consistent with an accidental shooting.

He reminds hunters to always check weapons visually by opening the bolt and looking into the chamber area. This ensures your weapon is unloaded.