A MAN is lucky to be alive after accidentally being shot while out hunting with another man and a teenage boy on a property in northern New South Wales.
It happened as the trio was driving around with firearms in a ute on a property off Rockvale Road at Thalgarrah, near Armidale, about 8.30pm last night.
Police said emergency services were called to the property about 10pm after the 20-year-old man who was driving the vehicle was accidentally shot in the back of his right shoulder.
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The young man was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken by ambulance to Armidale Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
He has since been airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle for specialist referral and monitoring, police said.
The two passengers in the ute, a 47-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, were not injured.
Detectives attached to the New England Police District established a crime scene at the property and seized the firearm believed to have been involved in the incident.
It’s not yet known what sort of firearm it is, or who was holding it at the time it discharged.
The incident has prompted police to remind the public to always ensure safe and responsible practice when handling firearms.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.