Shooting victim was part of 20-person hunting group
The 37-year-old Winterset man who was shot and killed while deer hunting Saturday in Marion County was part of a large group of about 20 people, some of whom tried to coax deer in the direction of their fellow hunters.
Nathan Allen Sharpnack was shot in the torso about 2:45 p.m. near Lake Red Rock north of Knoxville, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It was the first day of the regular shotgun deer season in Iowa.
Sharpnack was shot by one of his hunting companions. Further details of the shooting, including how far apart the hunters were and what type of weapon was fired, have not yet been released. Weapons other than shotguns, such as certain rifles, can be used to hunt during the state’s shotgun seasons.
The DNR said Sharpnack was taking part in a “deer drive” at the time he was shot. The tactic typically involves a hunting party that splits into two groups, with one group walking through an area to startle deer into another area where the other group is waiting to shoot.
The hunters were in a public hunting area that is mostly wooded with rolling hills, said Tammie Krausman, a DNR spokesperson.
Deer drives can be risky for hunters if they are obscured by trees or brush. A man in Carroll County was shot by a fellow hunter in 2014 as he pushed deer through tall grass. He survived.
Deer hunters are required to wear orange vests or jackets while hunting with firearms.
Last year, the DNR reported six incidents during the opening shotgun weekend that resulted in a minor injury or property damage.
“Safety should be part of every hunting plan and discussed with the group before heading to the timber,” Megan Wisecup, the DNR’s hunter education administrator, said at the time. “That includes discussion on the layout of the property, where everyone will be at all times during the hunt, where the roads and property boundary are and areas where they should not take a shot to avoid damaging private property.”
The DNR discourages hunters from shooting at running deer because it can be difficult to track what lies beyond them that is at risk of being shot.
Krausman said more details about the Lake Red Rock shooting are forthcoming.