A hunter has died after being shot in the face by someone in his hunting party, an official with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said, marking the second hunter to be fatally shot in the state since last month.
The department said in a written statement Saturday that its law enforcement arm is investigating the shooting death of Seth Egelhoff, 26, of Chesterfield, Illinois.
Someone called 911 around 1 p.m. Saturday to report that Egelhoff had been shot while hunting waterfowl in the Bays Branch Wildlife Area, just north of Panora, according to the statement. Emergency medics rushed Egelhoff to a spot to be picked up by a medical helicopter, but he died en route, the department said.
Conservation Officer Jeremy King said the shooting appeared to be accidental. The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol are helping in the investigation.
The wildlife area is about 40 miles northwest of Des Moines.
The incident comes one month after an Iowa man died after being shot while hunting coyotes with friends. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that 53-year-old Mark Arends was struck by a single rifle shot.
After that incident, Jamie Cook, a hunting education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, urged hunters to take safety measures. Cook told KCRG hunters should always remember the “Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety.”
“Some of the big ones are always treating every firearm as if it were loaded and then keeping your muzzle pointed in a safe direction would be the second one. And then making sure of what is in front of and beyond your target,” Cook said.
Just last week, a man was accidentally shot while hunting in neighboring Minnesota. Officials said his hunting partner was checking to see if his firearm was unloaded, but accidentally fired a round into the victim’s leg.