Hunter Accused of Mistaking Camouflaged Men for Turkey and Shooting Them

A 44-year-old Hartland hunter pleaded not guilty to shooting a pair of men in camouflage after mistaking them for a turkey.

The two victims were treated for their wounds and recovered.

Ralph M. Townsend entered the pleas Tuesday to two counts of simple assault with a weapon.

Townsend was hunting with his son on May 7 when he fired birdshot at what he believed was a turkey, according to court records. Instead, his target turned out to be two men wearing camouflage.

An investigation estimated that Townsend fired his shotgun from about 200 feet away.

If convicted, Townsend could be sentenced to a year in jail on each charge and $2,000 in fines. He's free on bail.