Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2006

SD: Springfield Hunting Accident Investigated

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Story last updated at 12:50 AM on May 18, 2006

Springfield Hunting Accident Investigated

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SPRINGFIELD -- A Lake Preston man remains hospitalized following a weekend hunting accident west of Springfield, the Bon Homme County sheriff said Wednesday.

Sheriff John Slama said he is continuing his investigation into the Saturday morning shooting, which resulted in serious injuries to Ryan Sauter, 26.

According to Slama, Sauter was turkey hunting about three miles west of Springfield with his friend, Lucas Uecker, 26, of Volga.

Sauter walked around some cedar trees, while Uecker maintained his position, Slama said. Uecker saw Sauter's movement through the trees, mistakenly thinking it was a gobbler, the sheriff said. Uecker fired his 12-gauge shotgun, hitting and injuring Sauter.

An air ambulance was summoned to the pasture, transporting Sauter to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, Slama said. At the time, Sauter was listed in serious condition, the sheriff said.

Slama talked with Sauter's father Tuesday night, learning the shooting victim had improved to stable condition. However, Sauter was still suffering from vision problems and pellets in the neck, face and lungs, the sheriff said.

As part of his ongoing investigation, Slama said he wants to talk with Sauter when his medical condition improves.

No charges have been filed in the incident at this time, the sheriff said.

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) is also investigating the incident and filing a report, Slama said.

Conservation officer Todd Crownover could not be reached Wednesday for comment. An official at the GF&P regional office in Sioux Falls said a report on the incident had not been received as of Wednesday afternoon.

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