Iowa man hunting coyotes cited for careless hunting after shooting, injuring partner

January 26, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Colo. – A 70-year-old Iowa man suffered pellet wounds Thursday after he was shot by a hunting partner as they pursued coyote in Baca County.

A Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation revealed three hunters from Iowa spotted a coyote about 50 feet away. One man fired a shotgun, missing his target. He swung his shotgun and fired again, inadvertently hitting the victim.

“This is a classic example of failure to maintain ‘zone of fire’ awareness,” said Todd Marriott, CPW area wildlife manager based in Lamar. “Hunters must always know where their target is and where the rest of their party is at all times.

Luckily, these kinds of incidents are extremely rare in hunting and it doesn’t appear the victim’s injuries were serious. 

The shooter, 48-year-old Matthew Mullenix from Urbandale, Iowa, received a summons for careless hunting, an unclassified misdemeanor punished by a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000.

The charge also carries an assessment of 20 hunting-license suspension points against the hunter and requires a mandatory court appearance.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and then flown to a hospital in Colorado Springs for further examination of his injuries.

CPW officers interviewed the victim in Colorado Springs and reported him in good spirits and citing only a minor injury. He was treated and released from the hospital.

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