CATHLAMET — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said a 53-year-old Cowlitz County man was seriously injured during an accident on a duck hunting trip in Wahkiakum County last weekend.

The identities of those involved have not been released, but Capt. Dan Chadwick of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said the hunters' licenses were up to date and that the incident was a "cut-and-dry" accident.

Responders from the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office, WDFW police and the Wahkiakum County Emergency Management Service were dispatched at roughly 9:45 a.m., Sunday to Cathlamet's Elochoman Slough when a hunter unintentionally shot a friend while duck hunting on a small boat.

As the shooter reached for a dead duck in the water, "the shooter's shotgun fell over from a propped-up position," according to a press release, and the weapon fired when the person tried to recover it and hit the friend.

The hunter called 911 and drove the injured man to the Cathlamet Marina, where he was taken to a medical facility in Longview and then to Vancouver's Southwest Medical Center. WDFW says he is in stable condition and recovering.

WDFW offers in-person and online classes on hunting safety, which are needed to purchase a hunting license in the state. The department said waterfowl hunting safety tips include keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treating every firearm as if it were loaded and keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to use.

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