Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2008

ID - Hunter shot in the neck

Hunter shot in the neck trying to get his turkey; says jacket saved his life
Boise, ID

NAMPA - A Nampa man is recovering after his turkey hunting trip went wrong. Now the Idaho Department of Fish and Game warn others hunter safety is key.

Brent Rose sums up what happened to him in one word.

"Lucky, very lucky to be here today," said Rose.

He's been hunting turkeys in Idaho for six years, but what happened to Rose on Sunday is his first.

"We decided the bird wasn't coming in so he was calling and I slipped on into the bird and he kept the bird gobbling so I knew exactly where it was," he said.

Hunting with a buddy near Grangeville, Rose says he had his gun ready, and was about to shoot the turkey in-front of him, when he heard something.

"I turned to see what was behind me and I seen them and I went to whistle and raised my arm, but I didn't whistle."

Just as Rose did that a fellow hunter, only 25 yards behind him, shot Rose. More than 100 small pellets lodged inside his head, shoulder and back. The only thing he thinks saved him was his heavy camouflaged jacket.

"There's pellets sticking out of it, still in the cotton, the cotton seemed to stop a lot of them," he said.

Idaho Fish and Game officers say turkey hunting is risky. Because the birds can see colors, they recommend turkey hunters where camouflaged gear from head to toe, even painting their hands and faces. But without wearing any color, another hunter can mistake a person for a bird.

"You shouldn't be wearing colors, red, white, black, or brown because those are the colors of turkeys," said Dan Papp, regional wildlife educator for Fish and Game.

Papp says if you find yourself in a situation like Rose, it's best to yell in order to get other hunters attention, but he also says accidents like this are rare in Idaho.

"You're more likely to be struck by lightening then by another hunters bullet. A lot of people don't understand that, on average, we average less than six non-fatal accidents each year," he said.

Papp also says since turkey hunting started in the mid 90's here there hasn't been a deadly accident yet, but he attributes hunter education for keeping that statistic at zero.

"I was sure as close as they were they could identify I was a person," said Rose.

While Rose says he doesn't plan to quit hunting, he hopes his lesson will make every other hunter a bit more cautious before they shot.

Rose says he doesn't plan to press charges, but he is looking at some big medical bills.

If you were born after January 1, 1975, in Idaho you have to go graduate from a safety class in order to buy your first license. Fish and Game says with the growing popularity of turkey hunting and hunting in general, they see, on average, between 7,000 to 12,000 people graduate each year from their courses. 

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