Minneapolis hunter accidentally shot in Becker County

A hunter was accidentally shot in northern Minnesota Sunday morning, authorities said. 

According to the Becker County Sheriff's Office, a 40-year-old hunter from Minneapolis suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the hip while hunting in a wooded area of Forest Township. The hunter's partner was reportedly attempting to check if his firearm was unloaded when it went off, hitting him in the leg, the sheriff's office said. 

Law enforcement says the man was transported in a private vehicle from the scene until the vehicle broke down, they were then found by first responders. He was then transported by ambulance to Sanford Hospital in Bemidji to treat his injuries. The man's condition is currently unknown. 

The shooting appears to be accidental and is no longer under investigation, according to the sheriff's office.

There have been at least three accidental firearm-related hunting injuries this fall, including this incident. Previously, two men were accidentally shot by children during Minnesota youth deer hunting season.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges hunters to always control the muzzle of a firearm, treat every firearm as if it's loaded and only put your finger on the trigger when you're ready to shoot. 

More than 21,000 Minnesotans earn their firearms safety certification every year, and since 1955 1.3 million have earned their certification, the DNR states. The DNR says there has been a decrease in the number of firearm-related hunting injuries and fatalities due to more hunters earning their firearm safety certification. 

The DNR says in 2022, 23% of firearm hunting incidents were caused by reckless handling of firearms. Since 2021, there have been two firearms-related hunting fatalities and 26 non-fatal firearm injuries.