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Northern Minnesota hunter shoots, kills another hunter after mistaking him for deer

By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS — A hunter fired at what he thought was a deer in northern Minnesota and killed another hunter who was not wearing blaze orange or other high-visibility clothing, authorities said Monday.

The shooting involving the two men who were not hunting together occurred as dusk settled Wednesday near Puposky, the Beltrami County Sheriff's said.

The Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Lukas R. Dudley, 28, of Bemidji.

Dudley had been arrested and charged in early October with second-degree assault in connection with shooting numerous times at law enforcement officers during a standoff near Bemidji that ended with him being shot with a Taser. Authorities wanted him at the time on suspicion of burglary and possessing a stolen gun.

Dudley posted a noncash bond and was released from jail on Nov. 5 and was under court order not to possess a firearm.

The other hunter, a 33-year-old man from Redby, Minnesota, told authorities that "he observed movement of what he thought was a deer and fired one round from his rifle," a Sheriff's Office statement read. "Dudley was found not to be wearing typical blaze orange or other high-visibility clothing."


When he discovered that he had shot Dudley, the hunter immediately called 911. He has been cooperating with investigators.

Several agencies are investigating the shooting, and a decision on whether to file charges in the case has yet to be made. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.

Sheriff Ernie Beitel said the shooting occurred after deer hunting season had ended and just off Red Lake land, where the season was still underway at the time.

Beitel said the two men might have been confused about whether or not they were on reservation land.

"It's an unfortunate deal," the sheriff said.

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