According to a report released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest Region Office, the incident took place around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 31, 2021, at a wooded property along Kemmer Road.
Officials say 23 hunters were hunting whitetail deer together on the property during flintlock season. Approximately ten of the hunters were pushing a block of woods for the remaining 13 hunters, who were on stand.
The report indicates the victim, identified as 42-year-old Brandon Lee Dunkle, of Fairmount City, was pushing directly toward 41-year-old Joseph Lee Larson, of Corsica. A doe then traveled from Larson’s right to left 40 yards in front of him and stopped in front of a brush pile.
According to the report, Larson fired one shot from his 50 caliber muzzleloader at the doe. The bullet reportedly traveled 76 yards and struck Dunkle in the outer right thigh.
The report notes Larson was unable to see Dunkle due to the brush pile obstructing his view.
The bullet traveled through the front of Dunkle’s leg and exited the rear of his thigh. He immediately called for help both out loud and via a Motorola radio members of his group were carrying. Some members of the group called 9-1-1 at 1:02 p.m. while others applied two makeshift belt tourniquets to the wound.
The other hunters then carried Dunkle up a hill, loaded him into a UTV, and transported him to a residence soon Kemmer Road where he was transferred to waiting EMS personnel. Dunkle was then airlifted to a trauma center hospital in Allegheny County.
According to the report, Game Commission officials spoke to Dunkle by phone later that night, and he advised he was given stitches, he did not require major surgery, and he expected to be released the following day.
The report notes Dunkle was wearing fluorescent orange on his chest and head at the time of the incident.
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