Hunting accident takes the life of 34-year-old Cullman resident


CRANE HILL – A hunting accident Sunday afternoon on a secluded plot of land near Smith Lake, located on County Road 202, has taken the life of 34-year-old Thomas Aaron Tucker Jr.


CCSO Chief Deputy Max Bartlett said the accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m., close to the Smith Lake RV Resort. He said the area was heavily wooded and hard to access.


“The area where we located the victim was in a heavily wooded area,” Bartlett said. “Both the victim and the person who shot were wearing hunter’s orange, but from where they were standing they could not see one another.”


Bartlett said the two men were standing on opposite sides of a small ravine, with both hillside areas heavily wooded.


“The shooter saw a deer come up through the ravine and shot, killing the deer. One round of buckshot traveled up the other side, striking the victim in the stomach. It was strictly a freak accident,” he said.


By the time rescue personal arrived on the scene, Bartlett said Tucker Jr. had lost consciousness and soon passed away. The individual who shot Tucker Jr. was transported to a nearby hospital, to be treated for emotional distress, according to Bartlett.


“The person who shot our victim will not face charges at this time,” he said. “This is just a sad accident that has a whole family torn apart. We just ask people keep them in their prayers.”


A total of seven individuals, five males and two females, had taken a short boat ride to access the area where they were hunting for deer. Bartlett said the shooter’s identity is being withheld at this time due to the nature of the incident and the close family connection to Tucker Jr.


“We are not releasing the person’s name at this time, but we can say that he is related to the victim through marriage,” he said.