Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting > 2008

NC: Hunter shot by 10-year-old nephew

Hunting accident renews call for safety ed

By Lance Martin
Daily Herald Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 10, 2008 4:18 PM CST

A Northampton County hunting accident in which a 35-year-old man was shot by his nephew demonstrates the need to keep minor hunters within close range, state Wildlife Resources Commission enforcement officers say.

The accident occurred off N.C. Highway 186 at the North Carolina-Virginia line, Officer Dustin Durham said Friday.

The victim, Michael David Harvey of Newport News, Va., was hit with seven buckshot pellets in the top shoulder, right wrist and left leg. The shots missed any vital organs, Durham said.

Wildlife officers received the call around 8:30 a.m. and during their investigation learned Harvey’s 10-year-old nephew accidentally shot him with a 20-gauge shotgun.

The nephew was standing about 20 yards away from his uncle when the uncle saw a deer and gave his nephew the signal to aim.

The deer stopped and then turned in the direction of Harvey and his nephew, leaving the uncle between the boy and the deer.

The boy shot, missing the deer, but hitting his uncle, even though Harvey made a last-ditch effort to dive behind a tree for safety.

While no charges will be filed, Durham said the case is a dramatic example of the importance of hunter safety courses, which are open to hunters of all ages.

Although the boy had been hunting for five years, Durham said, “What we discussed, from my viewpoint, the boy had not had a hunter safety course. The way we look at it, if he hadn’t had the course he (the child) needs to be within arm’s reach (of the adult).”

Children under 16 can hunt with a parent or guardian without their own license, Durham said.

A hunting license can be issued at age 16 but you must go through the hunter safety course. “Any age can go through it (the course) as long as they make a 70 or above on the test.”

Hunter safety education courses are offered by the Northampton County Recreation Department or through the Halifax County 4-H. More information can be obtained by logging onto www.ncwildlife.org.  

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