• A turkey hunt was going on along the trail when the tragedy struck
  • Police are yet to reveal the identities of the hiker and the hunter 
  • They said the hunter was fully cooperating

A hiker in Missouri has been critically injured after being shot in the chest by a hunter who mistook him for a turkey.

Officers reached the Lewis & Clark trail at August A. Busch Memorial and Weldon Spring Conservation Area around Saturday afternoon to investigate a hunting-related incident, St. Charles County Police Department said in a Facebook statement.

"A hunter accidentally shot a hiker, thinking he was a turkey. The hiker was transported for medical treatment. His condition is unknown. This remains an active investigation," the statement read.

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The hiker was airlifted to a nearby trauma center in serious condition. Police said it was a "really bad accident" and the hunter was fully cooperating with officers.

The identities of the hiker and the hunter were not revealed.

A hiker, who was present in the area at the time, told NBC-affiliated television station KSDK that he saw the victim lying on a stretcher. "I could hear voices, and then I saw a hunter with a large rifle and dressed head to toe in camouflage clothes. He was covered with a yellow tarp. I could see ... his torso. He didn't have his shirt on, and (paramedics) were working on him," the hiker said.

Another hiker, Nancy Phillips, said she hikes regularly along the Lewis Trail loop. "This is a freak accident, I think. I always purposely wear my bright colors, so no hunters mistake me for anything," Phillips told KSDK.

A turkey hunt, managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, was in progress when the tragedy struck. The turkey hunting season concluded Sunday. There was reportedly just one sign to warn hikers about the activity.

Last year, a man and his 9-year-old daughter were fatally shot in South Carolina by a fellow hunter who mistook them for a deer.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said four hunters were chasing deer, also known as driving deer, when Kim Drawdy, 30, and Lauren Drawdy, 9, got shot by a fellow hunter. It was not clear whether they were wearing brightly colored safety gear.

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