Murder suspected in grouse hunter’s death

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OKANOGAN COUNTY — A bizarre death Sunday during a hunting excursion in a remote area of the state is being investigated as a murder, police said.

Okanogan County sheriff’s deputies received a call that a man was shot around 7:15 p.m. on Cow Camp Road near Pontiac Ridge. When deputies arrived, they found one man dead at the scene. Police believe the man was shot while hunting for grouse; a small game bird.

According to the man’s friend — the lone witness in the case — the two men were on a grouse hunting trip from Western Washington. The victim and his passenger were driving around on a remote road when they spotted a bird, the witness told police. The driver of the car got out and prepared to fire. However, the passenger told police he heard another shot and saw his partner fall to ground covered in blood. The passenger quickly drove from the scene to another residence to call police.

The victim’s name has not yet been released.

Deputies interviewed the passenger and the people living at the nearby residence. Sheriff’s deputies said they are interviewing a person of interest. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and local law enforcement officers are investigating the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies said this was the fifth murder in Okanogan County this year.

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