A hunter in North Carolina who was using an electronic animal caller was fatally shot by a man with an AR-15 who said he mistook the sounds for coyotes roaming near his home, police and relatives said.

Michael Seth Marsh, 26, was killed late Monday in a wooded area in Taylorsville, about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte, as he was hunting coyotes with a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle and an electronic coyote call, the Taylorsville Times reports.

Marsh, who served as pastor of Russell Gap Baptist Church, was shot several times in the chest with an AR-15 by a man who told police he heard coyotes screaming nearby and believed the animals had trapped something in a tree.

The man — later identified by authorities as Ronald Matthew Dunn, 31, of Taylorsville — said he then fired two shots at the brown and gray movement in the trees. Dunn later called police after he realized he had shot the hunter and not a wild animal.

Marsh was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he could not be saved. Marsh is survived by his wife, Katy, and two children, Braelynn and Isaac.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said the shooter lived nearby and was unaware Marsh was in the area when he fired into the woods. Later Wednesday, Dunn was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the shooting. He was taken into custody in lieu of $75,000 bond and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday, sheriff officials announced.

Marsh, meanwhile, was remembered as a “great man, husband, father, son and friend” in a memorial fund established to help offset funeral expenses and other financial burdens.

“100% of these funds will be given to [Marsh’s wife], and she will decide what she wants done with the funds,” the website reads. “Our hearts break for this family and we hope everyone can find it in their heart to donate something to help out the family.”

Responses to "Coyote Hunter using animal caller is mistaken for coyote and killed"

  1. AR-15? So now you have HUMAN Blood on your hands. How are you going to explain THAT to the Big Man Upstairs??? JERK

  2. Buck Off says:

    @ Brenda Pelletier... Pretty simply. He didn't confirm his target, and shot based on a whim. He should know better. We are taught this when obtaining hunting licenses. So yes, he's got some explaining to do. But it ain't about an AR15, only about his actions.

  3. Buck Off says:

    Coyote hunters also know the risks that comes with using coyote calls and especially if using fake coyote decoys. Its always essential to let the nearby locals know, and if anyone stops to look it's my obligation to make them aware of my presence by either waving my blaze orange vest in the air or reflecting the sun at them, yelling and shouting and verbal communication is always #1

  4. As Elayne Boosler said in a routine years ago, "If you need an AK47 to take down a deer, maybe hunting isn't your sport." Same thing here. This is precisely why civilians do not need to have military-style weapons lying around.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, karma is a b*tch^^ the hunter got what he deserved, when he can't even make sure the locals are informed that he is in the area.

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