SUSSEX, Va. (WTVR)–Two friends set out to hunt turkey Wednesday but, tragically, only one returned.
Officers from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries began a death investigation which they say appears to have the signs of an accidental fatal shooting.
In Sussex County a piece of yellow tape is tied to a chain-locked fence. Game and Inland Fisheries officers say down a private path they’re investigating a hunter’s tragic mistake.
“It appears the two gentlemen got separated in the woods and one mistook the other one for a turkey,” said Officer Brandon Woodruff.
Investigators say 70-year-old Raymond Weidner shot his friend 46-year-old Kevin Brooks in the back of the head with a blast from a shotgun. Brooks died on scene. Both men are from Virginia Beach.
During spring gobbler season, blaze orange is not a requirement.
“It’s believed that turkeys can see colors so hunters don’t wear the blaze orange during turkey season because it’s not required by law,” said Woodruff. “What we ask folks to do is put a marker above where they’re hiding.”
Officers say the accident happened about a mile off of Shingleton Road. Alvin Skinner lives close by the scene.
“You got to make sure you know that you are shooting at a turkey,” Skinner said.
Skinner says Wednesday’s deadly shooting serves as a reminder to all hunters, that taking time to assess what they have in their sight, is critical especially when others are hunting with you.
“It’s a terrible thing,” he said. “I’d hate to live with that the rest of my life.”
Investigators tell CBS 6 they still have a lot of work to do on this case and will present their findings to the Sussex County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for review.