Man dies in apparent hunting accident in Franklin County

Published 11:48 am Friday, December 12, 2014

MEADVILLE — A Vidalia man died in Franklin County Friday morning after another hunter apparently mistook him for hunting game.

Rick Kennedy, 63, of Vidalia, died after Danny Richards, 52, of Natchez, reportedly shot him with a hunting rifle.

Franklin County Sheriff James Newman said the incident happened approximately 7:30 a.m. at a hunting club in the northwest corner of Franklin County.

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Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigator David Blackwell said the two men were hunting separately in thick brush.

“Mr. Kennedy did not have on hunter’s orange,” Blackwell said. “He had taken it off and put it in his stand, and he had walked off from the stand to a little point down by the creek and was mistaken for a deer.”

Richards told investigators he had been hunting since dawn, Blackwell said.

“The hunting camp policy requires them to sign in and say where they will be, and Mr. Kennedy apparently drove in from a different road and walked in from a different direction, so apparently neither hunter knew the other was there,” Blackwell said.

The investigator said the incident is still under investigation, but there are no indications of foul play.

“We believe it to be an accident,” Blackwell said.