LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is stressing firearm safety following the death of a hunter in Elko County.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, a 48-year-old man was fatally shot by his friend who was loading their rifle into its case.

A spokesperson for NDOW stated in a press release that a preliminary investigation conducted by Elko County police and NDOW game wardens revealed the man’s friend was attempting to place his rifle into a case that was attached to a side-by-side OHV, when the gun accidentally went off, striking the 48-year-old in the chest.

According to NDOW, mishaps like this often occur when people enter, or exit, a vehicle with a loaded weapon.

“Nevada law prohibits carrying loaded rifles and shotguns in or on vehicles, including ATVs and snowmobiles, yet carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle continues to be one of the three most-cited offenses each year,” according to a press release from the organization.

NDOW asks hunters to always follow The Big Four rules emphasized in NDOW’s Hunter Education courses:

  • Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Every gun is loaded until you check it yourself.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and what’s in line with it.