14-year-old boy shoots himself in leg in Rockingham Co. hunting accident

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- A 14-year-old is in the hospital facing multiple surgeries after he shot himself in the leg while hunting, according to the N.C. Wildlife and Resources Commission.

Officer Barry Joyce said just before sunrise this morning the juvenile was preparing to get in his deer stand in woods near Mayodan when the rifle went off.

"There was a round in the chamber. It appears the safety was in the fire position, and he was hooking the rope up to the trigger housing, area where the trigger is at."

Joyce said that combination of mistakes could have been deadly. The boy unintentionally shot himself in the upper leg.

The boy's uncle and a neighbor heard the shot and the boy's screams and both arrived at his side around the same time, said Joyce.

They were able to call first responders, and the juvenile was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

"He is critical but stable. They're trying to save his leg. It was a pretty significant injury to the upper part of his leg," he explained.

The juvenile's name is not being released because of his age. Joyce said there are several lessons to learn in this case.

First, he said the boy was hunting alone and had never had a hunting safety course.

"You are not required to get a hunting license until you are 16," he explained. "But if you are going to hunt before that age, you need to take a hunting safety course. Once you take the certification course and get certified, it's okay to hunt on your own if it's okay with a licensed parent or guardian. Before then, you have to be right with a licensed parent or guardian so they can take immediate control of the firearm in case something goes wrong."

In North Carolina, the classes are offered for free in every county so you can be aware of safety rules and hunting laws.

For example, “All over Rockingham County it's a two buck limit. You can take all the does you want to take as long as they're tagged and registered, but bucks are strictly a two buck area," said Joyce.

That law varies depending if you are in the Western or Eastern part of North Carolina, so it's important to check with local law enforcement.

He said deer hunting is permitted 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.

"With the family going through what they're going through right now and this kid being 14 years old, we're not looking at any charges on him," concluded Joyce. "But we want all young hunters to pay attention and take this seriously."


  • Thomas

    As I live close to the area of this tragic accident, I heard the gunshot, I heard the rush of emergency vehicles to the area, and I noticed that it was still very dark at that time of the morning. Even though I do not hunt, I do respect the rights of those enthusiasts, but I wish those who do participate in shooting sports would exercise more common sense to protect all involved.

  • allysonnellis

    I agree the gun should have never went off…but I am hoping that was the accident part and not that someone shot someone before daylight. Lots of hunters climb their stands before daylight, but they shouldn’t be shootingat something they can’t see clearly

  • Tiffany goodin

    Common sense would dictate to not load your rifle until you are settled and ready to hunt, also there is a safety button for a reason. People need to teach their children better, I hunt myself and you always treat a gun as if it’s loaded and when it is take extra precaution. Hope his leg recovers.

  • Amy

    Let’s remember…he is 14…People stop saying he should’ve had more common sense-he’s 14.. Yes-he made some tragic MISTAKES & Im sure he will learn from them…HOPING & PRAYING FOR HIS RECOVERY!!!!

  • Luann Carroll

    I agree with Amy, instead of leaving stupid immature comments you should pray that this be a lesson learned and pray for a full recovery, I’m sure he didn’t wake up this morning and say hey I’m gonna shoot myself today, so if you have to say something ignorant just keep it to yourself, I’m sure his family would appreciate it.

  • Dale

    Yes this was an accident ,One the 14 yr old will remember the rest his of his LIFE.But why was he hunting by himself @ 14 without a hunting License? Or hunters safety course certificate? This has been in effect since early 90s

    • justin

      Ok first off he Proble knows more then you he grew up hunting and if you listen properly if your under 16 you don’t have to have hunting licence

      • Dale

        Yes i understand the laws ,As it states IF you have completed the hunter safety course You can hunt alone , by yourself. I have been hunting for almost 40 yrs , He had neither safety course or license So where was the Adult that was to be supervising him

  • FaithNoMore

    What really gets my goat is Aparent can spank their child and have CPS all over them like silly putty but when a firearm goes off on a 14 year old its not child abuse that the child was unsupervised. I do not advocte CPS but really where is the sense in any of this…

  • ashley

    I have known the family and this kid for a few years now…. and yes these was MISTAKES that this child will learn from…. as he does have a very long road to recovery ahead of him…. this boy is like a little brother to me and my husband… and we know for a fact that he has never till thuresday had any type of carelessness with his hunting…. but dont bash him cause he is a kid that loves to do the country thing and hunt cause there are GROWN MEN out here EVERYDAY that make the same careless mistakes with a safty and ACCIDENTS HAPPEN they are a part of life…. just continue to keep this family and the child In your prayers as they continue to still need them thank you

  • tabby

    yall have curtsy for the FAMILY…this is was just a freak accident that could have happened to anyone…the boy is a good kid with good parents. what really gets to me is nothing ever happens to all these kids out there in the world dealing or doing drugs and drinking but when an accident occurs to a good kid yall wanna get all up in the Kool-Aid and put your 2cents in when you know nothing so get off this kids back he has enough to deal with without yall putting him down


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