Man Shot Twice By Friend In Geary County Hunting Accident

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GEARY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Minnesota man on a hunting trip to Geary County is suffering from multiple wounds after officials say he was accidentally shot twice with a shotgun by his hunting partner.

Geary County Sheriff’s officials say the friends traveled to Kansas from Minnesota and were hunting on public hunting grounds two miles northeast of the intersection of US-77 and Dundon Road off of Range Road, south of Milford.

“This morning shortly after 7 AM, we received word from Geary Community Hospital that a gunshot wound victim had come into the emergency room. Deputies responded up there and found that this was the result of a bad hunting accident. The two gentlemen came in from Minnesota to go hunting. They found an area of public hunting grounds out by Milford Lake. They went out together before light this morning and decided to split up and then when it got light out, one of them decided to get up and start moving around and he walked across the field of view of his buddy. Being dressed in all camouflage, he blended in with the background and the gentleman thought he saw a turkey in the area and he shot and ended up shooting his friend,” explained Geary County Undersheriff Tony Wolf.

Deputies say that the victim, 53-year-old Brian Hansen, from Maple Grove, Minnesota, was about 45 yards out in front of his friend, 67-year-old Terrance Spaeth, when he was shot with #4 Turkey Load. Spaeth told authorities that he saw movement in the woods and thought he saw a blue turkey head walking along the wood line of the ravine so he fired immediately. Since they had split up, Spaeth did not know where Hansen was at the time.

“After the initial shot, he saw what he thought was a turkey laying on the ground flailing around so he decided to shoot it again in an attempt to put it out of its misery. That’s when he realized that it was his friend because of the moaning,” Undersheriff Wolf explained.

Spaeth dragged Hansen out of the woods and drove him to Geary Community Hospital. He was later transferred by ambulance to Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka for further treatment.

Responding Geary County Sheriff’s deputies say Hansen received multiple pellet wounds from the shotgun to the entire right side of his body- his head, the side of his face, shoulder area, hand, lower buttocks, groin and leg. A representative for Stormont-Vail Hospital says they do have him listed as a patient, however, the family has requested no further information on his condition be released.

The Geary County Sheriff’s Office is assisting the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in the investigation. Terrance Spaeth is not facing any criminal charges in the incident because Wolf says it “appears to be a bad accident.” Spaeth told deputies that he has been hunting turkeys for 30 years and has been coming to Geary County for turkey hunting over the past four years.