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The hunting season has only just started with youth hunters recently taking to the field and the main hunting season about to start but there has already been tragedy in the fields. During the last weekend there was the fatal shooting of a 75-year-old huntsman guide in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.

According to Maryland Natural Resources police, the shooting of the experienced guide was an accident and it is only one of a handful of accidents that is reported in the area. “Generally speaking we have very few hunter accidents where one hunter shoots another,” Police Lieutenant Art Windemuth, Maryland Natural Resources Police spokesperson stated to media.

The incident occurred in Henderson, just off Ell Downes Road. The victim has been named as Marvin Bowen Coppage. He is a resident of Henderson and was hired to lead a group on a pheasant and chukar hunt. It has also been stated that he worked for Schrader’s Outdoors.

According to reports from the police, Coppage and his dog were attempting to flush a bird from the bush when he was shot by a member of the hunting party. The person who shot him is believed to be a 14 year old youth. There were two in the group and both were said to have fired their weapons at the bird. Which one was responsible for hitting Coppage is unknown, but local police are investigating.

Coppage was pronounced dead at the incident’s scene just before 5 pm. An autopsy will undertaken by the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

The incident has again raise very serious questions about gun safety in the fields. Hunters are supposed to wear orange high visibility vests and ensure that they don’t stray into the shooting arcs of other hunters.

While accidents are rare in pheasant hunting, there are the occasional fatal ones. Earlier this year, a young child was shot when he walked out from cover in front of his grandfather who was just about to shoot a bird.

What precautions do you take for safety? What do you think causes pheasant hunting accidents?

Let us know in the comments below.

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