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Iowa man charged with shooting and injuring hunting partner in Colorado

A man from Iowa who was hunting for coyote in southeastern Colorado wound up shooting and injuring his hunting partner. That's according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which stated that the unintentional shooting happened on Thursday in Baca County.  

Hand of a hunter with an open shotgun with cartridges during a hunting day in woodland
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The man has been identified as Matthew Mullenix, 48, from Urbandale, Iowa. Mullenix was issued a summons to appear on a charge of careless hunting, which is a misdemeanor. He allegedly shot and injured a 70-year-old, who is also from Iowa.

The shooting happened after Mullenix, the 70-year-old and one other hunter spotted a coyote about 50 feet away. CPW stated that the suspect first fired at the coyote and missed. He then allegedly swung his gun and fired off another shot. That one wound up hitting the victim. The victim was taken to the hospital with pellet wounds but they weren't life threatening and he was treated and released from the hospital.

A license is required to hunt coyote in Colorado. If Mullenix is convicted on the careless hunting charge, he'll face a fine of between $100 and $1,000 and will lose points on his hunting license.

Todd Marriott, CPW area wildlife manager based in Lamar, said in a prepared statement that the suspect in this case didn't maintain "zone of fire awareness."

"Hunters must always know where their target is and where the rest of their party is at all times," Marriott said. 

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