GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Grand County District Attorney’s office says a decision on charges, related to a Monday morning hunting fatality, would be made within the next week. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported that the man had been shot by another member party.

Simon Howell (credit: Howell family)

Simon Howell, 26, an experienced hunter from Ridgeley, West Virginia, was shot and killed while elk hunting. According to CPW, the incident happened around 10 a.m. Monday.

Investigators say the location of the shooting was in rugged terrain, west of Kremmling and North of Trough Road, in Grand County. The specific location was on BLM land in Game Management Unit 27, according to CPW.

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CPW was notified around 11:30 a.m. Monday and responded with a district wildlife manager, a game warden, and law enforcement investigator.

“We know we can confirm that there was one fatality and that this was just a tragic incident all around,” said Randy Hampton, Public Information Officer for CPW’s Northwest Region.

Hampton says the last hunter fatality occurred in 2018 in Grand County, but added incidents like this are extremely rare.

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“If you go into the 1950s and 1960s, you would see about 10 hunter fatalities each year in Colorado, so in the 1950s, Colorado implemented mandatory hunter education for anyone who hunts in the state,” Hampton said. “Because of that, we now see fatalities in hunting dropping to below one a year. So ya know, hunting with 500,000, half a million hunters in the field in Colorado every year, is actually very safe. Unfortunately, it requires that people be mindful, always, of what they’re doing in the field and certainly the actions they take and that they can have severe consequences.”

The circumstances surrounding what happened are still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

“These situations are extraordinarily traumatic for everybody involved and it’s a tragic situation, so certainly, our thoughts are with everybody involved in this, and as an agency, the best we can do is learn from what happened and use that to hopefully to prevent these kinds of tragedies moving forward,” said Hampton.

CPW is working in conjunction with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and Coroner’s Office.

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Jamie Leary