An Iowa hunter was injured Wednesday when a hunting dog stepped on a shotgun that had been left on the ground, spraying bird-shot into the man’s back.
William Rancourt, 36, was about 22 yards from the 12-gauge when the dog triggered the shot, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported.
“Shotguns are extremely dangerous at close range,” DNR Conservation Officer Ken Lonneman told the Des Moines Register. “In this case, there was a good distance between the muzzle and the wound, but if the victim had been closer, his injuries would have been more severe.”
Rancourt, a New Hampshire resident, was alert and walking when he arrived at the hospital, the paper reported. He was out with a group including two Iowa residents, a man from New Hampshire and two dogs. They had been out hunting pheasant Wednesday afternoon when one of the men, not Rancourt, placed his loaded shotgun on the ground.
Lonneman told reporters that Rancourt’s injuries were “fairly moderate,” but he hopes the unfortunate injury reminds hunters to always unload rifles and engage the safety before leaving them unattended.
“I would like to remind all hunters that no matter what season it is, but especially during a busy season like the one we are going into, to please be sure to identify your target as well as what’s beyond your target before firing,” Lonneman told the Register.