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WAUSAU (WAOW) - The Marathon County Sheriff's Department says the 29-year-old squirrel hunter killed while hunting was Xou Chang of Wausau.
The sheriff tells Newsline 9 that Chang was shot by his friend who is a 32-year-old man from Wausau.
Chang was shot in the head near Wausau after another hunter saw movement and fired, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
The sheriff says Chang had two dead squirrels next to him on a stump, and his friend thought he saw movement and fired.
A report of the Sept. 22 incident said the shooting occurred on private land about 9 a.m. The shooter fired one round from a .17-caliber, bolt-action rifle "at movement approximately 50 yards away," the DNR reported.
"The shooter failed to identify target," the report said.
Todd Schaller, the DNR's recreation safety and education chief, said Wednesday the victim was in a group of three squirrel hunters.
"A common strategy in squirrel hunting is people separate," he said. "Fifty yards, that is not unusual (to shoot at a squirrel)," he said.
In the past 10 years, only two squirrel hunters have been fatally shot, Schaller said.
The shooting near Wausau was the second in Marathon County involving squirrel hunters this month.
On Sept. 15, a 20-year-old squirrel hunter was shot in the abdomen by a 52-year-old hunter who also saw movement and shot, mistaking him for a squirrel, investigators said. That incident occurred near Kronenwetter.
The shooter and the victim were in different hunting groups, investigators said.
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