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.