Florida Hunter Shoots Nature Walker Twice, Claims He Mistook Him For A Deer
Clint Galentine was on a nature walk in Florida this past Sunday when a hunter allegedly mistook him for a deer and shot him twice with a high-powered rifle.
"I don't know how he mistakenly thought we were animal[s]," Galentine, 37, told ABC Action News from his hospital bed Tuesday.
The alleged shooter, Michael Trott, 43, reportedly had all the required hunting and firearm licenses, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
No charges have been filed against Trott, but the investigation is ongoing.
Galentine was hit twice in the left side and now has difficulty speaking. One bullet went through his left arm, breaking a bone and possibly causing permanent damage.
"I was in a little in shock," said Galentine. "I looked around and I was bleeding."
He says the hunter ran up to him and apologized.
“We wrapped my arm and my buddy called 911,” he said.
Galentine was dumbstruck, noting that when he entered the trail there was a sign that read “Boundary Closed to Hunting.” He often walks on that same path with his 8-year-old stepdaughter.
FWC said Galentine missed the fine print on the no-hunting signs where it says, "access is provided at designated access points.”
"I do not know who enforces those rules, but it definitely needs to be stepped up," said Galentine’s brother Dennis. "My little brother is lucky to be alive. That was a deadly weapon, and I have questions for the hunter. How could he think he was shooting at an animal?"
Galentine and his family are pushing for a change to the hunting area and paths.
"I was there with my daughter, she would not be here right now. There is no way a child could have withstood the power of the bullets. I am a hunter, I know," he said. "I am really lucky to be here."