WESTON, Maine — A Danforth man suffered serious injuries in a bird hunting accident Tuesday morning in Weston.
John Shaw, 35, suffered severe damage to his left leg when the shotgun being held by his uncle and hunting partner, Douglass Conklin, discharged unexpectedly shortly after 11 a.m., according to Travis Barrett, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.
Barrett said the two men were hunting ruffed grouse.
Conklin, 59, of Wingdale, N.Y, was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck the men were riding in when the two spotted a bird on a dirt logging road, Barrett said. Conklin reportedly got out of the truck to load his 20-gauge shotgun but as he was doing so, the firearm fired the shell in the chamber and injured Shaw, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
There was extensive damage to Shaw’s left knee at close range, according to Lt. Tom Ward of the Maine Warden Service.
“The big thing here is muzzle control,” Ward said. “This wouldn’t have happened if [Conklin] practiced safe muzzle control.”
Shaw initially was taken to nearby Danforth Health Center before being transported to Houlton Regional Hospital. From there, Shaw later was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was listed in serious but stable condition early Tuesday evening and was awaiting surgery on his leg.
Sgt. Dave Craven and Sgt. Dan Menard of the Maine Warden Service are leading a team of nine game wardens and one member of the Maine State Police in an investigation that is still under way.
No charges have been filed in connection with the accident, Barrett said.
Additional details were not immediately available.