A couple were returning to their car after hiking in the San Juan National Forest when the hiker was grazed by a loose bullet, according to KDVRName. The incident happened on Steven’s Creek Trail around 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 20. Gunshots were heard as they descended the CR 253, and the couple believed shooters were firing into an uninhabited area of the forest. Unfortunately, a man was shooting at a sign along the road and a bullet fragment grazed the hiker’s arm.
“It ricocheted off something and then deflected towards me. One more inch and it would have been in my stomach. – Hiker, according to KDVRName
The use of firearms in National Forests is permitted for target shooting, but may not be fired across roads, trails, or bodies of water. The shooters were arrested on Route 550 and the man who shot the hiker has received a summons for criminal mischief, prohibited use of a weapon and third degree assault.
It’s a good reminder to wear bright, visible clothing while hiking. Also, it’s a good idea to remember that just because guns are allowed in an area doesn’t mean those using them aren’t necessarily using them safely. Whatever your opinion of firearms, everyone should agree that if you own a firearm, you need to know how to use it properly and safely.
Image Credit: KDVR Fox 31