Hunter shot by hunter in State Forest

Gunshot victim took buckshot to an ankle after five hunters shot at deer.

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Last week, a call came into the deer station at the State Forest about an injury to a fellow hunter. — File photo by Ezra Newick

An unidentified Rhode Island hunter was shot in the Manuel Correllus State Forest last week by a fellow hunter during a deer drive, according to the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office, and Edgartown Police.

Last Monday at 4:47 pm a non-911 call came in from a hunter at the deer check station off Barnes Road regarding a buckshot wound, according to Sheriff’s Deputy Chris West. West said the caller was not the injured hunter but a fellow hunter, who also remains unidentified. The reporting hunter said the accident happened earlier in the day, and “they had controlled the bleeding on their own,” and continued to hunt, West said. No ambulance was dispatched to the deer check station because the caller stated the hunter who had been shot did not want treatment. Edgartown Police, along with the Massachusetts Environmental Police, were informed by the Sheriff’s Office. Edgartown Police determined the incident took place in a West Tisbury section of the forest and opted to bow out and allow the Environmental Police investigate, Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee said. West Tisbury Police Chief Matt Mincone said he was looking into the matter.

Environmental Police officers met the hunting party, which consisted of approximately 20 people, in Woods Hole after they departed the ferry last Monday, according to Environmental Police Major Pat Moran.

The Environmental Police took statements and learned that five hunters fired simultaneously on a deer during a drive, as it charged through their line, he said, but it was unclear which hunter was responsible for the injury.

“Nobody admitted to it,” Moran said.

The hunters reportedly tried to make contact with authorities from the forest but were unable to. The Environmental Police officers in Woods Hole observed and photographed a buckshot pellet embedded under the victim’s skin. Moran said.

“The gentleman said he was going to seek medical attention closer to his home in Rhode Island,” Moran said. He added, “You’re supposed to report it immediately to local police or the Environmental Police.”

All the hunters’ firearms were in order, as were their hunting permits, he said. They all had proper hunter orange on, as well.

The investigation remains ongoing, he said.