Duck Hunter Apparently Shot and Killed by Dog

Freak accident emphasizes need for gun safety

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Authorities near Nashville are investigating a fatal hunting accident in which the hunter's dog might be the culprit.

28-year-old Thomas St. Charles III, died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after he was shot.

St. Charles had been duck hunting on the Cumberland River Thursday. He and his partner had finished for the day, were picking up decoys and loading the boat.

St. Charles' had placed his loaded shotgun in the floor. According to TWRA's lead investigator, his labrador retriever jumped into the boat and hit the trigger on the shotgun. It fired, blowing a hole through the side of the boat, striking St. Charles' in the abdomen.

TWRA officials said the case illustrates the need to always unload firearms at the end of your hunt. They said that St. Charles had passed the state's manadatory hunter education program.

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