Hunter lucky to be alive after being shot, mistaken for turkey in Shannon County, Mo.

SHANNON COUNTY, Mo. -- A man from Mountain View says he is lucky to be alive after being shot while hunting turkey in Shannon County.
He spoke with Michael Deere about how it's changed how he hunts.
Warning, there may be pictures in this story that some viewers find disturbing.

"I'm trying to figure out what's going on and it just dawned on me, I've been shot," Chase Rutledge told KY3.
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31-year-old Chase Rutledge was mistaken for a turkey by a 17-year-old hunter with a shotgun.

"You can imagine a bunch of red wasps stinging you, that's how it felt," Rutledge described.

Rutledge knows the young man didn't mean to shoot him.

"He said he thought I was a turkey. He said he shot at movement....said he seen white," Rutledge added.

Rutledge was helped to his truck and then drove himself to the hospital in Mountain View.

"Around 35 pellets is what they counted. I've got five in my head and one in my finger," he explained.

He says doctors found a pellet in his throat just half an inch from killing him.

"And I've got a pellet in my throat that dang near went through my jugular. They said if that would've went through, I would've bled to death in just a couple of minutes," Rutledge exclaimed.

Rutledge was back hunting turkeys Friday morning, but not without thinking about the accident.

He says he'll be extra cautious from here on out.

"I made sure I was seen," he shouted.

Even during a pandemic, the conservation department's Francis Skalicky says the woods will be busy this spring.

"Well actually, there is an uptick in resident permit sales, Skalicky told KY3. I don't know if that's due to the coronavirus or just because of popularity of the season. The spring turkey season is a big deal. It's Missouri's second most popular hunting season, next to the November firearms deer season."

Skalicky says hunters should always keep the safety on, never shoot at sound, look beyond your target before shooting, wrap dead turkeys in orange and make yourself known to other hunters.

"Never let excitement overrule good judgement," Skalicky explained.

Rutledge still has five pellets lodged in his body.

He says he will have to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to have them removed.

For more turkey hunting tips, visit: https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/turkey