LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For one set of hunters, the first day of dove season did not go as planned.
According to Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches, 45 year-old Monica Gunter was shot in the right leg by her friend who was attempting to load a shotgun.
Sanches said the accident occurred in the 13000 block of state highway 69 north near the Cherokee County line. Sanches said his deputies were called out to a deer lease at the location around 10 a.m. Monday morning.
Gunter was taken from the scene by ambulance to Memorial hospital. A hospital spokesperson said Gunter was released from surgery Monday afternoon and was listed in stable condition.
"It was just a pure accidental shooting," Sanches said. "They were friends. The shooter was upset. The lady that was shot hated it [because] her friend has to go through it."
Sanches said in his law enforcement career, he has seen his fair share of accidents like this and believes simple tips can prevent them.
"We always have to remember to point that gun in a safe area," Sanches said. "You never point it at anyone and always treat the gun as if it is loaded at all times."
Sanches added that the best practice is to have barrel empty until you're ready to fire. The sheriff also believes hunter safety classes that are required by the state of Texas for anyone born after Sept. 2, 1971 are also a good way of reinforcing these safety tips.
"Any kind of safety we are talking about, rather it be driving safety or hunting safety, these are good things for anyone to have to take a course in," Sanches said. "It's not things that we don't know, it reminds us. As human beings, we have to be reminded from time to time."
Sanches said that there are no charges pending for the woman that discharged the firearm.