Police are investigating how a 24-year-old Washington County man believed to be poaching was shot in the back Friday evening in South Fayette while driving in his vehicle moments after a confrontation with the landowner.
The Cecil man, whom police did not identify, was treated and released from a Pittsburgh hospital.
South Fayette police Chief Louis Volle said the hunter did not know who shot him and never saw a firearm.
"I think it was an accident," Chief Volle said.
But it could have been far worse.
"All it would have taken was two inches higher and he would have been dead," Chief Volle said.
The chief said investigators believe the man was illegally shooting from his vehicle on Cecil Rising Road, a back country road about two miles north of Millers Run Road.
"It was hunting out of a vehicle and it turned into a guy got shot," the chief said.
After shooting at game, the chief said, the man returned about 25 minutes later at 5 p.m. to see if it was safe for him to check on whether he had bagged anything.
But he was met by an angry landowner who began screaming at him.
The chief said the hunter never stopped his vehicle.
"He keeps on driving and boom, boom," Chief Volle said.
Allegheny County Police homicide detectives were called in to assist in the investigation of the shooting.
Issues about the man's hunting illegally were passed along to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.