Houston man dies in hunting accident in southwest Colorado

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Friday, September 24, 2021

DURANGO, Colorado -- Two hunters from Pennsylvania were trying to lure an elk in southwestern Colorado when one of them mistook a bow hunter for prey and fatally shot him, according to an arrest affidavit.

Gregory Gabrisch, 31, of Houston, died from a gunshot wound in the San Juan National Forest north of Rico last week, and one of the Pennsylvania hunters was arrested on suspicion of criminally negligent homicide, a felony.

The man who was arrested was hunting with a .50-caliber black powder rifle as his partner used a calling device to lure elk into range, The Durango Herald reported. The device mimics the sound a bull elk would make when challenging other bulls or when trying to find a cow elk.

Gabrisch was wearing dark brown camouflage when he was shot. Bow hunters in Colorado are not required to wear daylight fluorescent orange, which breaks up the camouflage pattern needed to get close to game.

Investigators say the 67-year-old hunter from Elizabeth, Pennsylvania who killed Gabrisch should have identified his target before shooting. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials recommend wearing fluorescent orange or florescent pink clothing in the field even when not hunting.