Say hello to my little best friend! Dog shoots owner with a shotgun in 'freak accident' during pheasant hunt

  • Hunter William Rancourt, 36, was shot on Wednesday in Northern Iowa
  • His German Shorthaired Pointer stepped on the trigger of a 12 gauge shotgun
  • Rancourt was peppered with birdshot but will survive the incident

A dog has blasted a man with a shotgun during a pheasant hunt in what has been described as a 'freak accident'.

William Rancourt, 36, was on a pheasant hunt in Northern Iowa Wednesday when a dog in the party stepped on the trigger of a shotgun lying on the ground, discharging the firearm.

Rancourt, who lives in New Hampshire, was struck in the back by the birdshot at a distance of 22 yards, and was hospitalized but is expected to survive.

'Long story short — it was really a freak accident,'?Iowa Department of Natural Resources?conservation officer Ken Lonneman told Radio Iowa. 'One of the dogs in the hunting party just stepped just right, or just wrong, onto the trigger guard of that shotgun, and the gun fired.'

A German Shorthaired Pointer is pictured in a stock photo. William Rancourt, 36, was on a pheasant hunt in Northern Iowa Wednesday when a dog in the party shot him?

A German Shorthaired Pointer is pictured in a stock photo. William Rancourt, 36, was on a pheasant hunt in Northern Iowa Wednesday when a dog in the party shot him?

The incident occurred around 1.20pm at the Boone River Greenbelt public hunting area in Wright County.

'He's fortunate that the distance was as far as it was, because shotguns are extremely dangerous at close ranges,' Lonneman said.?'At three yards it's going to do a lot more damage than at 22 yards. But he still got peppered pretty good at 22 yards.'?

'At 22 yards he caught most of the shot pattern in his back from his waist up to his neck. He was in x-rays yesterday as they were determining if they would require surgery to remove the pellets, or if they could get most of them with a forceps,' Lonneman said.

There were three hunters in the party, but the conservation officer said that Rancourt was the only one struck by the friendly fire.

The dogs in the hunting party were fairly young German Shorthaired Pointers, and Lonneman said he believed that it was Rancourt's own dog who shot him.

The incident serves as a good reminder to hunters to unload their guns and double-check the safety whenever they set them down, said Lonneman.

Surprisingly, the conservation officer said it was not the first dog-perpetrated shooting he had seen.?

'Accidents can happen,' he said. 'It's only happened twice that I've seen in my 31 years as a conservation officer where a dog actually was responsible for the accidental discharge of a gun. But it does happen.'

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