Two deer hunters were injured in separate incidents in Osceola and Fayette Counties on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
Luke Sietstra, 29, of Sheldon, was deer hunting with others in Osceola County north of Melvin when a shot was fired at a deer running between him and others striking him in the arm and shoulder at approximately 5 p.m. Saturday. He was taken to a hospital in Sheldon and later transferred to a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Derek Kleitsch, 19, of Sumner, was deer hunting in a group north of Fairbank in Fayette County when he was hit in the leg near the knee when a shot was fired at a moving deer between him and other hunters in his party at approximately 9:45 a.m. Sunday. He was treated and released from a hospital in Sumner.
Both incidents are continuing to be investigated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Deer hunters were challenged by a variety of weather and lighting conditions during the opening weekend of deer shotgun season, said Rod Slings, supervisor of the DNR's recreational safety section of the law enforcement bureau.
"We have encountered everything from rain, sleet and snow on Saturday to sunny conditions over southern Iowa by Sunday afternoon. These changing light conditions make it that much more difficult – and important – to make sure you know what is in your line of fire when taking a shot," said Slings.
Slings said the latest two hunting incidents also underscore the potential dangers involved with party hunting of deer.
"Shooting at running deer while hunting in a group is the number one cause of people getting hurt by firearms while deer hunting. It is vitally important that you know where everyone is and only take shots that will ensure the safety of everyone involved," said Slings.
For more information, contact Kevin Baskins at 515-249-2814.