SC hunter dies after shooting self in shoulder with shotgun

Updated: Mar. 30, 2015 at 6:32 AM EDT
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GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) - The Cherokee County coroner says a man who was trespassing to hunt turkeys died when his muzzle-loaded shotgun discharged and struck him in the arm and shoulder.

Coroner Dennis Fowler says the land owner notified authorities Saturday that he had found a body, who was identified as 42-year-old Brian James Gilliam of Gaffney.

Fowler says it appears Gilliam was climbing out a deep ravine on large unstable rocks when he slipped and the shotgun discharged. He says Gilliam walked about 40 yards to a cleared area, where he was found.

The coroner's investigation showed Gilliam and a friend became separated after they trespassed onto property to hunt turkeys illegally. Fowler says it appears Gilliam left a flashlight on a tree stump, pointing upward, to alert his friend of his location.

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