Police: Man shot while hunting in Cortland County

WILLET, N.Y. — The Cortland County Sheriff's Department is investigating what appears to be a hunting accident that occurred Sunday afternoon in the town of Willet.

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Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, the Cortland County 911 Center received a call regarding a man who had been shot while hunting in the woods off Route 221 in Willet, just east of Fish Hill Road.

The 24-year-old man was hunting by himself when he was shot by a 53-year-old man who was hunting in the same area, according to Lt. Todd Caufield in the sheriff's department. The older man was assisting the victim when police arrived at the scene.

The victim was taken to a medical helicopter and flown to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse where he was treated for a single gunshot wound to the abdomen area.

The person responsible for the shooting was detained and taken to the sheriff's department, where he was interviewed by their investigators and by officers from the New York State Environmental Conservation Police. He was subsequently released to family members and no charges have been filed.

Authorities believe neither man knew that they were hunting in the same area, nor did the two know each other, Lt. Caufield said.

Due to the circumstances of the incident, the sheriff's department is not releasing the names of the victim and shooter "until such time permits," Caufield said.

Caufield was unaware as to the medical status of the victim at the time of Sunday's press release.

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