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Woman dies after being injured during illegal deer hunt in south Alabama

FLOMATON, Ala. – The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries said a woman died of her injuries after an illegal deer hunting trip over the weekend.

Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (Image: Facebook)

Officers say at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 31-year-old Shannon Heath Bell and 35-year-old Donna Loraine Martin, both of Flomaton, were illegally hunting deer from a truck near Pollard Landing in Escambia County.  According to a preliminary hunting accident report, Bell pulled a rifle out of the vehicle, stock first, when it discharged, hitting Martin in the stomach.  She was taken to Brewton Hospital where she later died in surgery.

Bell has been charged with hunting from a public road, hunting at night, hunting from motor vehicle and hunting without a permit, all of which represent serious threats to public safety.

Conservation Enforcement Officer David Smith says most firearms-related hunting accidents are self-inflicted or involve members of their own hunting party. “Any hunting accident is a tragedy,” he said, “but when the parties know each other, it can be particularly difficult for both families.”

“This accident could have been prevented,” Smith added. “Hunting is one of the safest outdoor activities you can participate in—if it’s done in compliance with the law and following all safety rules.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

The public is asked to report hunting and fishing violations at 1-800-272-4263 (GAME).