A group of hunters with dogs shot an 8-year-old boy while trying to kill a deer running nearby.
The boy was playing in a yard in the Burton area of Beaufort County, South Carolina, the Beaufort Gazette reported. It was about 5:45 p.m. when the incident happened.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources released a statement saying the hunters hit the boy with a single buckshot pellet. The injury was not life-threatening.
A K-9 team found empty shotgun shell casings about 275 yards from the boy’s home, officials said.
A Sheriff’s Office report obtained by the Gazette said Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene to find a boy standing in the road. They located four hunting dogs nearby and put them in a patrol car. Beaufort County Animal Control later took control of the animals.
The boy told deputies he was walking near the road when he saw a deer run by. He saw someone shoot at the deer before he felt something hit his arm.
Agency spokesman David Lucas said the Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident as a hunting accident. The investigation was ongoing as of Monday, according to the Gazette.
The boy was not taken to a local hospital. However, his arm was bandaged.
Lucas told the Gazette that the hunt had taken place on private property next to the road by the boy’s home. The hunters had permission to be on that land. Deer hunting season on private land goes from August 15 through January 1 there.