HOFFMAN — Two people were injured in a hunting incident in the Sandhills Game Lands on Saturday, the opening day of dove hunting season.
A juvenile discharged a shotgun striking a man and another juvenile, his son, while they were standing roughly 40 to 50 yards away, according to Sterling Welch, master officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
The victims, whose names were not released, sustained minor injuries. Welch said that the father was released from UNC Medical Center Saturday night, the juvenile the following day.
“I can’t speak for the rest of the state, but I don’t remember ever seeing something like this on opening day of dove season,” Welch said.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has yet to determine whether charges will be filed pending an investigation into intent of the juvenile who fired the shot or recklessness on anyone else’s part, according to Welch.
Following the investigation, the Commission will conduct it’s own investigation into how incidents like this could be prevented in the future and how to classify the incident in their records.
Hunting has become one of the safest recreational activities as educational programs have become more prevalent over the last 20 years, with hunting accidents decreasing by over 50 percent in that time span, according to the Commission’s website.
The commission provides free hunter education courses throughout the year in every North Carolina county as part of the hunter education program. The courses train students on ethics and responsibility, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife identification, survival and first aid, specialty hunting and tree stand safety, according to the website.
The courses do not have a minimum age requirement, though classes are taught at a sixth-grade level and parents cannot assist children in completing the required tests. The courses provide hunting certification that is accepted in every state and province in the United States, according to the website.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674.