WEBB CITY, Mo. -- A Webb City man who was hunting by himself died after he apparently dropped his gun and it discharged, shooting him in the stomach, the Barton County Sheriff's Office said.
John M. Boyer, 35, died Friday night after being wounded earlier in the day at Shawnee Trails Wildlife Area south of Mindenmines, according to Barton County Sheriff Bill Griffitt.
Boyer was in a tree stand when he dropped his black-powder, muzzleloading rifle, which discharged and shot him in the stomach, Griffitt said.
The bullet also went through the board of the tree stand that Boyer was sitting on, according to Griffitt. Boyer, who fell to the ground, used his cell phone to dial 911 about 1:45 p.m. Friday. The dispatcher lost contact and the department contacted Boyer's wife, who was able to call him again on his cell phone.
It took 30 to 40 minutes to find Boyer, Griffitt said. He died later Friday at Joplin hospital.
"It's just a bad deal," Griffitt said. "He's married. He's got one kid and one on the way."
Boyer's family told sheriff's deputies that he had been hunting for years.