West Virginia hunters, ages 7 and 20, recovering after mistaken for turkeys, shot

A 7-year-old and his 20-year-old brother are recovering after being shot in a hunting accident on Tuesday, police with West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed.

The boy and his brother, from Mercer County, were hunting within Camp Creek State Park when they “encountered a family acquaintance hunting the same area,” DNR Police wrote on Facebook. The acquaintance then fired on both brothers, mistaking their movement for turkeys through the “heavily forested ridge mixed with white oaks and pines."

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Upon realizing his mistake, the acquaintance assisted with first aid before first responders arranged to airlift the 7-year-old to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he was said to be recovering in stable condition. His brother was treated on the scene.

A representative for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources was not immediately available to confirm if the brothers’ acquaintance was being charged with any crimes.

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DNR Police used the opportunity to remind Facebook followers to remain educated on the main causes of hunting accidents, suggesting that the April 28 incident was caused by “hunter judgment mistakes.”

“Not identifying your target from ‘tip to tail’ can lead to situations just as this one,” police wrote.

Police listed “the excitement of the hunt,” “poor visual conditions” and “not following proper shooting guidelines” as the other main causes of hunting accidents.

Police with West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources investigate following the April 28th incident. 

Police with West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources investigate following the April 28th incident.  (West Virginia Division of Natural Resources/Facebook)

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“The WV DNR asks that you please make safety your first concern while outdoors,” police concluded. “Your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the ones you love depend on it.