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Monday, December 31, 2007
Hunting: The ugly

Editors' note: Leading into the new year, will be rehashing 2007, highlighting the good, bad and ugly stories in these three categories: bassmaster, hunting and fishing.

The Ugly

Dog shoots man in the wake of the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal

A hunter in Des Moines, Iowa was shot in the leg at close range by his dog, who stepped on his shotgun and tripped the trigger, an official said.

James Harris, 37, of Tama, was hit in the calf Saturday, the opening day of pheasant season, said Alan Foster, a spokesman with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

"He had surgery and is doing pretty well," he said. "He took between 100-120 pellets in about a 4-inch circle to his calf."

Harris was listed in good condition Tuesday, officials at University Hospitals in Iowa City said.

Harris was hunting with a group about three miles north of Grinnell. The group shot a bird, and when Harris went to get it, he put his gun on the ground and crossed a fence. As he crossed the fence, his hunting dog stepped on the gun, Foster said.

The gun was about 3 feet away from his leg.

"The muzzle velocity is so great that the pellets don't have a chance to spread out," he said.

No one else was hurt, and the dog was not injured.

Foster said no citations have been issued.

More ugly …

• Stephon Marbury and others comparing dog fighting to hunting