French Lick teen hunter fatally shot in Dubois hunting accident - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Teenage hunter's name released in Dubois Co

A 15-year old boy was killed in a dear hunting accident on Sunday in Dubois County.

Officials say Nicholas Messmer of French Lick was shot while hunting near Saint Anthony. Wildlife State Police say a gun was being lowered from a tree stand when it went off, and hit Messmer in the stomach.

It's the second fatal hunting accident in southern Indiana in a matter of a few weeks.

Conservation officer Mike Kellner says unfortunately most of these accidents are human error. He says simple safety steps could have kept the victims safe and alive.

Just two weeks ago, Larry Richter and his 14-year-old son had a close call while out hunting.

Richter says, "Somebody had pulled up across the lake, and took a semiautomatic rifle out and started shooting at the water. Within seconds bullets were flying past our heads."

Conservation officer Mike Kellner says they've seen several hunting accidents and fatalities this season, and says it's those little lapses in judgement that can make all the difference.

He says that's what happened to Nicholas Messmer, who was hunting with a family member.

Kellner says, "The barrel had swung around toward the victim, and the gun discharged and shot the young man."

Kellner says the cardinal mistake was that the gun should have been unloaded, and not carried while in a tree stand.

He says, "always make sure what situation your gun is in - it is always pointed down field, if it's not in a hunting situation, it's always unloaded."

Messmer died after being taken to Jasper Memorial Hospital.

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