Dog shoots man in back during hunting trip

A 53-year-old man is recovering after a bizarre hunting accident Saturday that Merced County sheriff's deputies believe involved his dog.

Deputies learned of the incident after responding to Los Banos Memorial Hospital about a shooting victim who was being treated, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.

The victim apparently had been hunting with a friend in the 15000 block of Highway 152 near Los Banos. After the men had completed their outing, the victim placed his shotgun on the ground and retrieved his decoy ducks from the water about 15 yards away. While retrieving the decoys, the victim's black Labrador retriever stepped on his loaded shotgun, MacKenzie said.

The gun fired, MacKenzie said, spraying pellets in the victim's direction. Some of the pellets struck the victim in the upper-left side of his back.

The victim wasn't seriously injured, and was released from the hospital the same day, MacKenzie said.

-- Victor A. Patton