An AMERICAN man was rushed to hospital after being shot in the buttocks by his dog during an ill-fated duck hunting accident in Utah.
The 46 year-old, who has not been named, was hit just a few feet away from his "excited" pet canine, which had stepped on a shotgun in his boat.
He escaped serious injury – only receiving an injury to his buttocks and, almost certainly to his pride. Police confirmed the incident was not a hoax.
Officers said the man, and an unidentified friend had been duck hunting on the Great Salt Lake, in the country's west, at the weekend, when the bizarre occurred.
The hunter, from Brigham City, about 60 miles north of the state capital Salt Lake City, was shot as he climbed out of the boat to move decoys in the shallow marsh area.
Kevin Potter, the Box Elder County Sheriff’s deputy chief, said the man left his 12-gauge shotgun in the boat before the dog stepped on it, causing it to discharge.
"One of the hunters was inside the boat with the dog, and the other hunter was in the water setting up decoys," he told local media.
"The guy in the water had put his 12-gauge shotgun across the bow of their boat.
"The dog got excited, was jumping around inside the boat and then it jumped on the gun. It went off, shooting the (decoy setter) in the buttocks."
He added: "(The dog) did something to make the gun discharge. I don't know if the safety device was on. It's not impossible the dog could have taken it off safety."
It remains unclear whether the safety catch on the gun was engaged at the time of the incident, which happened in the bird refuge about 10 miles west of Brigham City.
Mr Potter said the man was hit from about 10 feet away with 27 pellets of birdshot during the incident at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
He wasn't seriously injured, in part because he was wearing waders or thick, waterproof trousers.
The men called 911 and walked to a nearby main road to wait for emergency crews. The wounded hunter was then transported to a local hospital about 9am on Sunday.
Doctors removed the bird shot and released the man to recover from his injuries wounds and nurse his wounded pride.
Neither the dog, which has not been identified, nor any ducks within range at the time of the accident, were injured.