Fatal Hunting Accident

November 19, 2011 Updated Nov 20, 2011 at 9:40 PM EDT

By WKBW News

November 19, 2011 Updated Nov 20, 2011 at 9:40 PM EDT

TOWN OF SHELBY, NY ( WKBW ) New York State Police and other county sheriff agencies are investigating a hunting accident in the Town of Shelby that claimed the life of a hunter.

The incident happened shortly after noon on Saturday when an 18-year-old hunter suffered a shot in the face as the result of a shotgun blast, New York State Police say.

According to reports, two hunters were coming out of a wooded area at the Iroquis Wildlife Refuge near Route 77. Apparently, the hunters had leaned their guns against a tree. One of those guns apparently fell away from the tree and went off.

New York State Police confirmed with Eyewitness News that the hunter died as a result of injuries he sustained.

The victim was an 18-year-old man from Lockport, NY, though his name has not been released.

Police are warning hunters to use extra caution in the wake of the incident.

"Gun safety, gun safety, gun safety. Make sure after discharging your weapon the gun safety is on. If you need to unload your weapon, always check. The number one thing is gun safety," said Lt. Joshua Verhague from the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

The identity of those involved is not known at the time of this posting.