Deer Hunter Shot, Killed In Latimer County - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Deer Hunter Shot, Killed In Latimer County

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"I've heard of more deer hunter accidents like this. The population of deer hunters are very high. You get more population, you get more accidents," said Rusty Noahr, Three Rivers HRC Club. "I've heard of more deer hunter accidents like this. The population of deer hunters are very high. You get more population, you get more accidents," said Rusty Noahr, Three Rivers HRC Club.
The shooting was exactly what authorities had feared while searching for a missing Eufaula family last week. They opted not to continue combing the woods of Latimer County Saturday. The shooting was exactly what authorities had feared while searching for a missing Eufaula family last week. They opted not to continue combing the woods of Latimer County Saturday.

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

LATIMER COUNTY -- A deer hunter is killed on a hunt near Gowen Mountain in Latimer County.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown says 44-year-old John Morgan was shot in the neck Saturday evening by a hunting buddy.

Latimer County Sheriff Israel Beauchamp identified the shooter as Jack Zearley of the Hartshorne area.

The shooting is being treated as a homicide, and investigators have yet to determine whether the shooting was accidental. Still, hunters say it's an unfortunate way to begin deer season.

The shooting was exactly what authorities had feared while searching for a missing Eufaula family last week. They opted not to continue combing the woods of Latimer County Saturday. It was the first day of muzzle-loading deer season, and they feared for searchers' safety.

10/24/2009  Related Story: Loved Ones Speak Out On Search For Missing Eufaula Family

That evening, 44-year-old John Morgan of Hartshorne was shot and killed.

"I've heard of more deer hunter accidents like this. The population of deer hunters are very high. You get more population, you get more accidents," said Rusty Noahr, Three Rivers HRC Club.

Rusty Noahr heads a local hunting club and gave up deer for duck and bird hunting. He says there are simply too many deer hunters these days and the opportunity for injury has increased. So while they hunt different game, his organization, like all hunting clubs, stresses safety this time of year.

"People that go out use common sense, make sure they're shooting at what they're supposed to be shooting at. It's very safe," said Rusty Noahr.

No arrests have been made in the deer hunting accident and it will be up to the district attorney to determine whether any charges will be filed. But the Latimer County Sheriff's office believes this was simply a tragic accident.

The Latimer County sheriff confirms neither hunter was wearing orange. The sheriff also says the hunters were breaking the rules, using high powered rifles, instead of muzzle loaders.

The OSBI says it is waiting for autopsy results from the Medical Examiner's office before it can complete its investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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