Teen recovering from hunting accident

Author: Robert Arnold, Investigative Reporter, rarnold@kprc.com
Published On: Jan 03 2013 05:57:25 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 05:59:16 PM CST
WALLER, Texas -

A 15-year-old Houston area boy was recovering at Memorial Hermann Hospital Thursday after investigators said he was accidentally shot by his father while deer hunting in Waller County.

Sheriff's officials said they believe miscommunication, clothing and time of day contributed to Wednesday's hunting accident.

Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said the pair was hunting from different deer stands on their own property when the father left his stand to walk back to his pickup truck.

"He thought his son was still over on the back side of the property in a deer stand," said Smith.

Smith said the father saw movement in the tree line about 245 yards away, thought it was a deer and fired his .270 caliber rifle one time. Smith said it was dusk at the time and the teen was wearing a camouflage sweatshirt and blue jeans, no florescent orange.

According to Steve Lightfoot with Texas Parks and Wildlife, hunters are only required to wear bright orange when hunting on public property.

"At that distance and time of day it's hard to distinguish sometimes between what is limbs moving, what's a leg, what's a human face," said Smith.

Smith said the bullet hit the teen in the groin area and exited his leg. The father immediately dialed 911. 

"Yes ma'am we just had a hunting accident," the father was heard telling a Waller County dispatcher. "I just shot my son in the leg."

The father explained to the dispatcher that he was driving his son off the property to try to get him to a hospital.

"Can you please tell me what to do? I need to get him to the hospital," the father told the dispatcher as he was heard on the recording comforting his son. "OK, baby, we're getting some help. You're OK baby, just keep talking to me."

The dispatcher then instructed the father to put pressure on the wound to help slow the bleeding.

"How bad is the bleeding?" the dispatcher asked.

"Yeah, pretty good, pretty good," the father answered as he instructed his son to put pressure on the wound as he continued to drive to meet an ambulance and deputies.

"Put some pressure on it, baby," the father was heard telling his son.

"As hard as you can until you can get stopped," the dispatcher told the father.

The teen was then air lifted by Life Flight helicopter to Memorial Hermann hospital. Sheriff's officials said he is expected to recover.

"This family is truly blessed it turned out this way," said Smith. "You just have to think safety and keep your anxious moments of wanting to kill that big deer down to a minimum."

Smith said he does not expect any charges to be filed against the father.

According to information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife, website there was a total of 48 people hurt during hunting accidents in 2010 and 2011 and a total of six fatalities.