By Marcello Iaia
BERNE — Mitchell Sisson of Berne was shot in the lower leg by Anthony Preston while they were deer hunting near Sickel Hill Road on Nov. 30.
Sisson, 32, was wounded in his right leg by a 12-gauge shotgun round, according to the Friday afternoon report received by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.
“Upon our arrival at the scene, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police were at the scene, as were members of New York State Police,” said Inspector Michael Monteleone of the sheriff’s office.
Lieutenant Thomas Caifa was one of the conservation officers who looked for evidence after Sisson was taken to the hospital and Preston, 57, had left.
Caifa said it appeared Preston saw a deer in a field, shot, and was not sure whether he had hit the deer. After the deer ran away, Sisson went to flush the deer back into the field while Preston stayed.
When Sisson appeared in the field, Preston mistook him for the deer and shot.
“Part you can see as clear as day and another part there’s some pricker bushes. Your view is obstructed,” said Caifa, describing the field where the accident took place.
The lead investigator, Lieutenant Charles Honikel, was not available for comment on Tuesday.
“This seems not as complicated as most, but it could be a week or two before they settle on what happened,” said Caifa.
He added that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Officers is the lead agency for investigating hunting-related shootings.
Caifa said that, last year, statewide, there had been 18 shootings where people were wounded, with none in Albany County, and one in the same DEC region, in Columbia County.