Pennsylvania hunter injured after shooting

There was a close call in Slater Creek Saturday as a hunter from Pennsylvania accidently shot himself.

William Simpkins, 51, from Pleasantville, Pa., shot himself while hunting for deer and elk. According to Moffat County Sheriff's Department records, Simpkins was hunting alone about 5 p.m. He parked his all terrain vehicle (ATV) on a trail, but forgot to use the parking break. He was scouting a buck deer he had seen earlier in the day. He returned to the four wheeler and removed his gun, walked back toward the deer and loaded a 165-grain bullet into the chamber of his 30.06-caliber rifle. As he walked away, the ATV began rolling and hit him in the back. As he feel to the ground, the gun discharged and the bullet went through his hunting coat and vest near his navel. The bullet entered the top of his left forearm just above his watch band.

After the incident Simpkins rode the ATV back to his truck, loaded the four-wheeler and went to the cabin he was staying. There he picked up a hunting companion and drove to The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

According to hospital Administrator Randy Phelps, Simpkins was treated and released.

"From what I understand the wound was superficial," said Phelps.

According to Moffat County Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg, it has been an average year for hunting related incidents.

In another hunting incident Tuesday, the Moffat County Sheriff's Department assisted the Rio Blanco Sheriff's Department in a search for a lost man near Morapus Campground. Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead found the man a few hours into the search.

Hoberg believes the cold weather makes incidents such as these more serious.

"We want to stress that people should be dressed correctly and should carry survival supplies with them," said Hoberg. "The best thing that people can do if they find themselves lost is stay put and light a fire. Under normal circumstances the search party won't search for them at night but we will send a car into the area to patrol the roads and run the siren occasionally to give the person a point to walk to."

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