Yarmouth man escapes serious injury in Chebeague Island hunting accident

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — A Yarmouth man was struck in the chest by a shotgun pellet while hunting pheasants Thursday morning, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

James Morrill, 59, was hunting with three friends when he and his dog headed into lilac bushes and underbrush. A friend, Leon Hamilton, 60, of Chebeague Island, fired at a pheasant that had emerged from the underbrush, game wardens said, and Morrill was struck by one of the pellets from the lead-shot shell at about 9 a.m.

Hamilton told game wardens he did not know Morrill was in the bushes. Morrill was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where his injury was deemed minor. He was treated and released.

Morrill and his friends had released pheasants on Wednesday for the beginning of pheasant hunting season on Oct. 1.

The Maine Warden Service is investigating the incident.