A duck hunter in Utah was shot in the buttocks by his partner's dog, law enforcement authorities said Thursday.

The incident occurred last weekend when several duck hunters and their canine companions were preparing for a day on the water, near the Bear River Bird Refuge north of Salt Lake City. A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was left by one of the hunters, across the bow of the boat, while he went to attend to some decoys in a marshy area, according to a Reuters report.

The dog jumped into the boat and was stepping over the shotgun and made it discharge somehow. The guy was still walking away from the boat and he took it in the buttocks, said Box Elder County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Potter.

After the shooting, the hunters called 911 and walked to a nearby road to meet emergency workers. The victim, identified as Robert Cottingham in a Los Angeles Times report, was taken to a hospital where he had 27 shotgun pellets removed from his rear end before being released. He wasn't too seriously injured because he was wearing waders or thick, waterproof trousers.

The incident was labeled a fluke by Sgt. Mitch Lane of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Neither the dog nor any ducks within range at the time of the accident were injured.