A Florence County man with ties to the Upstate was fatally shot while hunting in the Sumter National Forest last Friday.
Authorities said that Bradford Todd, 40, was hunting near Candy Branch Road in Abbeville County when he was shot and killed by another hunter.
According to Capt. Robert McCullough of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Todd was on the ground, hunting feral hogs, when he was shot by a 60-year-old Pickens County man who was hunting from an elevated tree stand. The shooter’s identity has not been released, pending completion of the investigation.
“At this point in the investigation, it does not appear that either hunter knew the other,” McCullough said. “The incident occurred around 7 p.m. … and it appears to be a case of the tree-stand hunter, seeing movement on the ground in low light, mistaking the victim for an animal.”
McCullough said that Todd was not wearing an orange vest, as required by law, but he did have an orange hat in his pocket. The investigation by authorities suggests that the two men may have been less than 100 feet apart when the shooting occurred.
“At this point, no charges have been filed against the other hunter,” said McCullough. “That may very well change pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
Although Todd’s address was listed as Florence County, authorities believe he may have been temporarily residing in the area.
“Regardless of the outcome of this incident, the message the department would like to get across to other hunters is the extreme importance of knowing your target when you’re hunting as well as knowing what is beyond your target,” said McCullough. “This is a central message in all of our hunter safety courses as well as stressing the importance of wearing hunter orange any time when hunting Big Game.”
The incident is being investigated by the SCDNR office, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and the Abbeville County coroner’s office.