Hunter shoots hiker on popular trail after mistaking him for turkey, Missouri cops say

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A man hiking a Missouri trail was shot over the weekend by a hunter who mistook him for a turkey, police say.

Around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, St. Charles County police responded to the Lewis and Clark Trail, the agency wrote in a Facebook post.

A hunter thought the hiker was a turkey and shot him, police said.

Rescue crews used a utility task vehicle to remove the man from the wooded area before he was flown to a hospital “with serious, life threatening injuries,” a spokesperson for the St. Charles Ambulance District told KMOV.

The incident is under investigation.

Val Joyner, spokeswoman for the St. Charles County Police Department, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch the hunter is cooperating with police.

“It sounds like it was just a really bad accident,” Joyner said, according to the newspaper.

Rebecca Brown was running the 8-mile trail loop when she happened upon the scene.

“It’s so sad,” she told the Post-Dispatch, explaining that she saw first responders tending to a man on a stretcher who appeared unresponsive. She said he was mostly covered with a yellow tarp as a man dressed in camouflage stood nearby.

Nancy Phillips said she regularly hikes the popular trail where the man was shot.

“This is a freak accident, I think,” she told KSDK. “I always purposely wear my bright colors, so no hunters mistake me for anything.”

The hiker was shot during a turkey hunt managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, according to KSDK. The hunt was set to wrap up around 1 p.m. Turkey hunting season concludes Sunday.

Police have not released the hiker’s name.

St. Charles County is just north of St. Louis.

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