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Man in critical condition after accidental shooting during hunting trip in southern Utah

IRON COUNTY, Utah — A man was taken to a hospital in critical condition after he suffered a gunshot wound during a hunting excursion Sunday, and police say the group was not wearing “hunter orange” as is required under Utah law.

According to a press release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, authorities received a 911 call just before 8 a.m. Sunday with the caller reporting someone had suffered a gunshot wound.

The group told authorities they were on SR-14 and bound for Cedar City, but due to spotty cell phone service they lost contact. Police and medical responders located the group a short time later on SR-14 and found a 34-year-old male who suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen from a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle.

The man was taken to Cedar City Hospital and is listed as being in critical but stable condition.

While the investigation is ongoing, police stated that so far they’ve determined the group was “engaged in hunting but were not wearing hunter orange. It was a member of the hunting party which fired the shot,” the press release states.

According to the 2017 guidebook from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah law states that anyone in an area where a centerfire rifle hunt is occurring is required to wear a minimum of 400 square inches of hunter orange material on their head, chest and back.

The sheriff’s office is investigating, and at this point it’s unclear if charges will be filed in connection with the incident.

“This is a tragic event which shows the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations when engaged in hunting activities,” the release stated. “The Iron County Sheriff’s Office wants to express our deepest sympathy to the family and victim and hope for a full recovery.”