‘Careless’ coyote hunter cited after accidentally shooting partner

A 70-year-old hunter was hospitalized in Colorado on Thursday after one of his partners accidentally shot him instead of the coyote they were pursuing.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife stated in a news release that three hunters, all from Iowa, took aim at a coyote that appeared 50 feet in front of them in Baca County.

One man fired first, and missed the coyote. He then swung his shotgun and fired again, hitting his 70-year-old partner.

“This is a classic example of failure to maintain ‘zone of fire’ awareness,” said Todd Marriott, CPW area wildlife manager based in Lamar. “Hunters must always know where their target is and where the rest of their party is at all times.”

The unidentified victim was hospitalized in Colorado Springs and released after being treated for pellet wounds.

The shooter was identified as Matthew Mullenix, 48, of Urbandale, Iowa. He was charged with careless hunting, an unclassified misdemeanor, and will be fined up to $1,000.

–Coyote image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Story originally appeared on For The Win