12-year-old accidentally shoots older brother in legs while hunting elk in Utah

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — A 20-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to both legs Wednesday after his 12-year-old brother fired a rifle as the pair were hunting elk in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Lt. Andrew Wright of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office tells Fox 13 the man was shot around 10 a.m. Wednesday when the pair spotted an elk in the Henry’s Fork area.

Both siblings raised their rifles upon seeing the animal, and the 12-year-old boy fired. Police say the bullet penetrated both of the man’s legs, entering through the upper thigh.

“It’s a tragic accident,” Wright said. “We want to figure out how it happened.”

The man was taken to a hospital via medical helicopter. He was conscious and alert when he was transported and is listed in stable condition.

Wright said the incident is under investigation.

Utah law requires anyone who was born after December 31, 1965 to complete the basic Utah Hunter Education program before they can obtain a hunting license. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources states there is no minimum age for the program, but younger hunters may be required to attend in the company of a parent and all hunters must take the written and shooting tests by themselves.