By: Brian Rathjen
CANTON - A weekend hunting accident involving an Eldridge
youth underscores the need to observe hunting safety rules
at all times, an official with the Iowa Department of Natural
"If you're going up or down a hill or something that
looks a little slippery, it's best to unload your gun," said
Alan Foster, DNR information specialist, regarding the weekend
incident in rural Jackson County.
According to the DNR, 15-year-old Lucas Petty of Eldridge
was hunting with 19-year-old Jared Determan of Camanche north
of Canton, about 12 miles northwest of Maquoketa. The two teens
were walking down a steep, muddy hill when Petty slipped.
The gun fired, and the bullet grazed Determan's scalp. Determan
was taken to an area hospital for treatment and released.
Foster said that Petty's gun was apparently loaded as he and
Determan were walking down the hill.
"One thing we stress is keeping your muzzle pointed in
a safe direction," said Foster. "He (Petty) may have
had it pointed safely, but when you lose your footing and balance,
you don't know where it (the muzzle) is going to go. It's best
to unload the gun."
The hunting accident is one of several across the state the
DNR is investigating. Accidents in Albion, Aurora and in rural
Sioux County resulted in injuries, while a Des Moines man was
killed at the Chicaqua Wildlife Area near Elkart
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